Published: 11th October 2017
We will drop out, say SC/ST Engineering students after State curbs their scholarships
The State government in its newest orders states that scholarships will only pay the amount fixed for admissions through government quota
The recent Tamil Nadu Government Order that limits the scholarship amount for engineering students from Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) saw hundreds from the community protest at Namakkal collectorate on Tuesday urging the State Government to cancel the order.
"The Tamil Nadu government, led by J Jayalalithaa, gave scholarships directly to colleges for SC and ST students," said Chella Selvakumar, State organiser of Ambedkar Kalvi Centenary Movement. But, on August 11, the State Government passed a new order (No 51 and 52), which declared that scholarship would only pay the fee fixed for government quota admissions. In the current academic year, the fee for government quota increased from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 for engineering colleges and the fee for management quota from Rs 70,000 to Rs 85,000 by the committee led by retired judge NV Balasubramanian. So, scholarship recipients studying in management quota have to pay the remaining Rs 35,000.
S Nivetha, studying BE first year in a private college in Namakkal, said, "More than 1.5 lakh SC and ST students are studying at various colleges in our State. While the fee is Rs 85,000, we would only get only Rs 50,000 because of this government order." Most students come from financially poor backgrounds and will not be able to pay the remaining Rs 35,000, she added.
"Three years ago, on December 9, 2013, the Government ordered a reduction in the scholarship. That GO was revoked as students staged protests continuously. Now, the officers have committed the same mistake," said Selvakumar.
The students said that most recipients of the scholarship would be unable to pay the remaining fee and would drop out of college. Hence, the Government must help them and cancel GO number 51 and 52, they demanded.
(This was first published in The New Indian Express)