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JNU students wait for pending scholarships amid COVID-19 pandemic

Many of the students studying at JNU have no financial means other than the scholarship. The fact that so many parents have also lost their jobs due to the pandemic worsens the condition.

Sushmita Panda Sushmita Panda @@SushmitaPanda
New Delhi Updated on: July 08, 2020 14:08 IST
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 Many of the students studying at JNU have no financial means other than the scholarship.

Students from several colleges and universities across the country are continuously demanding the postponement and cancellation of exams. Meanwhile, over 70 per cent students of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) haven't received their scholarship for the last six months. 

There are also some students who haven't received their scholarship for a year and a half now. Many of the students studying at JNU have no financial means other than the scholarship. The fact that so many parents have also lost their jobs due to the pandemic worsens the condition. 

Meanwhile, the students along with Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) have raised their concerns with the JNU VC, UGC, and the HRD Minister seeking the release of their pending scholarships.

Types of scholarships that JNU students avail:

  • Merit-cum-Means (MCM): This is exclusively for BA and MA students and it is funded by JNU (Rs. 2000/-)
  • Non-Net fellowship (Rs. 5000/-) (UGC-funded)
  • Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) (31,000/-) (UGC-funded)
  • Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) among others

"Generally, there is a bit of delay in the disbursement of the scholarship. Students who are are availing JRF, receive their scholarship directly from the UGC. Then, there is a non-NET Scholarship for those who haven't cleared the JRF. I am also a non-NET scholar. I got my last scholarship in July last year. Actually, students who are availing non-Net and MCM, they have to get an official order signed by their respective supervisor or chairperson. It's a two-way task. So, generally, students apply after six months altogether because its too difficult to run for so much paperwork every month," Aishe Ghosh, president JNUSU said.

 
"So, we start filling up forms from November so that we can get it by January. We pay hostel fees, registration fees, etc from the money. The thing is that most of the students are completely dependent on their scholarship money. We had applied in January but we didn’t get it. Most of us haven't received their scholarship for the last one year," Ghosh added. 
 
Indiatvnews.com talked to several students who had a similar story tell. These students informed that due to the COVID-19 situation and lockdown, most of the students were not able to apply and now they are clueless and don't know what to do. The students informed that they have been sending emails regularly and they haven't received any response. 
 
Indiatvnews.com tried to contact the JNU administration and haven't received any response so far. 

On June 8, the administration issued an official circular stating that the JNU campus is expected to reopen only after 15 August in view of the rising Covid-19 cases.

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