MP urges HRD ministry to include NE students in PMRF prog

ITANAGAR, Jun 9: Arunachal East MP Ninong Ering has urged Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar to take steps for inclusion of students from North East India under the recently launched Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) programme.
Expressing great disappointment at the current format of the programme, Ering in a letter to Javadekar on Saturday said, “The programme reeks of shortsightedness on the part of the central government, as it is not inclusive to the entire country.”
Describing it as “clear discrimination against the students of the Northeastern states,” the MP said when the PMRF has been envisaged to encourage cutting-edge research in science and technology, the logic of opening it to only a few centrally-funded technical institutions (CFTI) “is not understandable.”
He said the students of the North East region would find it difficult to get short-listed for the PMRF programme as the number of CFTIs in the region is not commensurate with the rising aspirations of the students.
The MP recommended to the union minister that the PMRF be opened to technical institutes across the country while maintaining the eligibility criteria of an above-average CGPA.
“This would ensure a level playing field for undergraduates, and also act as an incentive for prospective students to put in more efforts academically,” he said.
Proposing region-wise short-listing of scholars for the programme, Ering said such initiative would facilitate a more diverse and a balanced cohort of fellows.
“It would also ensure that a significant number of students from North East India also find their way into the programme,” he said.
The MP also requested the union minister to appoint a director of an institute from the North East to the national coordination committee of the PMRF programme as the committee currently has no representation from North East India.