The future of more than a dozen Kashmiri students, pursuing studies under the Prime Ministers Scholarship Scheme at Mata Saraswati Institute of Nursing Education in Ludhiana, is hanging in balance. The college administration has given them a deadline, asking the students to submit the fees or to leave the college.
The deadline from the college has come after MHRD failed to release the funds of the students enrolled in the college under the PM’s Scholarship scheme.
Sixteen students from different parts of Kashmir valley are currently studying in the second year of Bachelors of Science (BSc) Nursing and are admitted in college since last year under the PMSS scheme.
According to the students, the college administration has given a deadline of May 19, for fee submission. The college has told the students that if they want to continue their studies, they should submit the fee of their own. “After studying for one year in this college, we have been asked to submit the fee form our own pocket or leave the institute,” said one of the student, who wished not be named. “How can we leave our degree midway and spoil our career”.
The dejected parents of these children say their wards have gone into depression and can’t study due to the pressure on them. In fact, the parents say that they have been paying the mess fees of their children since last few months – under PMS scheme, the mess fee had to be paid through the scheme by MHRD.
“Had I been financially sound, I would not have sent my son to study under the scholarship programme,” said Tariq Ahmad, father of a student and a resident of Baramulla in North Kashmir. “We have been forced to pay the fees of mess for the past several months as we didn’t have any other option.”
The college authorities, however, blame the centre government for playing with the career of the students. “It has been two years now and they (government) have not released the funds of these students,” said Rajender Bhatia, Director of the Institute. “Government should see how delay in the release of funds is creating problems for the students.”
He said that though he has asked the students, to pay the fees till May 19, but no one has been asked to leave the campus if they failed to pay their fees.
J-K’s Higher Education Minister Naem Akhtar however has something different to say. Akhtar said that all those students, facing problems of such kinds have not gone through the approved norms. “All those students who are facing problems now because they are studying in those institutes which are not approved by AICTE,” said Akhtar. “We have taken up this issue with the centre government, and we expecting a breakthrough soon.”
This is not for the first time; such a case has come into the limelight. Last month, a college in Rohtak had expelled 13 Kashmiri students from their hostel after the college didn’t receive the fee promised to them under the PM’s special scholarship scheme.