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June 01, 2018 Friday 10:41:37 AM IST

TN CM Writes to PM Over Changes in Matric Scholarship for SC/ST

Policy Indications

Chennai: In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami on Wednesday raised concern over certain 'revision of guidelines' for the post-matric scholarship scheme for SC/ST students, saying the move could cause "serious resentment" among the community.

As per the revised guidelines, fees claimed against the management quota/spot admission seat in any institutions/universities will not be reimbursed with effect from April 2018.

The chief minister, in his letter to the prime minister, said non-reimbursement of fees for management quota seats under the new guidelines "will create a huge setback in achieving the goal of social equity and social justice as it will deny opportunities to the poor SC/ST students in the fields of higher and technical education".

He said that a large number of SC/ST students from poor economic backgrounds, unable to get admission in the government quota on merit, have been availing of this benefit in the scheme under the management quota seats in self-financing colleges.

"The scheme has largely benefited Tamil Nadu in achieving a higher Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) of more than 45 per cent," the chief minister wrote in the letter, adding that not taking up the scheme further may cause serious "resentment and unrest" among the SC/ST community. 

Moreover, instead of curtailing the existing benefit, Palaniswami requested PM Modi's intervention regarding release of the pending central assistance for the scheme.

"Rs 1803.50 crore has accumulated as arrears pending reimbursement to the state of Tamil Nadu upto March, 2018. Apparently, the above move seems to curtail expenditure within the budget sanction, instead of extending the benefit to all eligible students," he noted.

Under the circumstances, the right course of action should be to step up the allocations substantially rather than making modifications in the guidelines to curtail the existing benefits, he added.

Further, the chief minister also suggested of following the 60:40 sharing pattern between the Centre and State for the scheme, as in the case of other central schemes, saying it "will bring more clarity" in the funding.

(Indebted to various sources)