Guidelines for ICAR's International Fellowships as approved by the Council

1.   Objectives:

In its continued efforts towards enhancing and sustaining the standards, quality and relevance of higher agricultural education in the country, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) here-in-after, referred as the Council, has instituted International Fellowships with dual purpose of (i) human resource development in cutting edge technologies, and (ii) demonstrating the strength of Indian agricultural system abroad. The objective is to develop competent human resource that are trained in the identified best laboratories in the world (for Indian candidates) and similarly expose overseas candidates to the best Indian Agricultural Universities (AUs) in the ICAR-AU system (comprising of State Agricultural Universities, Central Agricultural University Imphal, ICAR-Deemed Universities, Allahabad Agricultural Institute-DU, Central Universities having agricultural faculty) for creating a pool of scientist-envoys for enhanced future co-operation.

2.   Title:

The fellowship is named as “ICAR International Fellowship (ICAR-IF)” and the awardee will be called “ICAR International Fellow”.

3.   Purpose:

The ICAR-IFs are available to support Indian/ Overseas nationals for pursuing doctoral degree in agriculture and allied sciences, in the identified priority areas, to the

  • Indian candidates for study abroad in the identified overseas Universities/Institutions having strong research and teaching capabilities and
  • Overseas candidates for study in the best Indian AUs in the ICAR-AUs system.

4.   Location:

For study in the identified institutions having strong research and teaching capabilities and adequate strength in terms of faculty and infrastructure facilities, the ICAR-IFs are tenable at:

  • identified overseas institutions in case of Indian candidates and
  • identified Indian Agricultural Universities (AUs) from ICAR-AU system in India in case of overseas candidates.

5.   Tenure of Fellowship:

  1. The ICAR-IFs are available to Indian candidates as well as Overseas candidates for a period of three years.
  2. The tenure of fellowship will not be extended in any case, in so far as the Council support is concerned.
  3. In case the fellow is not able to complete his/her degree during this period, he/she will use his/her own resources for completing the degree.
  4. In case the fellow is not able to complete even after 2 years of the prescribed duration of the programme for which fellowship was sanctioned, the Council may take necessary steps, for the recovery of the fellowship paid.

6.   Number of Fellowships:

Number of fellowships available every year for a programme leading to Ph.D. degree under this scheme will be 15. The allocation of fellowships between Indian and Overseas candidates will depend upon the availability of good candidates in the identified priority areas.

7.   Eligibility:

  1. Master’s degree in agriculture/allied sciences with an Overall Grade Point Average (OGPA) 6.60 out of 10.0 or 65% marks or equivalent will be the eligibility requirement for the ICAR-IF.
  2. The candidates as on the specified date of the year of admission should not be more than 35 years of age.
  3. The notification for fellowship will contain the detailed eligibility requirements.
  4. The ICAR-IF would be available for both, fresh and in-service candidates. However, the fresh candidates should have completed their qualifying degree not more than two years before the specified date in the year of admission. The in-service candidates from India should be employed in the ICAR-AU system.
  5. The Council will identify and announce the priority areas of research and the list of institutions for admission, one year in advance, for availing the ICAR-IF.

8.   Mode of Application:

  1. The candidate should submit an application for the fellowship, on-line, in the prescribed format.
  2. The area of study and the line of the proposed research work should be in the identified priority area relevant to Indian/Global agriculture as identified by the Council and the same shall be notified one year in advance.
  3. The applicant shall provide two references along with their contact Email addresses, in support of his application, who may be directly contacted by the Council for obtaining comments in the prescribed format on his candidature. One of the two referees should preferably be his/her supervisor in the current occupation (if employed) and one who is an expert in the area and well acquainted with the candidate’s work.
  4. The applicants for the ICAR-IF must obtain at their own level, an acceptance of their admission in the Ph.D. degree programmes with identified area of study at the identified Indian AUs in case of overseas applicants and the identified overseas institutions in case of Indian applicants. Such acceptance letters should preferably be enclosed with the application for the fellowship.
  5. The candidates should satisfy themselves regarding admission and course requirements of the university before identifying these as a place of study.
  6. Applications for ICAR-IF will be invited on annual basis through announcements published in Indian national newspapers and the notification on ICAR website “http://www.icar.org.in”. Indian diplomatic missions in foreign countries will also be informed through e-mails.

9.   Mode of Selection:

  1. The candidates will be evaluated based on parameters/weighted scale thereby taking into account the relevance of the area of study, the proposed research plan, academic records, achievements and past work experience of the candidate.
  2. The selection will be made on the basis of evaluation score and subsequent interview by a Selection Committee, constituted by the Council and duly empowered to judge the suitability of candidate with regard to the importance of the area of study and the proposed research plan. The Committee may also decide to conduct telephonic/teleconferencing interview for the purpose. The overseas candidates may even be interviewed by experts as identified by the Council who may be based in their home country.
  3. The candidate should have clear record of good conduct all-through, duly certified by the Competent Authority of the University last attended or the present employer in case of in-service candidate.
  4. At the time of interview, the applicants must furnish a letter of acceptance for their admission in the respective degree programme at the University.
  5. The in-service Indian candidates must also furnish deputation approval by their respective Director of ICAR Institutes/Vice-Chancellor of Agricultural Universities.
  6. Once selected, the candidates must register for the programme within one year from the date of issue of letter of fellowship award. In case of delay, the offer will get terminated automatically and no separate communication towards cancellation will be issued by the Council.

