The University Grants Commission (UGC), which is the government body responsible for maintenance of higher education in the country, provides a number of scholarships to students at different levels of educational systems in India as well as overseas.
Over the last few years, there has been a surge in the focus on education of the socially deprived students. The Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship (RGNF) Scheme 2015 is meant for students belonging to the scheduled castes (SC) and is funded by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
The scholarship is open to candidates of scheduled caste who are looking to pursue higher studies like regular and full time M.Phil. and Ph.D degrees in Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences and Engineering & Technology. There is availability of 2000 slots for SC candidates each year for all subjects. SC candidates having passed the Post Graduate examination in a particular subject desiring to do research without JRF of UGC-NET or UGC-CSIR NET are best advised to apply for the scholarship. The objective is to provide some kind of financial assistance to such economically deprived sections of the society.
30 June, 2015 is the last date to apply.
A candidate must be a scheduled caste and must have cleared Post Graduate examination. However, the final selection would be done through a system of merit. The candidate should be registered for M.Phil/Ph.D. during time of application.
The fellowship is given for two years under which a candidate gets Rs.16,000 per month after which the Fellow’s work would be assessed by Committee of three members consisting of Head of the Department, Supervisor and an outside subject expert.
If research work is satisfactory, then the tenure is extended for another three years with the candidate getting Rs.18,000 per month. However, if not satisfactory, then a year more may be provided for improvement.
Apart from the fellowship amount, a certain sum is also provided annually as a “contingency amount” for emergency expenditure. For SC students pursuing Humanities & Social Sciences, this amount is Rs.10,000 per annum for the first two years and Rs.20,500 per annum for the remaining period. For the SC candidates pursuing Science, Engineering & Technology, this amount is Rs.12,000 per annum for the first two years and Rs.25,000 per annum for the remaining period.
Additionally, Rs.3000 annually is provided as “departmental assistance” to all candidates and Rs.2000 monthly as “escort/ reader assistance” to physically handicapped/ blind candidates.
If the RGNJRF candidates is not provided living accommodation by the host university/ college, then he/ she is eligible to draw house rent allowance (HRA) as per the rules of the university/ institution/ college.
Those who are interested may go ahead and fill the application through the website at www.ugc.ac.in/rgnfsc/registration.aspx. After doing the same, a registration id is generated which can be utilised for generating pdf file once submission process is completed. Students would have to fill up details pertaining to their research work that includes research topic, subject etc while other information regarding present employment should also be provided. Besides this, the scholarship entails submission of some mandatory documents including: