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Govt Mulling Common Application for All Scientific Fellowships, Grants, Scholarships

A common application form could be considered to apply for all scientific fellowships, grants, and scholarships. The government is still considering having a single application process. This has been proposed by Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Atomic Energy and Space at a high-level presided by all secretaries of the Science Ministries and Departments.

Singh said that the streamlining of all fellowships and research grants will save cost and time and provide ‘ease of science education’ for students and scholars, reported news agency IANS. The Union Minister informed that currently there are a number of scholarship and fellowship schemes for students, and researchers across different levels from undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD to post-doctoral levels.

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A committee has also been constituted for streamlining the fellowships and research grants. The Committee for streamlining the fellowships and research grants will be chaired by Shekhar Mande and secretaries of DST, DBT, and MoES would be its members. Two senior scientists would be included as members as well.

The schemes come under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). These departments, however, have separate advertisements and selection processes. Students and researchers have to apply at different portals in different formats and face multiple exams or interviews.

Streaming all will make things easier for them as it is very time-consuming and a lot of resources are also in the selection process to disbursement of grants by the funding agencies, said MoST. The aim of streamlining the entire process is to make the schemes student-centric and simplify the processes, said Singh.

Once implemented the students need not submit multiple applications at different portals and all departments will converge all scholarship or fellowship schemes at a single portal, he added. This way the transactional costs will be reduced, eliminate duplicity, and there will be a single point of contact to students or researchers.

Singh further added that the step is being taken as a number of grievances are being received regarding delays in sanction and release of fellowships or research grants to scholars and students.

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The meeting chaired by Singh was also attended by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Secretary and chairman of the Streamlining Committee, Shekhar Mande, Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary, M Ravichandran, Department of Science and Technology (DST) Secretary, S Chandrasekhar , and the secretary of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Rajesh Gokhale along with senior officials.

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