The council headed by IIT-Guwahati research scholar Vikrant Singh has moved Union MHRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ to initiate measures for an extension to present the theses by PhD students, which was scheduled in July-August. JRCI expressed hope to see prompt action from MHRD to extend the duration to six month or a year, depending on the pandemic situation, and also help with fellowship during this time.
“Joint Research Council of India has taken cognizance of issues being faced by research scholars of the country in these lockdown periods. We are working to draw the attention of respective authorities, ministers, MHRD, UGC to the problems arisen in these covid pandemic, and how these are impacting mental health, and putting strain on our talents. We wrote a letter to the minister of human resource development for addressal of the issue of students who were to complete their PhD in July-August period, but due to lockdown, have been unable to complete their theses or complete relevant procedures,” JRCI president Vikrant Singh, said.
The JRCI — an association of Indian researchers — in the memorandum on Tuesday said they stood with the government in all aspects and “we appreciate the efforts taken to fight against Covid-19”.
However, as most of the research scholars have left their research equipment in the hostels and labs, they said that it’s almost impossible for the scholars to work from home at this last stage.
“Unfortunately, we have lost these past months without any progress at all in this peak time of research. Previously the scholars were getting 6 months fellowship extension in almost every IITs/NITs. This time many institutes have already denied providing the extensions. So, if we are being exempted from the fellowship extension, then basically we are losing 1 year in total and counting, which is a very miserable issue for a scholar,” JRCI said in the memorandum, cautioning that depriving the scholars from the fellowship extensions will only lead to chaos in the coming generation of research which in fact will hamper the true growth of the country.