Campus Central

Delhi Student Bodies Protest Against Discontinuation of MANF, Allege Manhandling by Police

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The Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme provided 5 years of financial support to minority scholars.

On 12th January 2022, members of the SFI (Students’ Federation of India) demonstrated against the government’s discontinuation of the Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme in front of the Ministry of Education, as well as at the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University. Also part of the protest were members of the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Students’ Union (MSU), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) and JNU Students’ Union, as well as students from institutions across the capital. The Maulana Azad National Fellowship was launched in 2009 and provided financial support for five years to students from six notified minority communities: Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Parsis and Sikhs who were pursuing MPhils or PhDs.

While the government has claimed the decision to roll it back was taken because it overlapped with other schemes, opponents have argued that this justification is invalid, as students cannot benefit from more than one educational scheme in any case. They have also pointed out the discontinuation of other government aid such as the pre-matric scholarship for SC, ST, OBC and Minority students. They see this decision as part of a larger attack on minority scholars.

Shakir, a PhD student from DU, and a recipient of the MANF, told that following the decision he will essentially have to stop my research, or rush through it to submit it soon.” 

My academic journey will stop here. There are costs associated with being a research scholar that I cannot bear without this scholarship.” – Shakir, in conversation with

The protestors have alleged that they were manhandled by the police, being dragged across the road and shoved into buses despite demonstrating peacefully. Several students sustained injuries, and over 100 were detained at the Mandir Marg Police Station.

As far as I saw, all of the policemen at the protest were men and they seemed hostile right from the beginning. They soon began to push and shove us around, including the female protestors, and even those who were not seriously injured came out of the experience battered, both physically and otherwise.” – an MA student at the demonstration.


The student is not a member of any student political organisation, but attended the protest as she fears that the discontinuation of the MANF and other schemes like it will prove disastrous for her career as a scholar.

Feature Image credits: DU Beat

Shriya Ganguly

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