Scheme of Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research

Scheme of Tagore National Fellowship

Contact Details

(i)Section Officer (S & F) Section at Ph. No. 011-24642157 or through e-mail: scholar-culture[at]nic[dot]in in the Ministry.

(ii)Director, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Teen Murti Bhawan, New Delhi-110001. @ Ph. No. 011-23016350 or through e-mail: ddnehrumemorial[at]gmail[dot]com


The Scheme has been introduced in order to invigorate and revitalise the various institutions under the Ministry of Culture (MoC) and other identified cultural institutions in the country, by encouraging scholars/ academicians to affiliate themselves with these institutions to work on projects of mutual interest. With a view to infuse fresh knowledge capital into the institutions, the scheme expects these scholars/academicians to select specific resources of the institutions to take up projects and research work that are related to the main objectives of these institutions and to enrich them with a new creative edge and academic excellence. The Scheme will be open to both Indian nationals and foreign citizens. The proportion of foreigners will not normally exceed one–third of the total Fellowships awarded in a year.


This Scheme shall be known as "Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research".

Participating Institutions

The Scheme shall cover the institutions under the Ministry of Culture (MoC), as listed below, and may cover other such institutions in future. The scheme will also cover such Non-MoC cultural institutions as have, in the opinion of the National Selection Committee (NSC), cultural resources like manuscripts, artefacts, antiquities, books, publications, records, etc. and seek to take advantage of the scheme, to engage distinguished scholars to work on its resources and come out with publications that enrich our understanding of the subject or the institution. Apart from considering the applications received from willing institutions for their inclusion in the Scheme, NSC can, on its own motion, identify such institutions that should be invited to benefit from the Scheme. On receipt of their consent, the concerned institutions will be covered by the Scheme. The MoC and Non-MoC institutions that stand presently covered by the Scheme have, for the purposes of the Scheme, been divided into two Categories (I & II) and four different Groups, as under:

Group-A: Archaeology, Antiquities, Museums & Galleries

I. MoC Institutions (9)

  • Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi
  • National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
  • Indian Museum, Kolkata
  • National Museum, New Delhi
  • Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad
  • Allahabad Museum, Allahabad
  • Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
  • Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
  • National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property, Lucknow

    II. Non-MoC Institutions (3)

    • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vaastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai
    • Gandhi Sangrahalaya, Patna
    • Government Museum & Art Gallery, Chandigarh

Group-B: Archives, Libraries and General Scholarship

I. MoC Institutions (6)

  • National Archives of India, New Delhi
  • National Library, Kolkata
  • Rampur Raza Library, Rampur (UP)
  • Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna
  • Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata
  • Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi

    II. Non-MoC Institutions (4)

    • Asiatic Society, Mumbai
    • AP State Archives & Research Institute, Hyderabad
    • Thanjavur Maharaja Serfojis Sarasvati Mahal Library & Research Centre, Thanjavur
    • Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune

Group-C: Anthropology & Sociology

I. MoC Institutions (10)

  • Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata
  • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal
  • Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi
  • North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala
  • North Central Zone Cultural Centre, Allahabad
  • Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata
  • North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur
  • West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur
  • South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur
  • South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur

    II. Non-MoC Institutions (Nil)

Group D: Performing and Literary Arts

I. MoC Institutions (4)

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi
  • National School of Drama, New Delhi
  • Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai
  • Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi

    II. Non-MoC Institutions (1)

    • Jawaharlal Nehru University (School of Arts & Aesthetics), New Delhi

Scope of the Scheme

The scope of the Scheme is to enable the identified cultural institutions engage scholars of outstanding merit, to work on research projects that unravel their unexplored resources. The institutions as well as scholars may identify areas to be explored, but the subject of research need not be confined/ limited to one institution. For purposes of convenience, monitoring, accounting and responsibility, one of the institutions listed in para 3 would be the Nodal Institution for each project, and the Fellow will be attached/ anchored to that institution.

