UGC extends Last Date to Apply for National Fellowship for Persons with Disabilities (NFPWD)
University Grants Commission (UGC) on behalf of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Environment issued an invitation for applications for the National Fellowship for Persons with Disabilities from all the eligible candidates for the academic year 2020-2021. Per the notification, the deadline for the applications was set to be 17th of January, 2021, which has now been extended to the 15th of February, 2021.
This scheme from the DEPwD aims at granting fellowships to all the candidates with disabilities, who fall under the purview of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. For any aspiring candidate to avail of the benefits under the said act, they must first obtain a certificate of disability from the relevant medical authority for the purpose.
Applicants who wish to apply for the fellowship, can do so on the UGC website on or before 15th of February, 2021, at: https://www.ugc.ac.in/ugc.schemes/
It is pertinent to note that all selections for the fellowship will be made solely by the UGC, while the communications regarding the same with the candidates will be done by the DEPwD, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
This scheme of the DEPwD holds under its ambit all the Universities and Institutions which are recognized by the UGC or GOI. However, the scheme is available only to the students of any such universities and institutions and not for the employees, even if they are on an Extra Ordinary Leave (EOL) or a study leave.
The notification mentions different courses and their timelines per the duration and payment of the fellowship. Courses including M. Phil to be completed within 2 years while Ph. D. for 5 years and a course with both M. Phil and Ph. D must be completed in 5 years or until the submission of thesis, whichever happens to be earlier. Depending on the position of the fellowship and the stream of study and research, the amount varies from Rs. 2000/- per month to Rs. 35,000/- per month. There is also a provision for an awardee to have an extension of tenure for up to 3 years, if their initial research work of 2 years is found to be satisfactory.
The fellowship is set to commence from the 1st of April, 2020 or the actual date of admission or registration of the candidate for the courses, whichever happens to be later.
While the fellowship funds allows the selected candidates to draw their hostel accommodation fees for staying in the institution’s hostel, it does not include other charges that cover mess, water, electricity, and the likes. If there is no availability of a hostel, the institution itself may provide the Fellow with a suitable accommodation. Such Fellows are allowed to draw the House-Rent Allowance (HRA) subject to the ceiling of HRA set by the GOI. But the ones with hostel accommodation do not have the same privilege. Should a Fellow not choose any of the two options but want to choose accommodation of their own preference, their HRA would be given to them per the city categorization by the GOI.
The medical facilities of the University or Institutions will be made available to the candidates albeit no other medical costs would be borne by the funds of the fellowship.
The notification also provides for the candidates to avail maximum leaves of 30 days in one year excluding public holidays, but no exclusive vacations like the summer or winter vacations. Should there also be candidates requiring maternity or paternity leaves during the duration of their fellowship, they would be paid the full rates of the fellowship.
If a candidate gets an opportunity to or is required to travel abroad with respect to their research work, or gets a teaching assignment concerning the same during the tenure of their fellowship, the fellow is entitled to an Academic Leave of a maximum of one year. However, the expenditure for such a travel cannot be withdrawn from the funds of the fellowship.
The payment of fellowship will be done only on the bank account of the beneficiaries on Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode. For this, the document of identity is the Aadhar Card(Section 7, Aadhar Act, 2016) per the notification number 428, issued by the Ministry of Social Justice in 2017.
A fellow may be denied the fellowship or a given fellowship may be cancelled if the fellow,
b. Displays an unsatisfactory level of progress in their research work
c. Is employed during the tenure of their research in M. Phil or Ph. D
d. Is found to be ineligible for the award later after being deemed eligible prima facie.
e. Already has the benefit of another fellowship or a scholarship from other sources.
f. Is found to have furnished any wrong information or partook in a fraudulent activity.
Accordingly, students are urged to submit their applications in time, on or before 15th February 2021.
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