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Why in news?

Union Human Resource Development Minister announced that, to boost research in the country various amendments have been carried out in Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) Scheme.


  • After the amendments, now for the students from any recognised institute/ university (other than IISc/ IITs/NITs/IISERs/IIEST/CF IIITs), the requirement of GATE Score is reduced to 650 from 750 apart from minimum CGPA of 8 or equivalent.
  • Now there will be two channels of entries, one direct entry and lateral entry. In lateral entry, the students, who are pursuing PhD in PMRF granting institutions (completed 12 months or 24 months as per certain requirements) can also apply to become fellow under the scheme as per new guidelines.
  • NITs, which appear in top 25 institutions as per NIRF Ranking (overall) can also become PMRF Granting institution.

What is the purpose of these changes?

  • These modifications will enable more students to avail of the benefit under the Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship Scheme.
  • To boost research a dedicated Division is being created in the ministry with the name of “Research and Innovation Division”.

What is PMRF Scheme?

  • In 2018, Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme was launched to offer direct admission to such students in the Ph.D programmes in IITs, IISERs and IISc and attract meritorious students into research.
  • This scheme is aimed at attracting the talent pool of the country to doctoral (Ph.D.) programs of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for carrying out research in cutting edge science and technology domains, with focus on national priorities.
  • PMRF Scheme has been designed for improving the quality of research in various higher educational institutions in the country.
  • The selection process for the PMRF will be a rigorous two stage process with screening by the Reviewers and final selection by the Selection Committee for each broad discipline to ensure selection of the best talent.
  • Admission under the PMRF will be made in 18 broad disciplines. For each broad discipline one IIT or IISc (Nodal Institute) will coordinate the admission process.

The PMRF Scheme provides:

  • A fellowship of Rs.70,000/- per month for the first two years, Rs.75,000/- per month for the 3rd year, and Rs.80,000/- per month in the 4th and 5th year.
  • A research grant of Rs.2.00 lakh per year will be provided to each of the Fellows for a period of 5 years to cover their academic contingency expenses and for foreign/national travel expenses.
February 2024