The Union Cabinet has approved a significant proposal to implement the Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) scheme, under which the top 3,000 B.Tech graduates of the country will get grants to pursue a PhD in the IITs and IISc.
The scheme was announced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in this year’s General Budget last week. The move would go a long way in tapping the talent pool available in the country for carrying out research indigenously in the cutting-edge science and technology domains.
The cabinet approved the scheme at a cost of Rs 1,650 crore for a period of seven years, beginning 2018-19.
“Under this scheme, the best students who have completed or are in the final year of B.Tech or integrated M.Tech or M.Sc in science and technology streams in the IISc/IITs/NITs/IISERs/IIITs will be offered direct admission in the PhD programme in the IITs/IISc,” an official statement said.
The students, who would fulfil the eligibility criteria and get shortlisted through the selection process as laid down in the PMRF guidelines, would be offered a fellowship of Rs 70,000 per month for the first two years, Rs 75,000 per month for the third year and Rs 80,000 per month in the fourth and fifth years, it added.
Apart from this, a research grant of Rs 2 lakh each will be provided to the fellows for a period of five years to cover their foreign travel expenses for presenting research papers at international conferences and seminars.
A maximum of 3,000 fellows will be selected over a three-year period, beginning 2018-19.
(With inputs from PTI)