Lack of funds for the centrally sponsored scheme of post-matric scholarship for SC students in Punjab is a set to cause trouble for the eligible students in upcoming academic session. The SGPC, which runs 30 degree colleges, is considering asking students to deposit the fee on time and take a reimbursement later from government in their personal account. The Centre in its latest notification has already promised direct transfer of scholarship money to students.
Avtar Singh, secretary, SGPC, said, “Controversy over the SC scholarship scheme has badly hurt the financial condition of our colleges. We have been awaiting payment of around Rs 20 crore from the government. It is the fee amount that we didn’t charge SC students in hope that government will pay us.” The SC scholarship scheme had landed in a controversy in 2014-15 after some private colleges were accused claiming fee from government by making dummy admissions of SC students.
Avtar Singh said, “We have nothing to do with controversy over fake admissions. We have written several letters to central government to release the fee amount. Now, we don’t know what to do from next year as government has issued a notification that it will give money directly in account of SC students to pay at college. Government hasn’t paid us for years. How can we be assured that it will pay amount timely in the account of students and they will further pay us.”
Fresh notification of central government instruct that the fee will be transferred to the accounts of the beneficiary student by government. Central government notification reads, “Governments will pay a nonrefundable fees or maintenance fees in the account of students. Incidentally, old instructions dated October 2010 to all private institutions to not charge the fee from eligible SC students at the time of admission stands withdrawn. Governments will frame modalities regarding critical and timely release of scholarship to students account so that students can pay fee to institution on time and not projected to any penalties for late payments.”
The government has not paid fee of around Rs 1600 crore to private colleges, Rs 20 crore to SGPC and Rs 17 crore to Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar during last four years.
GNDU public relation officer Parveen Puri said, “We have several letters to Punjab government to pay the amount. Around Rs 17 crore is pending towards government. It is true that some private colleges have not been getting the payment of fee from government due to controversy over fake admissions. However, we have no such issues with the government, and hence, we suppose we have not been paid due to lack of funds with government. We will follow government instructions during new academic year.”