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Kavyashree N started this petition to PM Narendra Modi, PMO

Respected honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi ji,

I am Kavyashree Nadig, a 1st year Ph.D student studying in a premier institute of India, The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

I am writing this letter on behalf of thousands of young science students who aspire to become great future scientists of India. 

We, as students take up higher studies (Ph.D) after facing a great deal of confusion and criticism around us since most of our counterparts jump into jobs and start earning. However, we follow our passion and in order to give back to our country we strive to face these and continue.

We as girls face an additional pressure from family and friends who tell us 'why is it necessary to pursue a PhD when you could marry and get settled?' Hence, along with following our passion and fullfilling our dreams, it becomes extremely crucial for us to support our family financially.


In spite of working hard to avail admission at such reputed higher education institutions, we are given only a manageable stipend compared to the cost of living. The new Prime Minister Research Fellowship, although started with an excellent idealogy is reaching a meagre number. This is because most of us are not even eligible for applying for this fellowship. It is not fair to other students when just a few students receive more than twice the stipend for the exact same amount of work carried out. Moreover, to have cleared such a vigorous screening process to avail admission at such top universities of the country, the student must be equally smart as a PMRF research fellow.

I am a university gold medalist from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujrat and I have a consistently good academic record throughout my career. However, the eligibility criteria to apply for PMRF includes a cut-off CGPA of 8 during MSc. Nevertheless, this is not normalized for all universities across the nation. For example, different universities consider relative grading, whereas some consider absolute. Based on a relative scale, being a university topper, I would have a CGPA of 10; however, since my university followed an absolute scale, my CGPA is 7.67. 

Furthermore, I believe that the PMRF was started to avoid brain drain i.e. to encourage bright students to study within the country and start serving from the beginning. However, this does not mean that students with a lower CGPA are not bright. In fact, many of my friends and colleagues who do not have a high CGPA, have availed admission at very prestigious institutions abroad, including universities such as The Max Planck group of institutions in Germany and public universities in the USA. Therefore, I believe that the present eligibility criteria does not accommodate all the bright students in order to avoid brain drain.

Hence, I kindly request you to modify the eligibility criteria for students like us to be included under the PMRF and give us a chance to pursue our dreams while serving the country and supporting our family.


To summarize, I urge you to kindly modify the eligibility criteria by including the following:

1. Students who are gold medalists from various national and state universities in India and who are pursuing Ph.Ds in national institutions to be included in the eligibility for applying for PMRF irrespective of their CGPA in their master's.

2. Reduce the cutoff to 7.5 CGPA as an eligibility criteria for PMRF for students from national institutions such as IISERs and I.I.Sc.


Eagerly awaiting a positive response. We will be very grateful.

Kind regards,
Students of the country


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