4.1 Areas of Research and Eligible Projects

  • 4.1.1 The Fellow selected will normally work on a project that benefits the Nodal Institution in terms of unraveling its resources. The subject of research should be one that can be usefully pursued with the resources and facilities of the Nodal Institution awarding the Fellowship, though he/she will be free to draw on the resources and facilities of other institutions, as well.
  • 4.1.2 If the subject of research extends to more than one institution or the Fellow otherwise needs to draw upon the resources and facilities of other institution(s), the Nodal Institution awarding the Fellowship would recommend the Fellow to such other institution(s). In rare cases, where two institutions appear to be of almost equal importance to the Fellow, the second institution may be deemed to be the Co- institution and the two may sign a Tripartite MoU regarding Intellectual Property, Publication, Credit sharing, facilities, etc. But accounting shall be with the Nodal Institution.
  • 4.1.3 Since the Scheme is focused on unravelling the cultural resources of the Nodal Institution, the project must be driven in that direction, that is, to use substantially the resources of the Nodal Institution. The inputs required for the project should have a very strong linkage with the resources available with the Nodal Institution and (in rare cases) the Co-institution.
  • 4.1.4 At the end of it, the project outcome must benefit the Nodal Institution, Co- institution, if any, and the subject under consideration; and add to the existing knowledge of the institution/ subject.

4.2 Eligibility of Scholars to be appointed as Tagore National Fellows

  • 4.2.1 Scholars who have sound academic or professional credentials and have made significant contribution to knowledge in their respective fields, as reflected in publications in reputed and referred journals and books authored by them, or persons with significant creative work in any field of art or culture, will be eligible to be considered for the award of the Fellowship.
  • 4.2.2 Scholars to be engaged must have both the credentials as laid down in the preceding paragraph (4.2.1), as well as a strong reputation in the field covered by the Nodal Institution. As the honour and the honorarium are both of a very high order, the Institution Level Search-cum-Screening Committee of the sponsoring institution and the National Selection Committee (defined in para 11 later) may keep these in mind while recommending/ selecting the Tagore National Fellows.
  • 4.2.3 Those selected as Tagore National Fellows have, therefore, to:
    • a) be of highest standing in terms of research and years of experience;
    • b) have a very impressive list of publications, that have found acceptability in the scholarly world; and
    • c) have past experience in dealing with the projects directly connected to the Nodal Institution and/or allied institutions.
  • 4.2.4 In short, a person selected for the Tagore National Fellowship should be one who has already become a legend in his area of work or is regarded very highly. It is appropriate that those who do not come near this description may not apply or be considered for the highest honour and honorarium accorded to a scholar in India under this Fellowship.

Terms of Engagement

The Fellow selected will have to attend the Nodal Institution, as the objective of this scheme is to provide such institutions with academic expertise and to induce academic orientation in the activities of the Nodal Institution. Their physical presence for substantial periods would lend an academic orientation to the officials and cultural specialists working in the Nodal Institution and will also provide interaction with visiting academics from other institutions. Though the Fellow may need to go out from time to time for purposes of the project work or his/her other professional commitments, but during the major period of the Fellowship, he/she is expected to work primarily with the Nodal Institution and its resources. Therefore, candidates who have substantial commitments elsewhere or are (and continue) in regular employment cannot avail the Fellowship. Similarly, those who are unable to stay in the town where the Nodal Institution is located will not normally be considered. But, if the subject or resources that are the core of the research are such that do not require constant presence in the said town, the NSC may consider such cases. Those employed in an institution participating in this scheme are also debarred, except in the most exceptional circumstances (to be decided by the NSC), to be Fellows at their parent institution.

