According to sources, the Human Resource Development Ministry (MHRD), under the Prime Minister's Research fellowship, will most likely receive a fellowship amount of INR 75,000 per month. This will be done to promote quality research in IITs and ensure students pursue higher education.
However, this comes with a clause for students under which, students who are awarded the fellowship for direct PhD in IITs after finishing their B.Tech, will have to refund the entire amount if they decide to leave the course midway.
Sources said that the scheme will be applicable once it is cleared by the cabinet. Currently, there are 25,000 scholars enrolled in different PhD courses across various IITs.
A senior HRD official said that the quality or research in IITs is directly proportional to the quality of students in the PhD programme. In order to improve this quality, it is necessary to encourage bright students to register for direct PhD programme right after completing the B.Tech degree. However, the official said that to ensure students don't quit the programme after securing a good job, this clause to refund the entire amount has been inserted.
Also, since the fellowship amount has been substantially increased, the selection process is also expected to be more rigorous. The fellowship is set to begin from this academic year and about 1000 students will be inducted into the programme.
The fellowship received its approval last year by the IIT council, the highest decision making body for the institutions. The council is headed by HRD minister Prakash Javadekar.
As per sources, the final year students in IITs who come in the top 25 percentile of the class in terms of cumulative academic performance in the previous six semesters shall be allowed to take up the fellowship. The fellowship amount will be paid for a period of five years.