November 9, 2020.
TED NewsDesk, Bhubaneswar. In the face of strong protests from opposition political parties and students in the state of Odisha, the government decided not to slash the post-matric scholarship amount for Scheduled Tribe and Schedule Caste students on Sunday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “There will be no change of post-matric scholarship for SC and ST students.”
Patnaik added that the students should continue to get the same amount of scholarship as they availed in the past academic year. He also asked the department of ST and SC development to send the official file regarding the slash in scholarship amounts to the Chief Minister’s Office for further verification. With this move, there shall be no change in post-matric scholarship amounts bring sanctioned for the SC/ST students in Odisha, said an official.
The department had earlier decided to increase the number of courses to be covered under the programme from existing 27 to 99 in the 2020-2021 academic year. According to the resolution of the ST and SC development department, an eligible student of the ST or SC community was supposed to receive Rs. 25,000 as scholarship money for B Tech course in the new academic session against the previous allocation of funds worth Rs. 60,000 in the past academic year.
Students belonging to ST and SC communities are thus entitled to receive a scholarship for pursuing higher education in any government and non-government recognised private college and institution if their family income falls below Rs. 2.5lakh per annum. The opposition condemned the state government’s move. At the same time, the Odisha Private Engineering College Association also strongly criticised this decision of reducing the financial benefits for the poor ST and SC students amid an ongoing global pandemic.
The reversal of this same decision will ensure students from these marginalised sections have access to higher education and their financial situation doesn’t act as a hindrance in growing their career paths.
Source: Times of India