The undergraduate programmes in the premier institutions such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) are the most sought after academic programmes. However, only few of them opt to pursue research after completing their B.Tech. courses. In order to attract these meritorious students into research, Government of India, in 2018 launched Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme, which offers direct admission to such students in the Ph.D porgrammes in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) with attractive fellowship of Rs.70,000/- to Rs.80,000/- per month. In addition, a research grant of Rs.2 lakh per year is provided to the selected fellows for a period of five years to present research papers. With further modification, the scheme has been opened for eligible students from all recognized institutions/universities in the country. The rate of fellowship/emoluments for other Ph.D, Junior Research Fellows (JRF) and Senior Research Fellows (SRFs) has also been revised from the existing Rs.25,000/- to Rs.31,000/- and Rs. 28,000/- to Rs.35,000/- per month effective from 01.01.2019. All students pursuing M.Tech. programmes in the Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs) and those affiliated with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are offered a monthly fellowship of Rs.12,400/-.
The Department of Science & Technology has also revised the rates of emoluments for Research Associates from the existing Rs.36,000 to 47,000/-, Rs.38,000/- to 49,000/- and Rs.40,000/- to Rs.54,000/- per month as per eligibility. As regards foreign students taking up R&D, no such centralized data is maintained.
The information was given by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.