Context: Union Human Resource Development Ministry  announced various amendments in the Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship Scheme(PMRF), to boost research in the country . 

More on the news:  

  • The Ministry also informed that 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.
  • To boost research a dedicated Division is being created in the ministry with the name of "Research and Innovation Division". This division will be headed by a director who will be coordinating   research work of various institutions coming under MHRD.
  • The modifications will enable more students to avail of the benefit under the Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship Scheme.

About PMRF: 

  • The Scheme has been designed for improving the quality of research in various higher educational institutions in the country.
  •  With attractive fellowships, the scheme seeks to attract the best talent into research thereby realizing the vision of development through innovation. 
  • The scheme was announced in the Budget 2018-19 and the Ministry of Human Resource and Development(MHRD) is the nodal ministry.
  • The institutes which can offer PMRF include all the IITs, all the IISERs, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and some of the top Central Universities/NITs that offer science and/or technology degrees.
  • The candidates will be selected through a rigorous selection process and their performance will be reviewed suitably through a national convention. 
  • 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 provided under the scheme.
  • Apart from this, 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.
  • With further modification, the scheme has been opened for eligible students from all recognized institutions/universities in the country.
  • Starting Academic Year 2020-21, candidates can apply for PMRF through either  direct entry channel or lateral entry channel.


To apply for PMRF through this channel, the candidate must satisfy all of the following criteria:


In the preceding three years, the candidate should have either: 

  • Completed or is pursuing the final year of Bachelors/Masters degree in S&T streams from any of the Institute/University recognized in India (with minimum 8.0 CGPA) or above.


GATE score of 650 or above in the relevant subject (the GATE criteria is waived if the qualifying degree is from one of the centrally funded technical institutes)


  • Qualified GATE and completed or are pursuing M.Tech./MS by research at one of the PMRF Granting Institutes having a minimum CGPA of 8.0 or above at the end of the first semester with a minimum of four courses.

They apply and get selected in the Ph.D. programme in one of the PMRF granting institutes.


The PMRF granting institute, which has admitted the student in the Ph.D. programme through the regular selection process (interview), makes a strong recommendation for award of PMRF in view of his/her merit. 


To apply for PMRF through this channel, the candidate must satisfy all of the following criteria:



The candidate should be pursuing Ph.D. in one of the PMRF granting institutions

He /she should have completed at most 12 months in the PhD programme if he/she joined the programme with a Master’s degree; 


Should have completed at most 24 months in the PhD programme if he/she joined the PhD programme with a Bachelor’s degree. 

He/she should have completed at least four courses in the PhD programme with CGPA / CPI of 8.5 or above

The PMRF Granting Institute, in which the student is enrolled, makes a strong recommendation for the candidate, in view of his/her merit clearly demonstrated during the first 12-24 months (as relevant) of the program

The metrics on which the candidates will be judged include (but not restricted to) a strong research proposal, publications record and grades. Due weightage should be given to publication in reputed journals/conferences.