Number of the Tagore National Fellowships and Funding Thereof

  • 6.1 To start with, 15 Fellowships per annum are paid by the Ministry of Culture, to institutions that seek it. The total number may be much higher as almost all the MoC institutions have sufficient funds to expend for their Fellows. An institution can award a maximum of two Fellowships in a year, but the National Selection Committee (NSC) will have the discretion to relax this condition, especially for broad-band institutions like the ASI and the IGNCA, if there are deserving proposals.
  • 6.2 If for any year, starting from the year 2009-10, Fellowships awarded from MoC funds are less than 15, the balance may be carried forward to the immediate next year, subject to availability of funds for the purpose in that year. Similarly, applications and projects submitted in a particular financial year could well be carried over and considered/ recommended next year, if otherwise found worthy of consideration.
  • 6.3 It is clarified that the attached and subordinate offices under the Ministry of Culture will bear all the expenditure on the Tagore National Fellows from within the overall Plan budget allocated to them, while the autonomous organizations (fully funded by the Ministry of Culture) may bear it from within the general pool of funds available with them by way of Annual Plan grants or by internal generation. If additional funds be required by any of them for supporting the Fellows thus engaged, the Ministry of Culture will allot the required additional amount as part of their grant-in-aid allocation in the case of autonomous organizations and make additional budget provision if the institution is an attached/subordinate formation of the Ministry. The institutions will have the full freedom and flexibility to administer the Scheme (for which the Ministry will provide the grant-in-aid/ budgetary provision, as explained above), within the broad parameters laid down herein under and as may be advised by the NSC.
  • 6.4 Non-MoC institutions covered by the Scheme will be provided funds directly from the budget head of this scheme, which will be utilized by them for meeting their expenditure on the Tagore National Fellow(s) selected to work for them, and accounted for separately.

Value of Tagore National Fellowship

  • 7.1 A Tagore National Fellow who is from a University, College, Research Institute or Government set-up in India would be entitled to the same pay, including grade pay, etc., which he/she would have drawn had he/she continued in his/her parent organization. Essential or mandatory contribution of the employer to Provident Fund etc. would also be paid by the Nodal Institution as may have been paid by the employer had he/she continued in his/her parent organization.
  • 7.2 A Fellow from abroad or from a set-up other than University, College, Research Institute or Government, or who has since retired from active service and/or is on pension, would be entitled to a fixed honorarium of Rs. 80,000/- per month.
  • 7.3 Such top-up amount, as may be decided by the NSC, would be permissible to a Fellow who may be receiving some funds from other sources, to bring his/her total emoluments upto the level of honorarium, or even beyond it,in select cases. But in no case will the top-up amount exceed Rs. 80,000/- per month.
  • 7.4 No payment of honorarium would normally be made to a Fellow receiving full funding from other sources upto the level of the honorarium, but such Fellow will, however, receive Contingency Grant and other allowances and facilities, as decided by the NSC.

Contingency Grant

In case of foreign research scholars and Indian research scholars residing or serving abroad, economy return airfare to/from their country of residence will be provided/reimbursed by the Nodal Institution once during the course of the Fellowship. All scholars who take up the Fellowship under the Scheme will be reimbursed, on actuals basis, contingent expenses for making academic trips, engaging research assistants, etc. up to a ceiling of Rs. 2.50 lakhs per annum, during the tenure of Fellowship. For proper monitoring and control of the Contingency Grant, the nodal institution will maintain a Control Register for the purpose.

Duration of the Fellowship

The duration of the Fellowship will be for a maximum period of two years. In exceptional cases, the institution may recommend to the NSC an extension for a period of upto one more year, or reduction to somewhat less than two years, if it is supported by its assessment of the quality of the work undertaken. The award of the Fellowship will commence from the date of joining and the months and years would be reckoned accordingly.

Modes of Selection

10.1 Application
Ministry of Culture and/or the concerned institution will widely advertise the Fellowship, by way of prominent advertisements in national/ regional newspapers, having wide readership and also on its website (which should give all details) and also disseminate the scheme through professional associations/ forums in the relevant fields, so that maximum publicity is accorded to the Scheme. Eligible scholars who can spare time of about two years to do a project based on the resources of any of the participating institutions can apply at any time during the year directly to the concerned institution/ nodal institution. Candidates may submit their application on plain paper along with bio-data, list of publications, other relevant documents including one-page synopsis of the work he/she wishes to do, and names of two referees along with their contact details. The applicant should enclose a declaration stating that if selected for the Fellowship, he/she will complete the tenure of the Fellowship.

