Fellowship issue of JNU scholar resolved

New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) Over a week after a Jawaharlal Nehru University scholar threatened to commit suicide over his research grant not getting extended, the varsity on Friday announced that the matter has been “resolved amicably”.

“Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has spoken to the student, Madan Meher, and resolved the issue in view of the financial difficulties faced by the student and the unfortunate deaths in his family. His fellowship has been released after adjusting the amount that he had taken as advance for a field trip to Brussels but spent on his grandmother’s medical treatment,” a university statement said.

The university will ensure that Meher faces no difficulty in submission of his Ph.D. thesis, it said.

Meher, a researcher with the International Organisation division of the Centre for International Politics Organisation and Disarmament in the School of International Studies, had written a letter to then Vice Chancellor S.K. Sopory on last Thursday, threatening to commit suicide if his research grant was not extended for a year within a week.

“The matter has been resolved amicably in the presence of finance officer of the university and University Grants Commission officials. Meher had already qualified for extension under section 9b and he will be submitting his research in the month of May this year,” said Anuradha Chenoy, dean of School of International Studies.

Earlier, the office of the controller of examinations had said that Meher’s grant was not extended because he had not cleared his finances with the university. He was reportedly granted Rs.66,000 for his field trip to Brussels in 2013 but didn’t go.

As per the university, the amount taken up by the scholar as an advance for the field trip was spent on his grandmother’s medical treatment.

The scholar, however, stated all the facts before the university as he resumed his research.

Meher was awarded a five-year fellowship in 2011 to complete his Ph.D.

“I belong to a very poor family in Odisha. Till date, my grandfather polishes shoes to feed the family. The university should be more considerate and flexible towards such students who come from economically weaker background,” Meher told IANS.

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