As a result of a vigorous protest from the opposition political parties and SC & ST students, the State Government of Odisha on Sunday confirmed that it will not reduce the scholarship amount for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes students. Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha said in a statement that ‘There will be no change in the amount of post-matric scholarship for SC & ST students.’
The state CM further stated that the students will continue to receive the same amount of scholarship as they acquired in the previous academic session. Mr. Patnaik asked the department of SC and ST Development to place a notification issued by it on hold. The CM also directed the concerned department to send the official file with reference to reducing the scholarship amount to the state Chief Minister’s office for further verification.
Considering the decision of the government, no change will be implemented in the post-matric scholarship amount being given to the SC and ST students in Odisha, said an official. Previously, the department had announced its decision in a resolution to diminish the post-matric scholarship amount for SC and ST students in a minimum of 15 courses including MBA and B.Tech.
Still, the department has decided to increase the number of courses as part of the programme from the existing 27 to 99 in the next academic year 2020-21. Considering the resolution of the ST and SC Development department, an eligible student of SC or ST community was presumed to receive Rs. 25000 scholarship for the B.Tech course in the new academic session in opposition to the existing allocation of Rs. 60000 in previous academic years.
The students who belong to SC and ST communities are eligible to get a scholarship for their higher education in any Government and Government-recognized private college and institution if their family income is less than Rs. 2.5 lakh per annum. The Opposition Congress party had blamed the state government’s act of diminishing the scholarship amount. On the other hand, the Odisha Private Engineering College Association also strongly criticizes the decision of slashing the financial advantages for the poor ST and SC students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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