M A I N   N E W S

Centre sends back Punjab’s Rs 186-cr scholarship proposal
Wants state govt to spell out exact number of SC beneficiaries
Payouts pending since 2011-2012
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The Union Ministry of Social Welfare has sent back a Punjab Government proposal seeking Rs 186.74 crore for scholarships to scheduled caste students in post-matric courses. It has told the state to provide the exact number of beneficiaries in all courses, instead of a figure based on “rough calculations”.

The state Social Welfare Department received the Ministry’s formal communication seeking the exact number of beneficiaries in the last week of May, sources confirmed. Non-receipt of the scholarship amount from the Ministry of Social Welfare resulted in students not getting payouts for 2012-2013 and also partially for 2011-2012.

Confirming the development, Social Welfare Department director Prithi Chand said, “We have received the inputs from all departments, except technical institutions.

We shall communicate the details to the Ministry by next week and expect the grant very soon.”

According to the 2011 Census figures, there are approximately 15 lakh scheduled caste students up till Class X in Punjab schools eligible for post-matric scholarships.

One of the reasons for the delay in disbursement of scholarships has been identified as incomplete information sent by schools to the Social Welfare Department. Incomplete communication was not responded to by the Ministry.

As per the Centre’s changed scholarship disbursal pattern, students will now be able to monitor their case online. They will have passwords to check their accounts. The scholarship amount will be transferred to beneficiary accounts in post offices/banks.

The Director of Social Welfare said the Centre released Rs 3.98 crore under the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme recently in the districts of Nawanshahr, Gurdaspur and Fatehgarh Sahib. Two more districts including Jalandhar and Barnala will be covered under the scheme soon.

Once the Union Ministry of Social Welfare releases the sum, students will also get the missed payments. Besides refunding the tuition fees in all cases of accepted scholarships, the scheme entails a payment between Rs 230 and Rs 1,200 for hostellers.

The scholarship does not apply to students who passed a stage of education and wanted to pursue another course at the same stage, such as MA I after MSc I. Students who complete a professional degree cannot apply for the scholarship if attempting another professional degree.

15 lakh students eligible

  • The Punjab Government has been offering post-matric scholarships to scheduled caste (SC) students in all courses, including professional, since 2008-09
  • There are approximately 15 lakh SC students till Class X in state schools eligible for the scholarships, as per the 2011 Census
  • The state is likely to communicate the details to the Social Welfare ministry by next week and the grant is expected soon




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