PMRF: BHU Students are Now Eligible to Apply for this Fellowship, Know Eligibility & More

As you all are aware, the Government of India has started the scheme “Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF)”. The scheme has been designed for improving the quality of research in various higher education institutions across the country. Along with attractive fellowships, the scheme seeks to attract the best talent into research thereby realizing the vision of development through innovation. This scheme was announced in the budget of 2018-19.

Eligibility-

Earlier only students of IIT’s, SCR, IISc were eligible to apply for this fellowship but now the Central Government has decided that students from Central Universities/NITs which offers Science and Technology degrees, and appeared in the list of top 25 Institutes in the NIRF Ranking (overall) in the previous year will also be eligible to apply for research.

Therefore, the students of BHU (NIRF Rank 3) are eligible to apply for the fellowship.

  • The candidate must be pursuing Ph.D from any one of the PMRF granting institutions.
  • Students should have completed 18 months (in place of 12 months, as a one time measure) in the PhD programme if they have joined the programme with a master’s degree”.
  • Each PMRF Granting Institute shall make as many recommendations as 1.25 times the number of PMRF available seats allotted to it”.

In addition to direct entry channel, “Lateral Entry Channel” is also started where students pursuing PhD are also eligible to apply for this fellowship program.

There are two ways channel through which an interested candidate may apply, these channels are –

DIRECT ENTRY CHANNEL

To apply through this channel, the candidate must satisfy all of the following criteria –

(1) The applicant should satisfy one of the following criteria in the preceding three years from the date of submission of application :

(a) completed or be pursuing final year of four (or five) year undergraduate or five year integrated M.Tech. or 2-year M.Sc. or five-year UG-PG dual degree programs in Science and Technology streams from  IISc/IITs/NITs/IISERSs/IIEST. The candidates should have secured a CGPA/CPI of at least 8.0. For applicants in the five year integrated or dual degree programs, if separate CGPAs/CPls are awarded for UG and PG parts of the program, the CGPA/CPI of the UG (first four years) will be taken into consideration.

OR

(b) The candidates should have secured a minimum of 8.0 CGPA  or equivalent apart from a minimum score of 650 in the respective GATE subject.

OR

Qualified GATE and pursuing or have completed M.Tech./MS by research at one of the PMRF Granting Institutions having a minimum CGPA or CPI of 8.0 (on a 10-point scale) at the end of the first semester with at least four courses. Candidates who are applying after their first semester, the CGPA or CPI requirement of 8.0 will be based on all the courses, labs, and thesis that the candidate has already completed.

(2) They apply for PhD programme in one the PMRF granting institutes and get selected in the respective programme.

(3) The PMRF granting institutes should make a strong recommendation, and uploads relevant information at their web-portal.

(4) The metrics on which candidates will be judged will include (but not restricted to) research exposure, publications, performance in international competitions (like Math Olympiad, ACM ICPC Programming Contest etc.), grades and recommendation letters.

(5) Within 12-18 months of admission in PhD programme, the progress will be reviewed by the PMRF panel, and continuation research will be subjected to the candidate’s satisfactory performance. Strong research proposal is mandatory, and assessment from the host institution in support of the continuation of PMRF status. Weightage will be given to publication in reputed journals/conferences.

LATERAL ENTRY CHANNEL

To apply for PMRF under this channel, candidates must satisfy all of the following mentioned criteria:

(1) The candidate should be pursuing a PhD in one of the PMRF granting institutions. Further, they should have completed 12 months in the PhD programme if they joined a programme with a master’s degree; and should have completed at least 24 months in the PhD programme if they have joined PhD programme with a bachelor’s degree. The period of 12 months or 24 months will be counted from the date of admission in the programme till the date of application for lateral entry. In case of integrated M.Tech/MSc and PhD programmes, the candidate will be eligible to apply within 12 months of the date of satisfying the master’s degree requirement.

(2) Candidate should have completed at least four courses in the PhD programme, each of which should be a full-semester course, and obtained an aggregate CGPA of 8.5 (out of 10) or higher.

