The state government on Monday warned educational institutions of action if they refused admissions to economically backward students, including those from the Maratha community. On Monday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis convened a meeting with representatives of educational institutions to discuss the increasing number of complains from students about institutions’ failure to implement the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Educational Welfare Scheme.
The state government had announced a Rs 1,200 crore package two years ago under the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Educational Welfare Scheme and Annabhau Sathe Arthik Vikas Mahamandal.
Under the schemes, students from economically backward category were entitled to 50 per cent fee concession while pursuing higher and professional studies in 605 courses, including medical and engineering. A student whose family’s annual income is b low Rs 8 lakh can avail of the scheme.
“Educational institutions have no right to demand 100 per cent fees from the eligible students. Under the scheme, almost 50 per cent of the fee is provided by the state to the respective colleges. Therefore, it was duty of the colleges to grant admissions to students after taking 50 per cent fees. Anybody found violating the rule would invite action and also face cancellation of licences,” Fadnavis said.
“There is no reason for colleges to have any apprehension regarding funds when the government was providing 50 per cent of a student’s fees. The colleges had nothing to lose. It is incorrect and a violation of rules if students have been denied admissions or 100 per cent fee had been demanded from them,” he added. Apart from the fee concession, the scheme also ensures that students are provided with free lodging and boarding facilities.
The state has provided Rs 985 crore for the 2018-19 fiscal. In the 2017-18 fiscal, the total amount spent on educational welfare scheme was Rs 400 crore and 2.30 lakh students benefitted, officials said. ENS