“Sensitive topics of research — particularly within the social sciences and humanities — are restricted under the garb of national security. This further closes off options for all students seeking a social science education, and of course, the revisions to the NOS scheme make it worse for students from oppressed castes. “
On 20th February, 2022, an article in The Swaddle reported reported that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment which provides funds for students belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and landless agricultural laborer families under the National Overseas Scholarship (NOS) Scheme excluded a major portion of the humanities and social sciences close to the deadline for scholarship, without any prior intimation or discussion with scholars.
This move is evaluated to set back the marginalized communities in academia even further as historically, marginalised groups have always endured implicit and explicit discrimination on Indian campuses. An overseas PhD degree not only offered them a chance of securing a faculty position at an elite Indian institution, but also helped them escape the “lack of merit” tag they endure daily because of reservations even when a scholar has not availed those benefits.
“The decision of the government is drawing flak — not just because the announcement of the exclusion has come so close to the application deadline, but also because it was made without any public consultation on how it could impact students whose educational prospects are at stake. Moreover, given that the scheme applies only to marginalized students, the revision, too, shall affect their prospects alone — restricting their career choices, and putting them at a disadvantage against non-marginalized students who can afford the same degrees for themselves.”
It’s time to unite and stand for academia, and scholarship of the marginalized. We demand that-
The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, reinstate these scholarships and provide funds for students from SC, ST communities and landless agricultural labourer families under the National Overseas Scholarship (NOS) Scheme.
A special committee to be created consisting of academicians and student leaders to discuss such changes in the scholarship scheme for the future.
Stand in solidarity with scholars from historically marginalised communities and sign the petition.
Centre Withdraws Scholarships for Marginalized Students Looking to Study About India’s History, Culture Abroad- The Swaddle
Govt bars scholarships for studying Indian subjects abroad- The Indian Express
Why Exclude SC Students Wanting to Study ‘Indian’ Topics Abroad from National Scholarship?- The Wire
Thank you for standing in solidarity with scholars from historically marginalized communities and demanding to reinstate these scholarships.
Take one more step to amplify the issue by sharing it in your circles!
Thanks for all that you do.
Anshika and the Jhatkaa.org team