Unpaid scholarships put students in tight spot


Uncertainty prevails over the fate of six lakh SC/ST/BC students across Tamil Nadu whose tuition fee has not been paid yet by the government. Unless the payment is made in a fast track mode, they will not be eligible to write the semester examinations in April, 2015.

A fortnight ago in a few polytechnic colleges in Tirunelveli, students were not allowed to fill exam application forms as they had not paid the term fees. The defaulters, who depend on the government’s merit scholarship, learnt that the government had not disbursed scholarship funds to the college. Students in two polytechnic colleges in the region paid the fees with a hefty penalty.

“This is an annual ritual and there is no escaping the vicious cycle for the students as the government order is violated by both private and aided colleges,” said P. Uchimakali, president of Students Federation of India, State chapter, which organised a Statewide protest on Thursday demanding better amenities in hostels.

The State government’s order (G.O. 92) entitles SC/ST/BC students to free education. But every year, though students are admitted in June-July, colleges do not receive scholarship funds till February or March. The colleges give the ultimatum that students must pay the fees to appear for the exams. The students borrow at exorbitant interest adding to their woes. It doesn’t help as colleges hike fees every year,” he says.

In the recent session of the Assembly, M.H. Jawahirullah of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi Party raised the issue of delayed payment of merit scholarship. The Higher Education Minister replied that he would look into the issue and set right any discrepancy.

M. Barathan, president of Ambedkar Education Centenary Movement, blamed the Centre for delay in disbursal of funds for the merit scholarships. “It is a Central government scheme and the State government’s requirement is Rs. 1,110 crore. The Central government has given only Rs. 140 crore so far. Scholarships have been allocated to government and aided engineering colleges. The rest of the funds of Rs. 970 crore, will go to students studying in self-financing colleges offering law, nursing, arts and science courses,” he said.

Allocate from

Special Plan for SC

He suggests that the government allocate funds from the Rs. 7,000 crore provided by the Centre for the Special Plan for SC.

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