IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st January, 2024 Polity


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Context: Researchers and doctoral students from various universities are upset that the scholarship amount for the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF), specifically meant for students from six notified minority communities, has not been increased along with other research fellowships.


  • Students and researchers from various universities have highlighted the disparity in scholarship amounts, noting that while several other research fellowships witnessed an increase in their funding, the MANF remained unchanged.
  • The last revision in the MANF scholarship was made in 2019, whereas other scholarships distributed by bodies like the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Ministries such as Social Justice and Empowerment and Tribal Affairs witnessed revisions in 2023.

National Overseas Scholarship


  • The fellowship aims to provide integrated five-year fellowships as financial assistance to students from minority communities for pursuing higher studies, including M.Phil and Ph.D.
  • The fellowship covers all universities/institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under sections 2(f) and 3 of the UGC Act.
  • Implementation is carried out by the Ministry of Minority Affairs through UGC.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The candidate must belong to one of the minority communities identified under Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
  • Annual parents'/guardians' income should not exceed Rs. 2.50 lakh.
  • Admission and registration for regular full-time M.Phil/Ph.D. courses in a UGC-recognized University/Academic Institution are required.
  • Once eligible for the fellowship, students cannot avail of benefits from any other source, whether Central or State Government or any other body.
  • Prior clearance of the NET/SLET examination is not mandatory for Maulana Azad National Fellowship for M.Phil/Ph.D.
  • To qualify for JRF/SRF, UGC norms apply at the pre-M. Phil and pre-Ph.D. stages, including a minimum score of 50% at the postgraduate level.

Duration of Fellowship

  • Integrated five-year fellowships for M.Phil & Ph.D.
  • Maximum duration varies based on the course: 2 years for M.Phil, 5 years for M.Phil + Ph.D.
  • Admissibility of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) for the initial two years and Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) for the remaining three years.

Nature of Assistance

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  • The Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) scholarship program aims to support minority students in pursuing advanced studies, ensuring financial assistance and research opportunities.

Must Read Articles:

The Reality Of Scholarship Schemes For Religious Minorities In India: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/the-reality-of-scholarship-schemes-for-religious-minorities-in-india


Q. How has the representation and rights of minority communities evolved in India's socio-political landscape over the past few decades, and what ongoing challenges do these groups face in terms of cultural preservation, socio-economic inclusion, and political participation?