Balance of Life : The Success Mantra of Rohit – PMRF

India is a country with the largest youth population in the world. With over 65% of its population below the age of 35, there is fierce competition among youngsters for success.

At an age of 21, Rohit Singh Nitwal — who hails from the remote hilly area of Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, has been selected for the prestigious PMRF program and made it to IISc Bangalore, India’s premier institute for higher technical studies.

Under the PMRF scheme, fellows are awarded a fellowship of Rs.70,000 to 80,000 per month and a research grant of Rs. 2 lac per annum, for a period of five years.

The process of getting selected for the fellowship under PMRF is quite rigorous as it requires a strong research proposal along with excellent merit among other criteria of eligibility. 

Although Rohit has been excelling in academics since high school, he believes in the idea of living a balanced life.

He has a plethora of hobbies from playing football and basketball to computer games, gymnastics to martial arts, and watching anime to classical music. 

PMRF selected candidate

In an exclusive interview with DehradunTales, he talked about how he managed to get the fellowship, what did the interview look like, what was the contribution of his teachers, and much more.

He considers ‘Arjuna’ of Mahabharata as his role model and firmly believes that one should read ‘Bhagavad Gita’ to get the answer to every question they face in life.

His message to the readers of DehradunTales is :

“Always be ready and willing to change yourself to attain happiness, peace and goals in your life.

Rohit believes that one must keep oneself surrounded by great people in order to stay motivated. He emphasizes on reading books and suggested a handful of books, which every individual should read as he believes books are our best friends.

DehradunTales admires Rohit for his appreciable way of balancing life and achieving what he desired. We wish him good luck with his future endeavors.


Q. What is PMRF?

The Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme has been designed for improving the quality of research in various higher educational institutions in the country.

With attractive fellowships, the scheme seeks to attract the best talent into research thereby realizing the vision of development through innovation.

PMRF scheme was announced in the Budget 2018-19. The institutes which can offer PMRF include all the IITs, all the IISERs, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and some of the top Central Universities/NITs that offer science and/or technology degrees.

The candidates will be selected through a rigorous selection process and their performance will be reviewed suitably through a national convention.

The following would be the fellowship per month for the PMRFs:

Year Amount (Rs.)
YEAR 1 70000
YEAR 2 70000
YEAR 3 75000
YEAR 4 80000
YEAR 5 80000
Year-wise fellowship under PMRF

Apart from this, each Fellow would be eligible for a research grant of Rs. 2 Lakhs per year, a total of Rs 10 Lakhs for five years.


Q. How did you come to know about PMRF?

When this scheme was launched, my college posted the complete description of the PMRF scheme in all hostels’ notice board. So, I came to know about this through my college when I was in my third year.

This scheme, being the topmost research scheme ever launched in India, attracted me at that time. I dreamed that it would be wonderful if I get selected for it. Later, everything happened automatically, as I never prepared for PMRF separately but my efforts to quench my research curiosity already made me fit to apply for PMRF.

Q. How was your experience while preparing for PMRF?

As such, I was not preparing for PMRF, but I was sure that I will pursue Ph.D. in the future, and for that, I was indulged in B.Tech projects under the supervision of Abhinav Kumar, Trainee Teacher, NIT Uttarakhand.

I was planning to apply to some foreign universities for which I prepared a research proposal which I gave for the PMRF selection as well. So, the preparation was from my B. Tech projects gave me an idea of what research is and this helped me in my interview as the interview panel also judged my research potential.

Q. Tell us about your interview board of PMRF and the atmosphere of the interview room.

The interview board was formed by 5 professors from IITs. This board changes for different PMRF selections every year. I remember that all the professors who were in the panel are extraordinary researchers in the field of Transportation engineering. It was a great opportunity for me to talk to them in person and address their questions.

My interview board consisted of Dr. Animesh Das from IIT Kanpur, Dr. Parida, and Dr. G.D. Ransinchung R.N. from IIT Roorkee, Dr. Kalaga Ramachandra Rao from IIT Delhi.

The interview was really good as the questions varied from my field that is Civil engineering, major questions were from the transportation field and less from other fields in Civil Engineering. There were questions from mathematics, physics too.

I remember some specific questions: 1. What is the value of acceleration is the rate of change of acceleration is a constant K? 2. Concepts of centripetal force and other fundamental forces are known till now?

I was really happy to see these questions as in my high school I used to think of similar questions.

Finally, my interview ended with a good load of questions from my research proposal. That how I come up with the idea, what is the main theme of the research, and other questions specifically from the research area?

Balance of Life : The Success Mantra of 21-Year-Old Rohit, a PMRF Awardee from Pithoragarh.

Q. Any life instance you would like to share with our readers?

I could feel that my teachers are my mother and father, school teachers, and also teachers in my B. Tech helped me shape whatever I have with me in terms of knowledge.

I certainly remember my research discussions with my B. Tech supervisor who always supported me and helped me to hone my skills and to understand the depth and importance of research.

One thing that I have learned is to always respect our teachers as they are the ones who is always there to guide us in the path of righteousness and knowledge.

Q. Tell us about your Hobbies and Interests.

I love sports! Mainly, I play football and basketball, both of which I learned in my college years. I love going to the gym every day but with COVID-19, I like to be consistent with my exercises by making my home workouts tough.


I like the idea of having control of my body. So, I love Martial Arts and Gymnastics. Currently, I am learning the first martial art in the world, Kalaripayattu.

I also like classical music.

I also like playing Computer games, specifically Counterstrike and I have been playing this game since class 8th, and watching anime (its Japanese animation shows with fantastic story plots).

Q. Who is your role model or source of inspiration?

I believe that there is something beyond this world that is within us. We all have felt our will to be successful, to be happy and peaceful in this world where there is so much going on.

My role model who inspires me is Arjun (the one in the tale of Mahabharata). Because he is ready to ask his doubts about Krishna. Also, he is a perfect student whom even God wants to teach.

I would say the Bhagavad Gita is my inspiration. I am reading it, trying to understand its subtleties. I would certainly say that if you have any question in your mind, that question is already asked by Arjun to Krishna and well answered and scripted in the Bhagavad Gita.

Even if you are not in spirituality or someone who is not from Hinduism can certainly look up to Gita as it contains entire knowledge and things you must be looking for.

Q. What message would you like to give the readers of DehradunTales?

The message to the readers of DehradunTales is :

Always be ready and willing to change yourself to attain
happiness, peace and your goals in your life.

“You have a life, explore it, live it fully. See what you can do, see your potential, and deepen your understanding of the mysterious world you are in.”

What I have found is that people tend to forget after getting motivated once (this happened to me as well), but the way out is simple. The first thing you can do is “Surround yourself with great people”.

This aligns everything for you and you go on the path of building your own destiny rather than just watching what is about to come.

Now many have one anti-question for this solution: “I don’t have such great people in my Life”. But you certainly have. BOOKS are our greatest friends. Read great books and become great yourself. And one last thing, Enjoy the PROCESS.

Reading BOOKS is what I can remember I have done since my childhood.

Q. You talked about great BOOKS among other things that built your perspective. What are some of your favorite books that you would suggest to our readers?

A human can do anything if he/she has the right perspective to see things in life. Books can give you this perspective and build your attitude that you can achieve anything you set as your ambitions.

Below are some of the books I can remember (and if the reader finds any book interesting then he/she can definitely go on and read it). But other books can also be added to this list of “Must Read”.

Follow Rohit on Instagram

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