The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has decided to include Central Universities too in the list of host institutes for carrying out research in Science and Technology domains under the Prime Minister's Research Fellows (PMRF) scheme.
MHRD, recently, approved inclusion of Central Universities as host institutes to carry out research work under PMRF scheme. The catch is only those Central Universities are eligible which feature in the top 100 in the NIRF list of universities.
NIRF or National Institutional Ranking Framework is India's own ranking system for educational institutes, Institutes are ranked in 9 categories - Overall, Universities, Engineering, College, Medical, Pharmacy, Law, Architecture, and Management.
The Prime Minister's Research Fellows (PMRF) scheme was approved by the Narendra Modi government in its previous term. Under this scheme, 1,000 best students who have completed or were in the final year of B. Tech or Integrated M.Tech. or M.Sc. in Science and Technology streams from IISc/ IITs/ NITs/ IISERs/ IIITs were selected for direct admission in PhD programme in the IITs/IISc.
Now Central Universities too, in addition to IITs, IISc, and IISER, will function as host institutes for PMRFs to carry out their research.
The selection for PMRF scheme is rigorous with stringent eligibility criteria.
Under this fellowship scheme, selected students will be offered a fellowship of Rs.70,000 per month for the first two years, Rs.75,000 per month for the 3rd year, and Rs.80,000 per month in the 4th and 5th years.
Apart from this, a research grant of Rs.2.00 lakh will be provided to each of the Fellows for a period of 5 years to cover their foreign travel expenses for presenting research papers in international conferences and seminars. A maximum of 3000 Fellows would be selected in a three year period, beginning from 2018-19 session.
The scheme which also aimed at reversing brain-drain had less takers among the IITians in its first year. Most of the applications received were from students who completed their degree from one of the NITs. There were only 14 applications from IISc.
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