Punjab to rework scholarship scheme as Centre pulls out - ECAS Punjab

Punjab to rework scholarship scheme as Centre pulls out

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Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26

With the Centre discontinuing funds under the SC Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme, the Punjab Government is working on a plan to fund the education of SC students in the state.

Issues like finances and criteria are being looked into, it is learnt. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has already hinted at finding an early solution to the issue.

It was earlier a Central scheme, but from April 2017 onwards, the entire financial liability of the scheme was transferred to the states. The demand raised under the scholarship scheme for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 was nearly Rs 1,550 crore. Prior to 2017, over three lakh students would avail the scholarship. The number has now gone down to two lakh.

This could be due to various reasons, like linking of beneficiaries with Aadhaar and removal of discrepancies related to the enrolment of beneficiaries and the institutions enrolling them. Official sources said the issue was likely to be discussed in the next Cabinet meeting. At present, around Rs 430 crore is required to fund the scheme.

A senior functionary says since imparting free education to the poor and SC students is a priority for the government, it is working towards extending the ambit of the social welfare schemes to provide benefits to such students.

Following the Chief Minister's assurance, the unaided colleges are hopeful of an early solution. Nearly 2.50 lakh students enrolled with 1,600 unaided institutes of Punjab are getting the benefit under the SC/ST scholarship scheme, said Dr Anshu Kataria, president, Punjab Unaided College Association.


Centre-state tussle

  • The Centre and state have been at loggerheads over the formula for sharing the burden of the scholarship scheme.
  • Till 2016-17, the scheme for SC students was almost fully sponsored by the Centre. The state was told to fund the scheme from 2017-18 onwards.

2.5L beneficiaries

Following the Chief Minister's assurance, the unaided colleges are hopeful of an early solution. Nearly 2.50 lakh students enrolled with 1,600 unaided institutes of Punjab are getting benefits under the SC/ST scholarship scheme, said Dr Anshu Kataria, president, Punjab Unaided College Association.



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