300 students selected for Mukhyamantri research fellowship

The students have been selected through the Mukhyamantri Research Fellowship test (MRFT) that was conducted by the state selection board (SSB) earlier this year.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

BHUBANESWAR: As many as 300 students have been chosen for sponsorship by the state government to pursue research in various disciplines across Odisha’s 15 public universities.

Under the Mukhyamantri Research Fellowship Programme, the students will be offered a fellowship of national standards to carry out research in 47 subjects across Science and Humanities disciplines for a period of four years from the date they register for PhD.

The students have been selected through the Mukhyamantri Research Fellowship test (MRFT) that was conducted by the state selection board (SSB) earlier this year. It was designed on the lines of CSIR UGC NET in a multiple-choice pattern but with no negative marking. A total of 3,876 candidates had appeared for the examination.

The students will receive Rs 30,000 per month as the fellowship amount along with a contingency fund of Rs 50,000 per year for Science practical subjects and Rs 30,000 per year for non-practical subjects (Humanities and literature-based subjects).

Officials of the Odisha State Higher Education Council informed that the score of MRFT will remain valid for a period of two years from the date of publication of the merit list. The fellowship, which has been designed by the council, was launched in the 2023-24 academic year. Apart from science scholars, it covers postgraduates in humanities disciplines who are currently not receiving any scholarship from the Central government funding agencies.

Officials added that the research fellowship is an enhanced version of the Odisha University Research and Innovation Incentivisation Plan (OURIIP) which offered Rs 15,000 per month to only NET-qualified research scholars. The scholars needed to have first division at UG and PG level from a recognised university to be eligible for appearing for the exam. Sources said due to the strict eligibility criteria, not many students were selected for the OURIIP which led the government to come up with the MRFT.

Apart from students, competitive seed research funding grants under MRFT will be provided every year to 60 faculty members with PhD up to the age of 50 years of public universities for two years. In case of science faculty, the grant will be Rs 10 lakh and Rs 7 lakh for those teaching social sciences and humanities.

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