CM seeks review of revised guidelines on post matric scholarship for SC students

Chandigarh, June 18: Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has urged the Center to review the revised guidelines for the Post Matric Scholarship scheme for Scheduled Castes, saying these amounted to the Government of India indirectly absolving itself of contributing any money towards the scheme in Punjab, as the current annual expenditure in the state was expected to be much less than Rs. 700 crore.

In a letter written to Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Dr. Thaawarchand Gehlot, the Chief Minister cited the revised guidelines, dated May 3, 2018, received by his government to note that the move was highly detrimental to furthering the career prospects of poor SC students, who could not pay the high tuition and admission fees being charged by the educational institutions at the time of admission.

Para XV of the guidelines had resulted in greatly enhancing the annual committed liability of the State Government from Rs. 60 Crore to over Rs. 750 Crore, which was unsustainable for his Government, the Chief Minister said.

The revised guidelines, said the Chief Minister, ended up defeating the very objective of the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes and would only serve to put the SC students in a highly disadvantaged position, besides imposing an unmanageable financial burden on his Government.

Some of the Private Educational Institutions in his State had already started demanding advance fees from the SC students citing these new guidelines, added the Chief Minister, urging the Minister to re-examine the revised guidelines and take the necessary steps to safeguard the interest of the Scheduled Castes and share the financial burden of implementing the scheme.