10.2 Selection
The applications so received will be examined by the Institution Level Search-cum-Screening Committee (ILSSC) (further elaborated in para 11) constituted by each participating institution for the purposes of this scheme, and the applications found worthy of consideration will be shortlisted and recommended by it to the National Selection Committee (NSC). The best senior scholars, who have well-established reputations in the fields of specialization as are relevant to this scheme, would be invited by the Ministry of Culture to join the NSC.

10.3 Search and Invitation
However, the selection of candidates need not be confined to those who respond to the advertisement. It is open to the institution to consider, suo moto, names of eminent scholars, who in the opinion of the institution and members of its ILSSC, have expertise in subjects relevant to it, and invite them to submit their proposal for recommending to the NSC. The final decision will be of the NSC that can also invite any eminent scholar to become a Fellow (but only of an institution under the Ministry of Culture), in consultation with the concerned institution. In the event of a difference of opinion arising between Board of Trustees/Governing Body of the concerned institution and the National Selection Committee (NSC), the matter may be settled at the level of Minister of Culture.

Process of Selection

11.1 An Institution Level Search-cum-Screening Committee (ILSSC) will be constituted by each institution. Director or the Head of the institution will be the Convener of the ILSSC and it will have at least three academics or cultural experts and not more than two officials. Depending on the availability of officials in the institution or allied institutions in the same station, effort will be made to ensure that at least one of the two officials nominated to the ILSSC is a professional/ subject expert. In the case of autonomous institutions, the ILSSC will be constituted by the institution with the approval of its Governing Body/ Board of Trustees. If, however, no meeting of the Governing Body/ Board of Trustees takes place or it is not possible to take their approval, the ILSSC may be constituted with the approval of the Chairman and placed for ratification of the Governing Body/ Board of Trustees, whenever it meets next. The attached/ subordinate offices will be expected to constitute the ILSSC from amongst the members of their Advisory Boards/ Committees, to the extent possible, and with the approval of Ministry of Culture in the concerned administrative Division .

11.2 The selection will be based on the relevance of the study and its requirement for the Nodal Institution and also the credentials and reputation of the scholar. Only such proposals may be selected that seek to (a) engage scholars who have achieved national or international recognition and proven acceptance of their work in national/ international circles; (b) bring out resources that are not yet fully out in the public domain; and (c) result in publications that benefit the concerned institution. This will be done in two stages.

11.3 The first stage could be of short listing of projects and candidates by the ILSSC, according to the criteria broadly specified as part of the Search-cum-Screening process. Apart from considering the applications received, the ILSSC is expected to adopt a pro-active approach and identify relevant projects and search reputed scholars in the field, contact such scholars and encourage them to submit their proposals. If no proposals worthy of consideration are received, the ILSSC need not feel compelled to recommend proposals that are not of the desired standard or are irrelevant, for consideration of the NSC. To identify appropriate areas/ research projects and search for suitable scholars who may be able to do those research projects will be part of ILSSCs mandate. The ILSSC can do so on the personal knowledge of its members and/or solicit the advice of other knowledgeable/ eminent persons in the field, including the members of the Governing Body/ Board of Trustees of the institution and of various expert committees constituted by the Ministry of Culture. The main purpose of going through the ILSSC is to ensure that the highest standards are maintained in the selection of the projects and the scholars and that the brand equity of the Scheme is not compromised. While the academic members of the ILSSC themselves will not be treated as disqualified if they offer their own services for doing a project under the scheme, the ILSSC should take care to ensure that no projects proposed to be done by any member of the Executive Board/ Governing Body/ Trust of the institution, giving rise to a situation of conflict of interest, are recommended. Proposals, if any, involving a member of the ILSSC will only be considered in a meeting in which the candidate member is not present. Therefore, a candidate member will not be invited to the meeting of ILSSC at which his own name is to come up for consideration; and if awarded the Fellowship, he/she will stand dissociated from the ILSSC. However, the Ministry of Culture will be at liberty to re-induct him/her as a member of the ILSSC after the conclusion of his/her project under this scheme.

