March 10, 2021 10:58:15 pm
At a time when students are struggling to pay fees and meet educational costs, student organisations have alleged that the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) administration has made matters worse by reducing scholarship amounts.
The SPPU administration came under fire on Tuesday after it issued revised guidelines for various scholarship schemes being offered by the university, and their eligibility criteria.
According to student representatives, two scholarship schemes have seen reduction in the amount of reimbursement as well as nearly 50 per cent reduction in the number of beneficiaries. However, university administration has denied the allegations, stating that the overall scholarship budget is the same.
Students of arts, commerce and science streams receive help under various scholarships at SPPU. Of these, under the Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj Scholarship Scheme, around 1,200 students who had taken admission in non-professional courses received Rs 12,000 each while 800 postgraduate students received Rs 18,000 each.
But from the academic year 2020-21, the scholarship amount has been reduced to Rs 6,000 and 470 students will be the beneficiaries, while 300 postgraduate students will receive Rs 8,000 each.
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“At the same time, students who are receiving any other scholarship of the central government will not be eligible for the scholarship, a criteria which has been added this year. The university administration should roll back this new criteria and revert to the old amount or be ready for an agitation,” said Kamlakar Shete, a student activist.
N S Umrani, pro vice-chancellor of SPPU, said the university has five scholarships with a combined budget of Rs 8 crore, the highest of any state university. “In fact, from this year, we have introduced a new scholarship which will benefit 32,000 students. Earlier, we had four scholarships only. According to the recommendation by a committee set up to study this subject, we have taken the step and rationalised the amounts. No miscommunication should be spread in this regard, ” he said.
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