Seeking to find urgent solutions to various issues plaguing the researchers, Kerala University Researchers Union will launch an indefinite strike from Dec 10.
Kerala University Union chairman Joshi John, Kerala University Researchers’ Union chairman N Pramod and Researchers’ Union office-bearer Charles Varghese told a news conference here on Friday that they were forced to launch the agitation in view of the fact that their efforts to get ‘’justice’’ had not yielded any results yet. UGC has instituted the JRF/SRF fellowship for researchers for a period of five years. For the first two years, the JRF fellowship is given at the rate of Rs 16,000 per month, Rs 3200 as HRA per month and Rs 10,000 as contingency allowance. And for the SRF, for the last three years the researchers are entitled to get Rs 18,000, Rs 3600 as HRA per month and Rs 20,000 per year as contingency allowance, they said.
The Union leaders said that the University had not been distributing the UGC fellowships in a time-bound manner for the last 7 years. They alleged that the delay in sending the certificates for scrutiny and submitting the accounts of the amount granted by the UGC had led to a delay of over two-and-a-half hours in the distribution of the fellowship.
They claimed that the delay in the distribution of fellowship had forced several researchers, who found it difficult to meet the expenses for food and accommodation, to quit research. When the Researchers’ Union launched a strike raising these issues in June this year, the University had assured the researchers that their grievances would be addressed by August 2012. But the University has not met the promise so far, the Union leaders said. They alleged that the University had not taken any efforts to conduct the ‘course work’ which is a requirement under the UGC-approved research.
The research conducted with ‘course work’ is considered equivalent to NET. Though University had announced an examination in this regard nothing had happened after that, they said. They said that the ‘research portal’, which should have helped them save time, had not been started. They urged the University to distribute all dues to the researchers as early as possible.