11.4 At the second stage, applications/names of short-listed candidates will be considered by the NSC for each institution. Secretary (Culture) will be the Convener of the NSC, and the Director or Head of the institutions will be its ex-officio Members. The other members of the NSC will be scholars or artistes of repute, or experts who may be appointed by the Ministry of Culture. The NSC will meet at least twice a year, to oversee the selection of Fellows and the administration of the Fellowships. The NSC may be constituted and function in different parts, each part of the NSC looking at proposals of a particular Group of institutions. However, if a proposal of some institution categorized in one Group is more in the nature of projects being dealt by another part of the NSC, such projects can be placed before such other part of the NSC. As in the case of ILSSC, members of the NSC may also suggest the areas that need to be studied in a particular institution and propose names of scholars who may be able to do justice with a project in those areas. The pool of eminent scholars being very small, the Scheme may not afford to keep the NSC (or ILSSC) members out of its scope. Proposals, if any, involving a member of the NSC will, however, be considered only in a meeting in which the candidate member is not present. In fact, such candidate member will not be invited to the meeting of NSC at which his own name is to come up for consideration; and if awarded the Fellowship, he/she will stand dissociated from the NSC. However, the Ministry of Culture will be at liberty to re-induct him/her as a member of the NSC after the conclusion of his/her project under this scheme.

Administration of the Scheme

The total number of Fellowships administered by the institutions may be decided by the Ministry of Culture from time to time, in consultation with the participating institutions. This will be based on certain criteria such as the size of its untapped holdings, physical facilities already existing in the institution, capacity of the institution to guide and inspire the Fellows to get the best out of them, its past record in publication and research, need for research/study in a particular area, etc. An amount of up to 2% of the total allocation may be set aside for meeting expenses related to the administration of the scheme including monitoring, implementation, inspection, review, etc. of the research work carried out by the Fellows, through outsourcing or Consultants.

Release of the Fellowship Amount

Fellowship amounts may be released on a monthly basis to each Fellow by the Nodal Institution. All Fellows will submit a work plan for the period of research to the Head of the Nodal Institution. The Fellow would be required to submit six-monthly progress reports to the Nodal Institution and these will be placed before the NSC by the Nodal Institution along with its comments thereon. If the review of a six-monthly progress report submitted by the Fellow results in a finding that the work done is unsatisfactory and if the NSC is of the opinion that further grants need to be stopped or curtailed, then instruction would be given to the Nodal Institution accordingly. The fund flow to the Fellows should continue smoothly, otherwise.

Support to Fellows

14.1 Infrastructural support will be provided by the Nodal Institution to the Fellows to enable them conduct their research. This may include provision of a computer with peripherals and connectivity and working space in the institutions facilities, to provide a congenial atmosphere to carry out research. Other facilities, like appropriate seating arrangements, library facilities, etc., will also be made available. One important advantage of these Fellowships will be the access of Fellows to national institutions for study and research material. In respect of foreign scholars engaged under this scheme, necessary political/security clearances from the concerned Ministries/Departments shall be obtained by Ministry of Culture. Head of the institution will function as the nodal officer for all the Fellows working in an institution. In the Ministry of Culture, the Director/Deputy Secretary in-charge of the Scheme will function as nodal officer to monitor implementation of the Scheme.

14.2 Encouragement and financial support may also be given to enable the Fellows present papers at conferences hosted by the concerned institution or other related organizations and institutions, which will be met out/ reimbursed, on actuals basis, with a ceiling of Rs. 1.00 lakh per annum, provided adequate academic interaction is arranged for.


A Fellow will be entitled to Accommodation Allowance up to 30% of his usual pay, including Grade Pay or the honorarium paid, subject to presentation of rent receipts.

Settling in Allowance

A Fellow from outstation will be given a lump sum grant of Rs.1.00 lakh as settling in allowance for packing/transportation etc., of his personal effects from old station to the new station of his stay during the tenure of Fellowship, if he moves station or otherwise transports books and academic effects. Allowance of an equal amount will be given at the conclusion of the Fellowship for moving out of station. On a case to case basis, economy airfare from his/her place/country of residence will be provided/reimbursed on joining and on conclusion of the Fellowship.


