New Delhi: Though the UGC has assured the agitating students of reviewing the decision of scrapping the non-NET fellowship, the protesters from universities across Delhi have decided to continue with their agitation.
Hundreds of students from across varsities in Delhi, including Delhi University, JNU, Ambedkar University, were camping outside the office of University Grants Commission (UGC) since Wednesday, demanding revoking of the decision.
Yesterday, 100 of the protesters were detained by the police and released later in the evening while the UGC officials met a delegation of students and assured them of reviewing the decision.
"We will not end the protest till the time our demand is met. The government is now trying to give it another angle by saying it is mulling awarding these fellowships on merit and equity basis. Fellowships are means of survival for researchers. We demand the decision to be revoked," said Sucheta De, one of the protesters.
The fellowship, which is provided to those undertaking research in central universities across India, was scrapped by UGC in its last meeting.
Under the scheme, financial assistance was provided to students pursuing M.Phil and Ph.D of, respectively, Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000 per month. Ph.D students got assistance for four years and M.Phil students for 18 months. They also got a contingency amount every year to help them undertake their research.
Faced with the protests, the HRD Ministry officials had yesterday said that they are planning to review the programme altogether and strengthen the existing National Eligibility Test (NET) and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) scheme or create another method of an all-India examination for non-NET qualified candidates.
Meanwhile, teachers associations of various universities have also come out in support of the agitating students.