The Odisha government has revoked its decision to reduce the post-matric scholarship amount for SC and ST students, following criticism over the move.
“There will be no change in the amount of post-matric scholarship for SC and ST students. The students will continue to get the same amount as they availed the previous academic year,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a statement, adding that the earlier notification has been put on hold and the CM’s office will verify the official file pertaining to the same again.
“The decision to slash the scholarship amount was taken as we increased the courses being covered from 27 to 99 for the 2020-21 academic session. This would have meant that more number of students could be roped in and provided the scholarship,” a senior official of the SC/ST development department said.
The decision was heavily criticised by the Opposition. “…(It) can create hurdles for poor meritorious students. A lot of families have suffered from financial setbacks during the pandemic and the decision to cut down on scholarships would have only added to their woes. It will discourage the students from further pursuing higher studies. It is not at all surprising that the state government decided to bring in such a resolution immediately after the elections to the bypolls,” Youth Congress Odisha president Smruti Ranjan Lenka said.
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