A Fellow shall be required to:-

  • (a) Deliver one public lecture per annum on the subject of his research under the Fellowship.
  • (b) At the conclusion of his term, the Fellow will have to submit a Report on the work carried out under the Fellowship, indicating the expected and the achieved output. He/she will also have to make a presentation on the outcome of his/her research to the NSC.
  • (c) The Nodal Institution is expected to publish the research work of each Fellow at the completion of the project. The rights of the research work resulting from the award of the Fellowship will be owned by the Nodal Institution, unless the NSC permits any other arrangement, for justifiable reasons to be recorded. Subject to the issues of copyright, the academic output resulting from the work of the Fellow in association with the national cultural institution would be made public also through the internet/web publishing.
  • (d) If the Nodal Institution does not publish or enter into a co-publishing arrangement and provide support for the actual printing of the book, within one year after completion of the Fellowship, it will be open to the Fellow to get the same published through a private publisher duly acknowledging the contribution of the Ministry of Culture and the rights of the Nodal Institution.
  • (e) Co-publishing of the project will also be encouraged and the Fellow may also arrange a private publisher who agrees to co-publish the work with the Nodal Institution and accepts it for such publication within one year of the completion of the project. Collaborations with established names in publication will be welcome.
  • (f) The language of the project will be allowed to be determined by the nature of the project and/or the language skills of the Fellow. Wherever a project is done in a language other than English, the Nodal Institution will also make provision for translation and publication of the translated work.

Participating Institutions

18.1 In cases where the ILSSC or the NSC is of the opinion that-

a. A scholar is not of such a standing as to merit award of the Tagore National Fellowship, but is very good and eminently suited to take up a certain project that the concerned institution finds most useful, be it original research, identification and cataloguing of the resources available with the institution or archiving and creation of new resources that the institution should have; or b. The project is of a shorter duration than two years;

they may offer to engage him/her at a lower honorarium of upto Rs. 50,000 (total) per month for any period ranging from 3 months to 2 years as may be considered adequate for the project. However, if such scholar is from a University, College, Research Institute or Government set-up in India, he/she would be entitled to the same pay, including grade pay, etc., which he/she would have drawn had he/she continued in his/her parent organization. Essential or mandatory contribution of the employer to Provident Fund, etc. would also be paid by the Nodal Institution as may have been paid by the employer had he/she continued in his/her parent organization. All such scholars will also be paid a contingency grant on actuals basis upto a ceiling of Rs. 10,000 per month and such of the other allowances/ benefits provided in this scheme, and to the extent, as may be specifically decided in each case by the ILSCC/ NSC (within the limits applicable in the case of Tagore National Fellows), depending on the nature and the duration of the project.

18.2 To distinguish these scholars from Tagore National Fellows, they will be called Tagore Research Scholars, but they will have all the obligations the Scheme casts upon Tagore National Fellows, as applicable.

18.3 As with Tagore National Fellows, the cases of Tagore Research Scholars (as also the terms of their engagement) may preferably be recommended by the ILSSC (in rare cases, the NSC may select as in para 10.3 and suggest for concurrence of the concerned institution) and finally decided by the NSC. While six-monthly/ final reports in the case of Tagore Research Scholars with projects of more than six-month duration will be reviewed by the NSC, such reports in the case of projects of six or less than six months duration may be reviewed by the ILSSC at its own level.

18.4 Apart from the candidates who apply for the Tagore National Fellowship but are offered the Tagore Research Scholarship, other candidates will be free to directly apply for a Tagore Research Scholarship in the same manner as prescribed in para 10.1 for the Tagore National Fellowships.

18.5 The total number of Tagore Research Scholars to be selected in a year and paid by the Ministry of Culture from the Scheme budget will not exceed 25 for any year.

Applying Again

Once awarded a Tagore National Fellowship, a candidate cannot apply again for a Fellowship / Scholarship under this scheme, either at the same or any other institution covered under the Scheme, but this restriction will not apply to Tagore Research Scholars.

  • National Culture Fund