Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday urged the government to consider hiking significantly the stipend of non-NET research fellows, asserting that their contributions are pivotal in advancing the country's growth in research and development.Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha during 'zero hour', the MP from Thiruvananthapuram also highlighted the plight of non-NET research fellows in terms of insufficient resources in their institutions, inadequate support from their supervisors and absence of grievance redressal committees. The government must address these and also ensure regular disbursements of stipend without delays, the former Union minister said. "I want to call the attention of the Education Minister and the chairperson of the University Grants Commission towards the plight of the non-NET PhD research fellows concerning the stipend they have received. "These are scholars that do not get scholarships through the UGC-NET exam, however, the researchers get a stipend of Rs8,000 per month and a contingency of Rs10,000 per annum for science subjects and Rs8,000 per annum for humanities, social science subjects which has remained the same since 2006," he said.