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Scheme of Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research


The Scheme has been introduced in order to invigorate and revitalise the various institutions under the Ministry of Culture (MoC) and other identified cultural institutions in the country, by encouraging scholars/ academicians to affiliate themselves with these institutions to work on projects of mutual interest. With a view to infuse fresh knowledge capital into the institutions, the scheme expects these scholars/academicians to select specific resources of the institutions to take up projects and research work that are related to the main objectives of these institutions and to enrich them with a new creative edge and academic excellence. The Scheme will be open to both Indian nationals and foreign citizens. The proportion of foreigners will not normally exceed one–third of the total Fellowships awarded in a year.


Scholars to be engaged must have both the credentials as laid down in the preceding paragraph, as well as a strong reputation in the field covered by the institution. The Ministry of Culture will allot grant-in-aid as part of their budget allocation if the institution is an autonomous body (and seeks such funding) or make required budget provision if the institution is an attached/subordinate formation of the Ministry, for supporting the scholars thus engaged. The institutions will have the full freedom and flexibility to administer the Scheme (for which the Ministry will provide the grant-in-aid/ budgetary provision, as the case may be), within the broad parameters laid down herein under and as may be advised by the National Selection Committee (NSC) on Visiting Fellowships.

Areas of Research:

  1. The institutions as well as scholars may identify areas to be explored, but the subject of research need not be confined/limited to one institution. The Fellow selected will work on a project of mutual benefit to both the researcher and the institution(s). The subject of research should be one that can be usefully pursued with the resources and facilities of the institution awarding the Fellowship, though he/she will be free to draw on the resources and facilities of other institutions as well. If the subject of research extends to more than one institution or the Fellow otherwise needs to draw upon the resources and facilities of other institution(s), the institution awarding the Fellowship would act as the Fellow’s nodal institution and recommend the Fellow to such other institution(s).
  2. To start with, there may be 15 Fellowships per annum, which number can be revised at a later date. An institution can award a maximum of two Fellowships in a year but the NSC will have the discretion to relax this condition in exceptional cases.

Value of Fellowship:

  1. A Visiting Fellow who is from a University, College or Government set-up in India would be entitled to the same pay, including grade pay, etc, which he/she would have drawn had he/she continued in his/her parent organization. Essential or mandatory contribution of the employer to CPF etc. would also be paid as may have been paid by the employer had he/she continued in his/her parent organization.
  2. A Fellow from abroad or from set-up other than University, College or Government, or who has since retired from active service and/or is on pension, would be entitled to a fixed honorarium of Rs 80,000/- per month.
  3. Such top-up amount as may be decided by the NSC would be paid to Fellow receiving funds from other sources, to bring his/her total emoluments upto the level of honorarium.
  4. No payment of honorarium would be made to a Fellow receiving full funding from other sources upto the level of the honorarium. Such Fellow will, however, receive Contingency Grant and other allowances and facilities, as decided by the NSC.

Contingency Grant:

In case of foreign research scholars and Indian research scholars residing or serving abroad, economy return airfare to/from his/her country of residence will be provided/reimbursed by the sponsoring institution once during the course of the Fellowship. The scholar who takes up the Fellowship under the Scheme will also be reimbursed, on ‘actual’ basis, contingent expenses for making academic trips, engaging research assistants, etc. up to a ceiling of Rs. 2.50 lakhs per annum, during the tenure of Fellowship.

Duration of the Fellowship:

The duration of the Fellowship will be for a maximum period of two years. In exceptional cases, the institution may recommend to the NSC an extension for a period of upto one more year, supported by its assessment of the quality of the work undertaken. The award of the Fellowship will commence from the date of joining and the ‘years’ would be counted accordingly.

Selection Criteria:

  1. Ministry of Culture and/or the concerned institution will widely advertise the Fellowship, by way of prominent advertisements in national/ regional newspapers, having wide readership and also on its website (which should give all details) as well as to Indian Embassies in other countries, so that maximum publicity is accorded to the Scheme. However, the selection of candidates need not be confined to those who respond to the advertisement. It is open to the institution to consider, suo moto, names of eminent scholars, who in the opinion of the Director or Head of the institution have expertise in subjects relevant to it, for recommending to the NSC. The final decision will be of the NSC that can also invite any eminent scholar to become a Fellow of one of the participating institutions, in consultation with the concerned institution.
  2. A Screening Committee will be constituted by each institution and will be headed by the Director or the Head of the institution with at least two academics and two officials nominated by the Governing Body, Board of Trustees, or the Ministry, as the case may be. The selection will be based on the relevance of the study and its requirement for the concerned institution. This will be done in two stages. The first stage would be short listing of candidates, according to the criteria broadly specified as part of the Screening Committee process. At the second stage, applications/names of short-listed candidates will be considered by the NSC separately for each institution. Secretary (Culture) will be the Convener of the NSC, and the Director or Head of the institutions will be its ex-officio Members. The other members of the NSC will be scholars or artistes of repute, or experts who may be recommended by the participating institutions and appointed by the Ministry of Culture. The NSC will meet at least twice a year, to oversee the selection of Fellows and the administration of the Fellowships.


A Fellow will be entitled to Accommodation Allowance up to 30% of his usual pay, including Grade Pay or the honorarium paid.

Settling in Allowance:

A Fellow from outstation will be given a lump sum grant of Rs.1.00 lakh as settling in allowance for packing/transportation etc., of his personal effects from old station to the new station of his stay during the tenure of Fellowship, if he moves station or otherwise transports books and akademic effects. Allowance of an equal amount will be given at the conclusion of the Fellowship for moving out of station. In addition, economy airfare from his/her place/country of residence will be provided/reimbursed on joining and on conclusion of the Fellowship.

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