Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) for human resource capacity building for industrial R&D has
been recognised as one of the main deliverables by a Sub-committee of Prime Minister’s
Council on Trade & Industry. One of the key recommendations that emerged from the Private
Sector is to design, develop and implement a Doctoral Research Scheme under PPP for
enhancing trust level in academia, research outfits and industry.
A special scheme for 100 'Doctoral Research Fellowships' every year was announced during the
Inception Ceremony of the Indian Science Congress Association, in June 2012 in Kolkata. Vide
Prime Minister’s Office ID No–3646245/2012-ES-II dated 2 November 2012; the Prime
Minister’s Office approved the proposal of naming the ‘SERB-CII Doctoral Fellowship Scheme’ as
Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research. Subsequently, the Prime Minister’s
Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research was formally launched at the ‘AICTE-CII University-
Industry Congress & 4th Global Higher Education Summit’ held in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research is a public-private partnership
(PPP) between Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), which is an autonomous body
under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
This scheme is aimed at encouraging young, talented, enthusiastic and result-oriented scholars
to take up industry-relevant research. Under this scheme, the full-time PhD scholars get double
the money that they would otherwise get for doing research. Average government fellowship in
India at any academic or research institute is approximately Rs 25,000 per month, including
house rent allowance (HRA). Under the Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral
Research, the scholars get double the JRF/SRF as scholarship which is approx. Rs 86,000 per
monyth. While one-half of this scholarship comes from the government, the second half comes
from a partner company which also works closely with the candidate on the research project.
The first batch commenced in 2013. The scheme has been made open-ended since September
2014, allowing aspirants to apply anytime within 14 months from their PhD registration.
Fellowships have been conferred to more than 300 PM Fellows since 2012 with more than 100
institutes and 200 companies coming together to support the scheme. It is envisaged that this
scheme would eventually attract large number of talented students into pursuing PhD and on
changing industry’s mind-set in investing in R&D and recruiting more PhDs.
The Apex Council is the highest decision-making body of this scheme. It is chaired by National
Science Chair – SERB and Honorary Professor IIT Delhi, Prof Seyed E. Hasnain and Co-chaired by
Dr Anuradda Ganesh, Chief Technical Advisor and Director , Cummins Adjunct Professor, IIT
Bombay. The council has representation from both industry and academia. The Apex Council
vets the proposals received under the scheme and gives its recommendations on the
candidates to be supported under the scheme.
Fellowship - Framework
- Up to 100 new Fellowships are provided every year
- 50% of the scholarship comes from SERB [being equivalent to the prevailing Government norms for Junior Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow (inclusive of HRA)], which can be revised as per the JRF/SRF norms from time to time
- Rest 50% (matching equivalent of SERB component) comes from the partner company
- Duration of the Fellowship is four years
- If selected to receive the Prime Minister’s Fellowship for Doctoral Research, the candidate ceases to
receive any other scholarship / salary from any other organisation, which he / she may be receiving at the
time of enrolling into the scheme