In Depth : Prime Minister Research Fellowship

Yes, PMRF has a history that too for one year! IIT council approved PMRF with 60k per month for IIT B.Tech graduate with 8.5 CGPA or higher in its 50th meeting held on 23rd August 2016. Govt. of India allotted separate budget for this scheme to IITs  in union budget 2017. After that various IIT published the advertisement for admission under PMRF for the academic year 2017-18[example IIT Indore ]. IIT council in its 51st meeting minuted "The Council noted the progress and also ratified the increase in the fellowship amount from Rs. 60,000/-to Rs. 75,000/-under the PMRF Scheme, subject to the approval of the same by the Cabinet."

After 51st Meeting of IIT council, MHRD revised the PMRF scheme in its current form which is being advertised as it is being launched first time even by Honorable HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar! So launched year is 2018 2017!

Current Form of PMRF:
Summary can be found in following picture and full details(also online application) at
 Yes! Approx 30K~32K students enroll for PhD in each academic year in India across all disciplines and they get fellowship up to ₹28,000 per month(except SPM fellow which can be counted on fingers). In this PMRF  1,000(maximum) PhD students (graduated from IITs/NITs/IISERs/IIITs  with 8CGPA or higher only!) will get ₹70,000- ₹80,000 per month and all other PhD students will remain at 28K in the name of vision of PMRF which is  given below
"The Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) scheme is aimed at attracting the talent pool of the country to doctoral (Ph.D.) programs of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for carrying out research in cutting edge science and technology domains, with focus on national priorities." 
Even at IITs and IISc, approx 5K students take admission in PhD every year, but not all these 5K students will get PMRF! 
 And IISERs are once again being treated as "Ignored Institute of Science Education and Research" by MHRD as they are not chosen as host institute despite performing better in research areas in compare to many IITs (earlier PhD tuition fee 5000 per year@IITs & 33,000 per year@IISERs).

Very much!! If you look at eligibility criteria, you can find that there will be approx  30K students graduating every year with eligible degrees from eligible institutes. If you consider average 30% students score 8CGPA or above,  you will have 9K eligible students graduated in one year and this scheme allows last five year graduated students to apply! This takes the total numbers of eligible students for this scheme to 45K!!! But considering the fact older graduate will not take much interest to start PhD at this stage, let's take average 20K students will be eligible(rather keen) to apply each year and only maximum 1000 will be finally selected! So the rate of success is about 5% even after very tough eligibility criteria to apply!

Higher than Faculty salary?
No! Entry salary of assistant professors at CFTIs like IITs/IISERs/NITs etc is ₹1,25,623 per month[Source IISER Pune] as on 1st Jan 2018 (without considering the recommendation of 7th CPC for allowances). As per 7th CPC, entry salary of assistant professors will be approx  ₹90K [57,700+5%DA+HRA&TA in metro cities] in universities/colleges under UGC.

As of now, this scheme is only approved for three academic years for new admissions. Only time will tell that PMRF will succeed to change "Brain Drain" to "Brain Gain" or Not? Will other PhD students(about 1lac in all years across India) get any fellowship hike which was verbally promised during last hike (2014) to review it after every 3-4 years?    

(All numbers shown in this article about numbers of students are approximate based on various data available on the internet and doesn't guarantee any accuracy.)