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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hike Research Fellowship

With the nation building up the voice of the scholars all over India, the ardent need to increase the research fellowship is nothing less than a national emergency; in it's true sense. I have been pursing the same issue and pleading to the Government of India to consider the scenario since it has been more than four years since the last hike. It was in 2010, the last hike was made trying to attract more and more into research. It did work materialistically, but people who have the passion is needed more into this field. But, with time things needed changes. 4 years ago, the Kolkata Metro ride cost Rs. 6 from Esplanade to Tollugunge (Maha Nayak Uttam Kumar). Now it's Rs. 10. So a to and fro means Rs. 20 compared to Rs. 12 back in 4 years. From Tollygunge to Jadavpur, an auto would charge you between Rs. 6-7. Now it's hiked to Rs. 10. So a to and fro would mean Rs. 20 again. The commuter charge per day would have been Rs. 11/day; now its Rs. 20/day for the past one and half years. Fellowship hike NIL.

The cost of food from a simple batten rice to even a sliced cake. Increase have been the word of the day. If calculated by a keen economist, which all middle class individual is, the daily cost now, in Kolkata is around Rs.110/day which would have been Rs. 75/day in 2010. Mind it, I am talking this about a research scholar who commutes by Metro to his work place, drink tea thrice, a half filled lunch and may be an evening snack. He works from 10:30AM to..... well it's not worth mentioning as he doesnot know till what time of the wee hours he stays back.

With daily commuter charge of Rs. 110/day; 30 days a month comes to Rs. 3300/- Then comes his house hold expenses that includes family medicines (nearly Rs. 2000/month); electricity bill (nearly Rs. 1500/month); food (incl. cooking gas/kerosine) for 3-5 family members (Rs. 10,000-12,000/month), telephone bill (Rs. 1000/month), house maintenance cost like cable TV bill, Internet payment, etc (Rs. 2500/month) and all from his fellowship. So whats the expense? Rs. 22,300 (approx). This considering a minimal fooding and clothing. Leave aside the family reunions or any celebrations. The meagre fellowship of Rs. 16000 +  30%HRA meets only 80% of the cost and the rest 20%, an individual goes through the grueling restless phase of asking help or begging money from friends and relatives thinking and promising to repay next month. But then too... the scholarship donot come in regularly.

The elite society of a country Begs! That's not a good image. Or is it like this....? 

Hence, on behalf of all the scholars, I request the Government of India to heed our reasons and increase our fellowships. I like all of the others are hopeful though that the Government of India, under the guidance of PM Shri Narendra Modiji will help us out of our misery.

Somnath Paul Photography


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