Punjab orders release of post-matric SC scholarships by October-end
Chandigarh, Oct 1 : With some private universities and institutes refusing to admit students from Scheduled Castes (SC) category owing to non-payment of dues by Punjab government for over three years, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered the release of post-matric scholarships for such students for 2015-16 by month-end.
The directives came at a meeting following the completion of audit of scholarship disbursement for 2015-16, the Spokesperson said.
The private institutions had stopped admitting SC/BC students for want of release of scholarship grant by the government.
They had claimed that it was impossible for the institutions to take the education cost burden of such students in view of limited resources.
Amarinder Singh asked SC/BC Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot to hold a meeting with representatives of private institutions and ask them not to put any student to inconvenience due to delayed payment of scholarships on account of ongoing financial audit, as the state government was already in the process of streamlining the disbursements.
The Chief Minister has asked the Finance Department to release pending Rs 100 crore for 2015-16 on account of post-matric SC scholarship to private Institutions by October-end.
He also asked the Welfare Department to complete disbursement of scholarships by December 31 to ensure timely payment of the Centre's share towards the scheme.
"The Chief Minister directed the Principal Secretary (Welfare) to take up the review of revised government of India guidelines on post-matric scholarships, which will eventually burden the state with an additional Rs 720 crore," the Spokesperson added.
The Chief Minister said that he will again request the Prime Minister to resolve the issue, keeping in view the state's dismal financial position in general, and for securing the future of SC students in particular.
The scholarship for SC students is implemented with central assistance so as to provide them help in doing post-matriculation and post-secondary courses.
Under the post-matric scheme, SC students whose parents' income is less than Rs 2.50 lakh a year can apply whereas the limit for BC category students is less than Rs 1 lakh a year.
The students from these categories are eligible for pursuing higher education in various courses throughout the country after matriculation.