(3) The Institute, in which the student is enrolled, makes a strong recommendation for the candidate and uploads the relevant information on the PMRF web-portal. Information includes students research proposal and soft copies of publications (which could include those under their submissions).

(4) Once enrolled in a programme through lateral entry, the candidate cannot be considered for direct entry channel in subsequent years.

(5) Metrics on which candidates will be judged include (not restricted to) strong research proposal, publications record and grades. Due weightage would be given to publication in any reputed journals or conferences.

How to apply-

The students should apply with relevant information to the Head of the Department concerned and after verifying the applications, The Head should forward the application to the Development Section for uploading on the PMRF web portal.

While forwarding the applications the Head of the Department should make sure that the candidates are eligible for PMRF as per the guideline. The applications of all the eligible candidates should reach the office of the Development by 31st August, 2020 positively.

The NLC will release the final allocation of PMRF seats to the candidates. The selection process will be held twice a year in the first week of July and in the third week of December.

Faculties Involved –

The participating Faculties of the Banaras Hindu University are –

  • Institute of Science
  • Institute of Agricultural Sciences,
  • Institute of Environmental & Sustainable Development,
  • Institute of Medical Sciences (Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Ayurveda and Faculty of Dental Sciences)

Seat Allocation

The institutes who are eligible and can offer the PMRF program are –

  1. all IITs
  2. all IISERs
  3. IISc, and
  4. Central Universities/NITs offering science and/or technology degrees which appear in the list of top 25 institutes in the NIRF ranking (overall) in the previous year.

Each PMRF granting institute is allotted PMRF seats every year according to the following rule –

  • A PMRF Granting Institute appearing in top 10 NIRF ranking (overall) gets 3.5% of the existing PhD students strength on 1st May of the respective year as PMRF seats.
  • A PMRF Granting Institute appearing in top 11-25 positions in the NIRF ranking (overall) gets 2.5% of the existing PhD students strength on 1st May of the respective year as PMFF seats, and
  • The remaining institutes will get 1.5% of the existing PhD student strength on 1st May of the respective year under the program seat.

In case the total PMRF seat requirement for a particular year exceeds 1000, the above percentages will be scaled down proportionately so that the total seat requirement does not exceed 1000.

Evaluation Process

  • The disciplines will be broadly classified into 5 or 6 broad areas (in consultation with NCC). And for every broad area, the appointment of Nodal Institution will be done.
  • The Nodal Institute for each broad will rotate once in every two years.
  • Each eligible Institute will designate by a PMRF coordinator who will be responsible for uploading and communicating all the relevant information of the students.
  • Central portal would be developed for submitting of applications by institutions. Each institute shall make recommendations 1.25 times the number of PMRF available seats allotted to it for the present year. The number of direct entry recommendations shouldn’t be more than 25% of the seats allotted to the institute. The portal will automatically send the applications to the every respective Nodal Institutes (NI).
  • Each NI would constitute reviewers consisting of subject matter experts to go through all the applications and make recommendations for selection.
  • Nodal Institute will send the recommendations to a National Level Committee. This committee will release the final allocation of seats to candidates.
  • The selection process will be held twice a year. The national-level committee shall meet twice a year (in the first week of July and in the third week of December).

Deliverables

  • At the time of joining only, each fellow shall be given deliverables to be achieved every year. This will be decided by the assigned guide and the department which the fellow is joining.
  • The deliverables are designed keeping in view the topic selected by the fellow.
  • There shall be an annual review of PMRF fellows. The candidates would continue to avail the fellowship in the next year only if their performance is found satisfactory by the review committee.
  • If deliverables are not achieved or not found to be up to mark the fellowship could be brought down to the institutional fellowship level or even in discontinuation of fellowship.

Fellowship –

The following would be the fellowship for the PMRFs:

Year Amount (Rs.)
Year 1 70,000
Year 2 70,000
Year 3 75,000
Year 4 80,000
Year 5 80,000

Apart from this, each Fellow would be eligible for a research grant of Rs. 2 Lakhs per year (total of Rs 10 Lakhs for five years.

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