IRKED at the persistent delay in non-payment of post matric scholarship funds meant for SC and OBC students by the state government, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed by private unaided colleges and universities Monday decided to observe a bandh in the state on November 2 and 22.
As many as 13 associations of Unaided Self Financed Colleges (USFC) comprising around 700 colleges also decided to hoist black flags on their college buildings. The JAC also accused the government of having diverted the scholarship funds for other expenses. Dr Anshu Kataria, spokesman for the JAC, warned the government of a mass agitation by all institutes if funds for scholarship were not released soon.
Dr Kataria said the students were facing difficulties in continuing their studies due to non-reimbursement of maintenance allowance. Kataria added while the centre has already released funds to the state government, it seemed the government has utilised this fund elsewhere and hence it was resorting to delaying tactics.
The JAC has revealed that Rs 400 crore are due to be released to the institutions for the academic year 2015-16 while Rs 80 crore is pending for the year 2014-15. Around Rs 500 crores would also become due for the academic year 2016-17 for which admissions are already over and students would be appearing in examinations in December.
Speaking to The Indian Express, senior Congress leader Sunil Jakhar, who has raised this issue several times in the state assembly in the past, said the failure of the government to release the funds stems from the fact that the money has been utilised elsewhere for some other work.
“This year too the Centre released Rs 280.08 crore for disbursement but that fund was diverted elsewhere,” he said.
Jakhar added that in 2015 the Centre wrote to the state government, pointing out that the utilisation certificate given by state for the scholarship funds was not correct. The senior Congress also said that Rs 376 crore was released by the Centre in 2014-15 but that amount was utilised to clear the outstanding due of previous years.