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Caste Education

SC/ST scholarship denied to students in Bihar for three years!

The number of beneficiaries had started dwindling since 2016, due to a cap imposed on fees. But in past 3 years, the state did not receive any applications due to “technical issues” with the portal

Sabrangindia 18 Aug 2021

Technical IssueImage Courtesy:thewire.in

The Bihar government has blamed ‘technical issues’ for not providing post-matric scholarship for last 3 years to students belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) Communities. An Indian Express report stated that Bihar has not received a single application for the scholarship for 3 years due to technical issues with the National Scholarship Portal. The officials were unable to explain why this issue was not sorted for 3 years.

Bihar has 16% SC and 1% ST population, and an estimated 5 lakh students are eligible for this scholarship every year. The report revealed that most Bihar SC/ST students have been denied this scholarship for six years now – and for an entirely different reason from 2016-17 to 2018-19.

The Bihar government had capped the fee in 2016 claiming difference in fee structures of government and private colleges within and outside Bihar. The state thus capped the fee ranging from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 90,000. Students said that this forced many of them to discontinue higher education as the cap put a financial burden on their families.

The Scheme provides financial assistance to the 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 and are awarded by the government of the State/Union Territory to which the applicant actually belongs. The scheme can be availed by any SC/ST student with a family income of up to Rs. 2.5 lakh.

The scheme is funded 75% by the Union Government and 25% by the state for pursuing education, professional and technical courses, medical, engineering, management and post-graduate courses. While in 2015-16, the scholarship was provided to 1,55,000 students, the number plunged the following year to 37,372 beneficiaries. In 2017-18, 70,886 students benefited from the scheme, followed by 39,792 in 2018-19.

However, between 2017 to 2020, Bihar did not qualify for any Central share since it had spent much less than its committed state liability. The Patna High Court has sought a report from Bihar government after a PIL was filed in this matter by one Rajiv Kumar.

Sanjay Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary, Education, told The Indian Express, “There has surely been delay in implementation of the scheme because of technical issues with the National Scholarship Portal. We have been provided a single window on the portal. We have requested for a separate site and hope to get it streamlined very soon… But it will be wrong to assume or say that it has been discontinued.”

Related:

Central universities falling short of filling up posts reserved for SC-ST-OBC
Delhi Cantonment rape case: AIDWA demands action against police for alleged ‘silent complicity’
Nangal village gang-rape, both gendered and caste-based violence: Civil Society Organisations

SC/ST scholarship denied to students in Bihar for three years!

The number of beneficiaries had started dwindling since 2016, due to a cap imposed on fees. But in past 3 years, the state did not receive any applications due to “technical issues” with the portal

Technical IssueImage Courtesy:thewire.in

The Bihar government has blamed ‘technical issues’ for not providing post-matric scholarship for last 3 years to students belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) Communities. An Indian Express report stated that Bihar has not received a single application for the scholarship for 3 years due to technical issues with the National Scholarship Portal. The officials were unable to explain why this issue was not sorted for 3 years.

Bihar has 16% SC and 1% ST population, and an estimated 5 lakh students are eligible for this scholarship every year. The report revealed that most Bihar SC/ST students have been denied this scholarship for six years now – and for an entirely different reason from 2016-17 to 2018-19.

The Bihar government had capped the fee in 2016 claiming difference in fee structures of government and private colleges within and outside Bihar. The state thus capped the fee ranging from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 90,000. Students said that this forced many of them to discontinue higher education as the cap put a financial burden on their families.

The Scheme provides financial assistance to the 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 and are awarded by the government of the State/Union Territory to which the applicant actually belongs. The scheme can be availed by any SC/ST student with a family income of up to Rs. 2.5 lakh.

The scheme is funded 75% by the Union Government and 25% by the state for pursuing education, professional and technical courses, medical, engineering, management and post-graduate courses. While in 2015-16, the scholarship was provided to 1,55,000 students, the number plunged the following year to 37,372 beneficiaries. In 2017-18, 70,886 students benefited from the scheme, followed by 39,792 in 2018-19.

However, between 2017 to 2020, Bihar did not qualify for any Central share since it had spent much less than its committed state liability. The Patna High Court has sought a report from Bihar government after a PIL was filed in this matter by one Rajiv Kumar.

Sanjay Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary, Education, told The Indian Express, “There has surely been delay in implementation of the scheme because of technical issues with the National Scholarship Portal. We have been provided a single window on the portal. We have requested for a separate site and hope to get it streamlined very soon… But it will be wrong to assume or say that it has been discontinued.”

Related:

Central universities falling short of filling up posts reserved for SC-ST-OBC
Delhi Cantonment rape case: AIDWA demands action against police for alleged ‘silent complicity’
Nangal village gang-rape, both gendered and caste-based violence: Civil Society Organisations

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