Published: 20th July 2022
Two lakh SC students drop out of colleges in Punjab due to non-payment of dues
The data was given by the National Commission for Scheduled Caste. Its chairperson Vijay Sampla said that an explanation from the state government has been sought
According to the National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC), around two lakh students from the Scheduled Caste (SC) category dropped out of colleges in Punjab due to non-payment of dues under a scholarship scheme worth about Rs 2,000 crore by the state government. This came to light on Wednesday, July 20.
NCSC chairperson Vijay Sampla said that the Commission has sought an explanation from the state government on why the money has not been paid to colleges, despite the payment of the dues by the Central Government. He added that the Punjab government has been asked to give an explanation by next Wednesday, as per a PTI report.
"We have taken suo moto cognisance in the matter. There have been many complaints from SC students that they are not being allowed in colleges as the government has not paid their fees. There were around three lakh SC students who benefitted from the scheme in 2017 and the number dropped to 1-1.25 lakh in 2020. When we asked the state government, they said these children dropped out," he said.
Sampla also informed that a meeting was held on Monday, July 18, between the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry and the Punjab government to discuss the matter. "In the meeting, it came to light that no dues from the Centre are there while the state government has to pay dues worth Rs 2,000 crore to pay to these colleges. Where has the money gone that is due?" he said, as per PTI.
It may be noted that Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had ordered a comprehensive probe last week into alleged irregularities in the post-matric scholarship scheme that had surfaced during the previous Congress regime in the state. He had taken to Twitter to announce the decision for a probe in the matter.
"I have received files pertaining to the release of scholarship amount during the previous government. Irregularities have been found in releasing funds to private institutions. Orders have been issued for a probe. Account of every single penny will be taken," Mann had written in subsequent tweets, while promising to act against those who put the future of Scheduled Caste students at stake.