Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dr Satya Pal Singh said that the Central government has approved the Prime Minister's Research Fellowship (PMRF) scheme for Doctoral Studies (Ph.D) in IITs and IISc to attract best talents of the country.

“The government approved the ‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF)’scheme at a total cost of Rs.1650 crore for a period of seven years beginning from 2018-19,” the minister said in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Under this scheme, the minister said, the best students who have completed (in last 5 years) or are 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, with at least 8.0 CGPA, will be offered direct admission in Ph.D programme in the IITs / IISc, after going through the selection process.

Selected students will be offered a fellowship of INR 70,000 per month for the first two years, INR 75,000 per month for the 3rd year and INR 80,000 per month in the 4th and 5th years.

A maximum of 3000 Fellows would be selected in a three-year period and a research grant of INR 2.00 lakh will be provided to each of the Fellows for a period of 5 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,” the minister said.

“Government provides necessary budgetary support to all Institutions including IITs and IISc, inter-alia for up-gradation of research,” he further added.

The minister said that the Central government has taken many initiatives to attract highly skilled researchers and scientists to pursue their R&D interests in Indian Institutions.

“For attracting highly skilled researchers and scientists to pursue their R&D interests in Indian Institutions, several initiatives have been launched by the Central government. Such initiatives include Faculty Recharge Programme, CV Raman Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme by University Grants Commission (UGC), Ramanujan Fellowship, JC Bose Fellowship, Swarnjayanti Fellowship, Young Scientist Project Award, Women Scientist Scheme by Department of Science & Technology (DST), and Ramalinga Swami Re-entry Fellowship by Department of Biotechnology,” he said.

According to the minister, the MHRD has also launched the Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN) which seeks to tap the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs from abroad, including those of Indian origin to augment the country’s existing academic resources.

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