In­sur­ance cover to re­searchers, yet to be re­al­ity

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - EDUCATION - Vinod Kumar vinod.ku­mar1@hin­dus­tan­

CHANDI­GARH: In­sur­ance cover to the re­search schol­ars, an am­bi­tious pro­posal mooted by Pan­jab Univer­sity last year is yet to see the light of the day.

The an­nounce­ment was made by vice-chan­cel­lor Prof RC Sobti on April 19, 2011, dur­ing a meet­ing with re­search fel­lows at the Golden Ju­bilee Hall, but till date noth­ing has been done.

The de­mand for in­sur­ance cover was raised by the re­search schol­ars af­ter a re­search fel­low, Kirti Cha­lana, sus­tained griev­ous in­juries in a road ac­ci­dent on cam­pus.

There are around 500 re­search schol­ars on rolls of the var­sity.

Un­der the scheme, the schol­ars were to be in­sured from last aca­demic ses­sion and each re­search fel­low had to pay Rs 42 along with fees in or­der to avail the in­sur­ance fa­cil­ity.

The var­sity had de­cided to pay Rs 2 lakh in case of death

I will look into the mat­ter and make sure that re­search schol­ars also get in­sur­ance cover AM­RIK SINGH


of stu­dent and Rs 10,000 to in­jured stu­dents. While in case of par­ents' death, the ag­grieved stu­dents were to be given Rs 1 lakh.

The var­sity is ex­tend­ing the same ben­e­fit to around 15,000 reg­u­lar stu­dents on the cam­pus since 2010.

Crit­i­cis­ing the au­thor­i­ties for adopt­ing dis­crim­i­na­tory poli­cies with re­gards to re­search schol­ars, a PhD stu­dents said it was ev­i­dent from the non­im­ple­men­ta­tion of the in­sur­ance scheme for schol­ars that the re­search fel­lows were not treated at par with other reg­u­lar stu­dents.

Pan­jab Univer­sity Stu­dents Union (PUSU) se­nior leader Su­mit Gok­laney said the au­thor­i­ties should not make any false prom­ises to the stu­dents. "Be­fore mak­ing any an­nounce­ment, the au­thor­i­ties should take into con­sid­er­a­tion each and ev­ery as­pect. It will help in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the schemes an­nounced from time to time," said Gok­laney, de­mand­ing in­sur­ance cover for the re­search schol­ars.

When con­tacted, dean, stu­dent wel­fare (DSW) Prof Am­rik Singh Ah­luwalia said when they were cov­er­ing 15,000 stu­dents, there was no rea­sons why re­search schol­ars, who are around 500, could not be ex­tended the same ben­e­fit.

"I will look into the mat­ter and make sure that re­search schol­ars also get in­sur­ance cover," said Prof Ah­luwalia. How­ever, he said that there was no dis­crim­i­na­tion and stu­dents fall­ing in dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories are treated on a par. "There are many ben­e­fits which are only ex­tended to re­search schol­ars," said DSW.

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