Published: 14th January 2022
Over 2.5 lakh backward section students from Kerala haven't got their post-matric scholarship yet. Here's why
The number of applications will rise to 3.5 lakh students once the completion of admission to medical courses is completed in the state
Owing to the non-cooperation of the Scheduled Caste Development Department, the applications of more than 2.5 lakh students from backward classes for this year's Post-Matric Education Scholarship have remained untouched. This has affected SEBC, OBS and OEC students who have been admitted to postgraduate, engineering and technical courses. The number of applications will rise to 3.5 lakh students once admission to medical courses is completed.
Until last year, it was the Scheduled Caste Department that would handle over five lakh applications for scholarships annually. The Backward Classes Development Department, which was established in 2011, has only a few employees and does not have district offices. This was why the Scheduled Caste Development Department was formed in the first place. But the department is now arguing that the applications of backward students should be handled by their own department. The department has been sending back applications from backward class students through educational institutions since last June.
About 100 of the 1200 employees in the Scheduled Caste Development Department were assigned to handle scholarships and lumpsum grant applications. Each district has an officer, a junior superintendent and at least five clerks to handle this. The number of applications handled has come down to just one and a half lakhs.
On September 16, the Backward Classes Development Department's Additional Secretary had issued an order stating that the distribution of backward education benefits should be done by the Scheduled Castes Department till the office and posts are allotted to the Backward Classes Development Department in all the 14 districts. The order was issued on the instructions of Minister K Radhakrishnan. But the situation reminded unchanged.