No funds, colleges refuse admission to SC students - ECAS Punjab

No funds, colleges refuse admission to SC students

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Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 13

With an amount of Rs 1,850 crore pending towards colleges under the SC Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme, almost all colleges of the state have decided to refuse free admission to poor and Dalit students for their studies.

Even as Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had said yesterday that the state would own up the scheme and offer scholarship under its own criteria in the next Cabinet meeting, the verbal assurance has so far not brought any relief to the SC students.

The Dalit students who are affected due to the refusal do not just include freshers but also those who are in the intermediate or final years of their courses. Kiran Kumari and Simran, BA final-year students from a local girls' college, said they had been told that there still was no clarity from the government on continuing the scheme and hence were being asked to pay fee for the next semester to seek admission. Another Dalit student from Ram Nagar, Rohit Kumar, who is an MA first-year aspirant, said he was being asked to givr full fee by all colleges as no management was ready to offer free admission under the scholarship scheme.

Managing Director of the CT Group of Institutions. Manbir Singh. said, "We already have Rs 30 crore due with the government for the scheme since 2016-17. There is absolutely no clarity with regard to implementation of the scheme for the current session. We do not even know when we will get our pending dues and whether the state or the Centre will pay us from 2017 onwards. Having suffered much financially, this year we are treating all SC students as general students and asking them to pay up full fee."

Likewise, HMV College Principal Dr Ajay Sareen said, "We have Rs 9.4 crore due from the government for the past four years. The SC scholarship scheme was notified for five years, which have ended. There is no clarity yet on whether it will be extended or not. So far, we are accepting whatever amount the students are paying and doing their registration. A final decision on the matter will be taken in a meeting of the principals' association at Lyallpur Khalsa College tomorrow."

SAD spokesperson Pawan Tinu said, "Ever since the Congress rule started over three years ago, it has been erratic in making the payments. The Centre's grant of Rs 309 crore has been withheld since March. The Centre had to stop the scheme as the state failed to return the excess money taken by colleges in the audit report."

from The Tribune

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