'Human Error Cost Me 7 Months of My Fellowship Dues at CSIR, How Is This Fair?'

A PhD researcher has lost out on Rs 3 lakh of her fellowship stipend due to a clerical mistake.

My Report
2 min read

Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor:
Pawan Kumar

In order to earn my PhD from the Department of Physics and Astrophysics at Delhi University, I needed a fellowship. Hence, I worked at the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on a funded project, for which I was awarded a two-year Junior Research Fellowship (JSR) and one-year Senior Research Fellowship (SRF).

There is a government rule that a student can be given an SRF for three years only. I was offered a one-year SRF by the DST. After wrapping up our DST project, we switched over to the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).

Since I had already completed a year as a senior research fellow at the DST, I was still eligible for a two-year SRF from the CSIR. But scientists at the CSIR were confused and thought I had availed my SRF for one year and seven months. This was not the case.


Shreya Was Offered a One-Year and Five-Month Fellowship by CSIR

The CSIR asked me to furnish all the documents, including a report indicating that the DST project was completed. The DST funding for the project was delayed, and as a result, I was late in submitting the project closing report.

By the time I submitted the report in August 2021, unfortunately, my seven-month fellowship stipend wasn't approved.

Do you know how much seven months of fellowship stipend is worth? It is around Rs 3 lakh.

I have sent mails to several people, including the head of the CSIR, scientists, and even the PMO. The only reply I get from everyone is that nothing can be done. Both the DST and CSIR are government institutions. If the DST has delayed the project closing report, how can the CSIR deduct seven months' worth of fellowship dues? It is unfair to a researcher. I have been chasing these dues for the past three years. I just hope I get some help.

(The Quint had reached out to CSIR on Tuesday, 31 May 2022. Their response is awaited. Story would be updated once a response is received.)

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