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Almost 2,000 recipients of the now-canceled Maulana Azad fellowship are expecting a raise and stipend.
Jan 04, 2024 01:55 pm

 Nazia Israr, a PhD candidate at the University of Kashmir in Srinagar, hasn't received her stipend from the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) program in three months. After receiving her fellowship in February 2022, Israr, a Junior Research Fellow, has been waiting for a raise in her pay for the past six months. However, neither the rise nor the stipend are on the horizon, and the burden on her finances is affecting her development studies research. "The fund is available to us until September. We haven't heard anything regarding the hike from the Ministry (of Minority Affairs) or received the fellowship money since then. We don't have enough money to conduct our research, which makes it very tough. Rent must be paid, and we must travel for research. She is not alone in this. Nearly 1,900 beneficiaries in 27 universities throughout India are awaiting stipends for the last three months as well as a modification of fellowship amount for the last six months, according to research fellows ThePrint spoke with. The MANF fellows assert that they have not been informed of the proposed increase, despite researchers and doctoral students supported by fellowships from other ministries—such as education, tribal affairs, social justice and empowerment—getting the increased stipend as a result of a Department of Science and Technology (DST) order in June 2023.