Watch Out!
Student Media
Body of IITR
About Guide Get Involved

Big Story

Inspire Scholarship: Lost in The Process

December 1, 2020

Although they were in line for the Central Government’s INSPIRE Scholarship, a grant worth Rs.80000 per annum, more than 10 students from the batch of 2018, Integrated M.Sc Mathematics (MSM) branch are yet to see a single paisa of that money despite being almost halfway through their 3rd year. The following report by Watch Out! is based on the numerous interviews of several more faces, who despite meeting the eligibility criteria were kept deprived of the scholarship.

The Inspire Scholarship

Each year the Department of Science & Technology (DST) sponsors the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) scholarship. The Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) component of INSPIRE aims to enhance rates of attachment of talented youth to undertake higher education in science-intensive programs, by providing scholarships and mentorship. The scheme which is valid for the Integrated Master of Science courses offers over 10,000 Scholarships every year, the details of which can be found in our Awards and Scholarship Booklet.

Problems faced by the students:

The Senate Committee for Scholarship and Prizes (SCSP), IIT Roorkee is responsible for managing and coordinating the disbursement of the INSPIRE Scholarship. Potential awardees start receiving the scholarship money directly in their registered bank accounts from first year onwards on the basis of their performance in JEE Mains, JEE Advanced, Class XIIth examinations, KVPY or NTSE and they continue to receive the scholarship provided they maintain a threshold of 7.0+ CGPA in their first year.

Early reports of student grievances arose when a 3rd-year student from the MSM branch approached the SCSP with the precise data of the students who were eligible for the scholarship but failed to receive the same. 14 out of the 16 eligible candidates [1] would continue to remain skeptical in the ensuing year having been denied the grant, the reason still unknown to them. The situation remained uncertain with the SCSP authorities ignoring their concerns.

One student said, “From constantly ignoring our mails to giving out the same standard responses, these authorities have just expressed their apathetic attitude towards the entire subject. The Chairman of SCSP only replies when the Director, IIT Roorkee is tagged in the same email. Neither the section nor the DST sends us any official confirmation of the scholarship. Similarly, it’s difficult for us to check the status of our application especially when there’s such mismanagement of the entire process”.

One of the final year students of MSM approached the DST office who directly clarified that they had not received these applications from the institute. SCSP shrugged off this claim by just stating that there must be some ‘discrepancy’ in the data.

Additionally, it was also observed that several students were under the notion of an upper limit for the number of selections made from each branch. However, the Chairman directly clarified that no such cap exists and every eligible candidate will be benefited from this aid [2].

A noteworthy thing to mention here is that despite the havoc caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, necessary steps were taken by the Central Authorities to ease the process of scholarship renewal. The DST was inundated with complaints during the lockdown of delays in payments. “Yes, there has been a problem due to a change in financial procedures, and resultant teething troubles, but I can assure you that all students will get their fellowship funds within the next two to three days,” said UGC member-Secretary Rajnish Jain. The clarification came in wake of the tragic death of an undergraduate student Aishwarya Reddy at LSR college, who allegedly couldn’t get the INSPIRE scholarship [3].

Some important documents got lost in the system and it cost students their scholarship. We hope that the necessary steps would be taken to resolve the pending grievances and efforts would be made to ensure such things won’t happen in the long run.