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DS Kothari Post Doctoral Fellowship: Post doctoral research is an important enabling step in grooming young researchers for launching an academic/research career. This is a transition phase from a largely supervisor directed student at doctoral level to an independent researcher for leadership position, particularly in academia.
UGC initiative to launch a prestigious pdf initiative, named after an illustrious scientist, is important and timely and fills a widely felt void. Several agencies like UGC/CSIR/DST/DBT and a few selected institutions have schemes to award pdfs (also called Research Associateships, RAs) through open call. A few merit-based research schemes funded by various agencies also have provision for PDF/RA.
However, the scene is far from satisfactory and opportunities are not only inadequate, but the schemes are not optimally structured. This scenario needs change. It is very necessary that a pdf scheme of this nature is run in a flexible mode, with fast track, on-line handling and decision making and must be tuned to the ground realities prevailing in our university system. In our context, with not clearly defined benchmarks for thesis quality, a post-doctoral stint for many fresh Ph.D’s, may be also an opportunity to overcome the deficiencies at doctoral level research as well as an opportunity to explore new areas of research in different settings.
Selection Process of DS Kothari Post Doctoral Fellowship in Sciences
The Selection criteria of DS Kothari Post Doctoral Fellowship are as following:
1. The selection process is open all the year round in `…as and when…. ‘ mode and not restricted by any specified deadlines as thesis submission and award of Ph. D degree are open ended processes. There is a rolling advertisement on the UGC website; other institutions and UGC affiliates should be encouraged to replicate it on theirs.
2. There is a designated website (http://ugcdskpdf.unipune.ac.in/) to apply for the fellowships. The entire process is being carried out on-line.
3. There is a standing (core) peer group which is able to access the applications on the web and grade them electronically. On the basis of the grades received (electronically) from the peer group, the Chair of this group takes the final decision. Since this is a promotional scheme to inculcate post-doctoral research culture, emphasis during the review process/selection is on an appropriate mix of the candidate’s accomplishment at Ph. D level and the professional standing of mentor and institution where the post- doctoral research is to be carried out. In general, candidates are encouraged to move to other institutions and newer areas of research.
4. The selection process has to be completed within 6-weeks of the receipt of individual application.
5. There could be up to 500 such awards every year, making it to about 1000 at its peak.
Eligibility of D. S. Kothari Post Doctoral Fellowship in Sciences
√ The candidate must have a doctorate degree in the relevant subject preferably with published research work to their credit.
√ Only Ph.D. awarded unemployed candidates will be eligible for the award of Post Doctoral Fellowship.
√ The upper age limit for applicants is 35 years, relaxation in age for SC/ST/OBC/Women candidates applicable as per Government of India Norms.
The tenure of the award is three years with no provision for further extension. The financial assistance available under the scheme is as follows:
|Fellowship||@ Rs. 47,000/- pm for I year|
|@ Rs.49,000/- pm for II year @ Rs. 54,000/- pm for III year
@ Rs. 54,000/- (1st, 2nd, and 3rd year)
1. Suitable hostel accommodation may be provided to the candidates in the institutions. In such cases, the fellow is eligible to draw only hostel fees excluding mess, electricity, water charges, etc. A certificate to this effect is to be furnished through the Registrar/Director/Principal. HRA is not permissible for those candidates who are staying in Hostel accommodation.
2. In case of non-availability of hostel accommodation, the fellow may be provided with single accommodation by the host institution. In such cases, the rent paid by the fellow on actual basis may be reimbursed subject to the ceiling of HRA as per Govt. of India norms.
3. If the fellow makes her own arrangements of accommodation, he/she may be entitled to draw HRA as per categorization of cities by the Govt. of India.
No separate/fixed medical assistance is provided. However, the Post-Doctoral Fellow may avail of the medical facilities available in the University/Institution/College.
√ Leave for maximum period of 30 days in a year in addition to public holidays maybe taken by the Post-Doctoral Fellow with the approval of the Head of Department. However, they are not entitled to any other vacations, such as summer, winter and pooja vacations.
√ Candidates are eligible for maternity/ paternity leave at full rates of the fellowship as per Government of India rules once during the tenure of the award.
√ The fellow, in special cases may be allowed by the Commission, academic leave without fellowship and contingency for a period not exceeding one year during the tenure of award on the recommendation of the Head of the department of the institution concerned to undertake academic/ teaching assignment or foreign travel in connection with academic work. The expenditure on travel cannot be claimed from UGC. The period of leave without fellowship will be counted towards the tenure.
