Post-matric scholarship scheme for SC students
The Centre has asked all states and union territories to instruct educational institutions to extend the date of depositing the fees for Scheduled Caste students eligible under its post matric scholarship scheme till the amount is transferred to their bank accounts.
The directive by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment comes in the wake of complaints of denial of admission by institutions due to delay in fee payments by SC students after the government, in May, revised the norms under the scheme.
The scheme provides financial assistance to Scheduled Caste students studying at post-matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education. These scholarships are available for studies in India only.
Under the revised norms, the scholarship amount (including fees) will be deposited directly to the bank accounts of the students, so that they can pay the fees to the institution. The scholarship amount is released by the states and the practice so far is that the fees amount is being given to the institution and the maintenance amount to the students.
There were complaints that several private and government institutions swindled money by charging fees from the students. "There have been complaints about institutions denying admission to eligible SC students since they cannot pay the fees on time till they receive the scholarship amount in their accounts," said a source in the ministry.
"In this connection suitable instruction may be issued to the effect that the concerned institution may verify the eligibility criteria of SC students for award of PMS-SC scholarship and if found eligible the date for depositing the fee for such SC students may be extended till scholarship amount is transferred to his or her account," read the letter sent to the states and UTs.
If required, the institutions may take an assurance from such students that they will deposit the fee as soon as they receive it in their account, the letter stated. The revised guidelines under the scheme are aimed at ensuring end-to-end processing online, verification of eligibility credentials to ensure greater transparency and to control duplicity and wrongful claims by institutions.
According to the revised norms, the state governments and union territories will frame modalities regarding periodical and timely release of scholarship (including fees) to the accounts of the students, so that they can pay the fees to the institution.