10.   Fellowship Amount and Contingencies:

The fellow will be entitled to the following:

  1. To-and-fro, economy class air ticket for international travel, by the shortest route, from the airport, nearest to the residence/ work place of the candidate to the airport, nearest to the destination University in respect of both Indian and Overseas candidates (Air tickets to be provided by the Council).
  2. The overseas fellows will be entitled for economy-class-travel cost reimbursement from port of arrival in India to the destination University in India and back.
  3. For Indian candidates, the cost on travel from place of residence/work to the port of departure in India and from port of arrival to the destination University overseas will be met by the fellows themselves or by their sponsoring organisation.
  4. ICAR-IF amount payable to the selected fellows will be as under:
  5. Ph.D. Amount not exceeding Lump-sum payments towards contingent and preparatory expenses
    Indian fellows going abroad US $ 1,600/- per month US $ 1,000/- per year
    Overseas fellows in India INR 35,000/- per month INR 25,000/- per year
  6. The fellowship amount for the first six months, as first installment, will be released by the Council to the fellow through government notified/ approved bank to be deposited in the bank account of the fellow on receiving his/ her acceptance for the fellowship and admission letter received from the host University.
  7. Thereafter, the amount of fellowship will be released to the fellow, every six months, after receiving the academic progress report from the fellow duly certified by the concerned advisor/ supervisor/ head of institution.
  8. The first installment to the Indian fellow will be paid in Indian Rupees only.
  9. The fellow will meet all other costs including medical insurance etc. from the above fellowship or from his/ her own resources.
  10. During the tenure of fellowship, an in-service fellow may continue to receive his/her salary, types of leave and benefits etc. from the parent organization as per rules.

11.   Bank Guarantee and Service Bond:

  1. Selected fellows shall provide an irrevocable bank guarantee in favour of the Council for an amount of US $ 10,000/- for Indian candidate and Indian Rupees 2,00,000/- for overseas candidate before the release of first installment. The bank guarantee should be valid for the entire duration till the successful completion of the programme.
  2. The Indian in-service candidates selected for international fellowship shall execute a bond with the deputing University/Institute to undertake to serve that institution after the completion of degree for at least three years.

12.   Continuance of the Fellowship:

  1. The fellow will submit his progress report to the Council, through his/her adviser/supervisor/ head of the institution every six months.
  2. During the tenure of fellowship, the fellow should neither change the place of work nor deviate from the broad research area for which the fellowship is sanctioned.
  3. The fellow will devote his/ her full time for his/ her chosen area of studies/ research work during the tenure of his/ her fellowship.
  4. Satisfactory progress in studies will be essential for the continuance of the fellowship during the period of study as reflected by the grades secured and certification by the advisor/ supervisor.
  5. In case of unsatisfactory performance in studies, or conduct probation, the fellowship will be terminated with immediate effect and the fellow will be required to meet the expenditure on remaining part of the programme from his/ her own resources.
  6. This fellowship is not meant for the conduct of training or to carry out research of short duration.

13.   Medical Fitness:

Selected fellow would be required to get his/ her medical fitness test and medical insurance done at his/her own cost.

14.   Payment of Fee:

All fees chargeable by the host institution where the fellow is enrolled will be paid by the fellow himself out of the fellowship grant or from his/ her own resources.

15.   IPR Issues:

The fellow is expected to take proper measures to protect the Intellectual Property Rights likely to be generated during his/ her stay in the host institution. The Council will have the appropriate share on the patents/ knowledge generated by the fellow while pursuing the programme as specified under IP Management bulletin. If the fellow enters into any other IP agreement, the same will be appropriately shared with the Council. In all publications arising out of this work, the support from the Council should be duly acknowledged.

16.   Completion Report from ICAR-IF:

Both Indian and Overseas fellows will have to submit within 15 days of their completion of the program, a copy of the dissertation/thesis and a brief report on the activities undertaken including any significant research contribution to the Council.

17.   Non-return of Indian Fellows to India:

The Indian Fellows have to return back to India after completion of the Ph.D. degree. If the fresh Indian Fellow is offered a suitable position in ICAR-AU system, he/she shall serve the ICAR-AU system. In case of non-compliance to these provisions, entire amount paid to the Fellow along with 10% overhead cost will be recovered by the Council from the Fellow himself or from his surety, failing which, the Indian Embassy in the host country will be informed to take appropriate action.

18.   Budget Head for Expenditure:

The expenditure on the ICAR International fellowship, contingent grant and travel expenses will be met from the Council from the Plan budget-head “ICAR International/overseas fellowships”.

19.   Review of the ICAR international fellowship Scheme:

The ICAR international fellowship scheme along with the fellowship amounts and its guidelines will be subject to periodic reviews, as deemed fit by the Council.

20.   General:

  1. For any clarification regarding the ICAR-IF, the Assistant Director General (HRD), Education Division, ICAR, New Delhi may be contacted.
  2. Secretary, ICAR and Additional Secretary DARE will be the final authority in resolving and taking decision on any situation/case of conflict and his decision shall be binding on all parties concerned.
  3. For any dispute, the applicable law will be the Indian law under the jurisdiction of Courts in Delhi only.