Procedure for release of grant by the UGC
The candidate should join the DS Kothari Post Doctoral Fellowship within 3 months from the date of issue of Award letter, failing which the award will be treated as cancelled.
It may be noted that the fellowship amount shall be disbursed through UGC designated Bank into the bank account of the awardee directly. The list of designated branches of UGC identified bank is available on the UGC portal i.e. www.ugc.ac.in. The awardee is required to approach the designated branch along with a Copy of the Award Letter and Joining Report with photograph, address and contact number in the prescribed proforma Annexure-I. The awardee is also required to submit the following documents to the designated branch of the UGC designated Bank at the stipulated period interval. The approved Agency may verify the genuineness of records before disbursal of funds.
1) At the end of every three months the fellow shall submit a ‘Continuation Certificate’ in the prescribed proforma. Annexure-II . This will make the awardee eligible to draw the fellowship for the next three months.
2) After completion of one year of the award of fellowship, the concerned fellow/awardee shall submit and present its Progress Report in the proforma prescribed by the UGC as given in Annexure-III .
3) The Fellow/awardee shall also submit and present accounts of contingency grants in the proforma prescribed by the UGC as given in Annexure-IV .
4) Fellow/awardee shall submit and present its HRA Certificate in the prescribed proforma Annexure-V.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India vide its letter D.O. No. 18-7/2013-U1A dated 10th June 2016 has instructed the University Grants Commission that from the financial year 2016-17 onwards the Aadhaar has been mandatory for disbursement of all Government subsidies/Scholarships/Fellowships which are to be disbursed directly into the beneficiary’s account.
Disbursement of fellowship (old cases/legacy cases)
UGC has developed a dedicated web portal (https://scholarship.canarabank.in/AdminLogin.aspx) for capturing data for eligible scholars through which the legacy cases (Non-DBT) shall be transferred on DBT platform. The Universities/ Colleges/ Institutions will submit the master data of the eligible beneficiaries on the portal with a unique user’s profile (user name and password). The bank account numbers of the beneficiaries will be validated through PFMS for creation of beneficiary ID.
The Universities/Institutions/ Colleges shall update the information in the master data (regarding continuation, HRA, up-gradation, resignation etc.) of the beneficiaries on monthly basis. Based on the master data received from the concerned Universities/Institutions/Colleges the payment of the fellowship will be made to the beneficiaries through DBT platform only.
Procedure for monitoring the Progress of the Scheme
1. The research fellow shall submit, through the senior faculty member with whom he/she is working and the head of the department/university, an yearly report on the progress of his/her research work. (Annexure-VII). On completion of the award he/she will submit to the Commission a comprehensive report and a copy of his/her published work, if any, and an abstract of the research work in about 500 words.
2. After every years progress report of the research work done by the fellow may be examined by a departmental research committee constituted by the university/institute and recommendations/comments of the committee may be sent to the DSKPDF cell.
3. In case the progress of the work is found unsatisfactory, the award may be terminated by the Commission at any time during the tenure of the award. The decision of the Commission in this regard will be final.
4. The fellow shall not accept or hold any appointment, paid or otherwise, or receive any emoluments, salary, stipend, etc. from any other source during the tenure of the award. However, no extension is permissible beyond the total period three years, at the end of which period the awardee ceases to be a UGC fellow with immediate effect. Any claim/reference to this effect will be illegal.
5. If the Fellow is availing any other fellowship/ project from any other organization at the time of selection, he/she shall be required to surrender one award.
6. Feedback: After completion of the Research Work the student will submit his/her research work in the INFLIBNET and DSKPDF repository along with the research papers published.
Note: The last 2 installments will be released only after submission of the feedback and Research work in the Repository.
If the fellow wishes to leave the fellowship before the end of the tenure, the information regarding relinquishment may be informed to the identified Agency under intimation to UGC. Grant will be released upto the date of relinquishment.
Transfer of the Research Place should be done by university concerned under the intimation to UGC. Transfer of Research place will be allowed only once during the entire tenure.
Cancellation of Award
DS Kothari Post Doctoral Fellowship in sciences is liable to cancellation, in case of:
- Unsatisfactory progress of research work.
- Candidate is later found ineligible.
- Candidate is already availing scholarship/fellowship from any other sources.
- Candidate if found employed during the PDF research.
- Any false information furnished by the applicant or any fraudulent activity by the Scholar/Fellow/Research Awardees.