MHRD should extend tenure and fellowship of Research Scholars affected by COVID-19

MHRD should extend tenure and fellowship of Research Scholars affected by COVID-19

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In Short: We want MHRD to extend the tenure as well as the fellowship (stipend/HTRA/HRRA etc) to all the scholars whose research timeline and financial support was affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.

Detailed: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all educational institutes were shut down and the scholars were asked to vacate the campus in March 2020. Due to the urgency and the short duration of the notice provided for vacating the campus, several scholars left their valuables, laptops and research notes behind in hope that they would be able to return soon and continue their research. The Educational Institutes' have remained under lockdown since that time without any access to the scholars. This has led to several issues now being raised by the student including anxiety about the status of their research work, experiments and the expiry of their fellowship.

All experimental setups have degraded or become unusable after a long duration. Research has been set back by several months due to the delay. Scholars now have their fellowship expired in the middle of the nationwide lockdown leaving them without any means to survive financially. The financial pressure is a huge mental stress for them along with their health and future uncertainty.

The research community hereby requests the MHRD to extend the fellowship support (tenure as well as monetary) for at least the next 6 months to all the scholars to bring them peace of mind about their future as well as allow them to continue research without dropping out.