Students organisations protest against the discontinuation of Maulana Azad National Fellowship in Delhi. | Photo: Newsclick

NEW DELHI — Research scholars from marginalized communities face an uncertain future after the Narendra Modi government discontinued the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) given to minority students in December 2022. 

The scheme was implemented in 2009 after the recommendation of the Sachar Committee, which studied the social and economic condition of Muslims in the country.  

Many organisations have protested against the government’s decision to discontinue MANF including the students of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the University of Hyderabad and Aligarh Muslim University. There is widespread dissatisfaction among students against the scrapping and revised rules. 

Aarif Khan, a research scholar at Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Madhya Pradesh hasn’t received the fellowship for the last 6 months. It has become difficult for him to financially survive and do research. “MANF was a boon for minority community students and without such funding, we will not be able to do PhD in the coming years,” Khan told  

For many Muslim girls, the fellowship was a financial power which gave them the strength and independence to study even if their families were not enthusiastic about their higher studies. 

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