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Govt. Scholarships: SIO questions government's approach
Sunday, June 20, 2010 06:23:28 PM, ummid.com Special Correspondent
Students from various parts of Mumbai took part in the protest held in Mumbai on June 19
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Mumbai: Mumbai Division of the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) organized a protest demonstration yesterday at Azad Maidan against, what they call, the lethargic and step-motherly approach of the State Government.
Students from every nook and corners of Mumbai gathered at the venue in large numbers to express their anger against Govt.
“Due to the lethargic attitude of the Congress-NCP government and the callous attitude of the authorities towards minorities, the amount of Rs 15 Crore which is transferred from central Government for clear sanctioned applications, is still lying in the Bank of Maharashtra” said ADIL [PR secretary, SIO Maharashtra] while speaking to Media on the occasion.
According to the SIO press release, the Central Government had allocated 64,400 scholarships for the students of minority communities in Maharashtra under the post-matric scholarship scheme for the year 2009-10. But, due to improper and poor publicity of the scheme by the Government of Maharashtra, only 24,064 applications were received by the administration.
After due verification and scrutiny of the applications by the Directorate of Higher Education the data of the students as well as proposal was sent to the Ministry of Minority Affairs. Later, the Central Government cleared Rs 15 crore for the scheme in the state. Ideally and legally, the respective amounts should have been transferred to the students by the month of April 2010. But due to the lethargic attitude of the Congress-NCP government and the callous attitude of the authorities towards minorities, the amount of Rs 15 crore is still lying in the Bank of Maharashtra, says the statement.
The release further says, the information from the Directorate of Higher Education has revealed that the Director of Higher Education has constituted an inquiry committee for cross checking the students’ details, despite the fact that the Central Government had cleared the data. The committee has also reduced the scholarship amount to the students awarded scholarships. The amount of scholarship has been reduced to just Rs 1400 despite the fact that the central government had approved Rs 7,000 to the same students. This unconstitutional and illegal interference by the Director shows bias towards the minorities.
Also, the committee has created a difference of over Rs 3 crores in the funds received from the Central Government. This again proves the ill intentions of the authorities. Does this mean that the proposal submitted by the Director of Higher Education to the Central Government was fake? The same scheme has been successfully implemented in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh which are comparatively considered to be backward states. Why has the scheme been made unsuccessful in the state of Maharashtra?, ask the SIO leaders in their press statement.
Elaborating their demands, the release says, Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO) demands that the Government makes a free and fair inquiry into the matter and arrest and prosecute the officials incharge who are misusing their positions and taking unconstitutional and illegal steps.
Also, the list of students, to whom the scholarship has been approved by the Central Government, be made public and the amount received from the Central Government be transferred to the Students/colleges immediately. Complete fees of the professional courses be reimbursed without any delay and also the Remaining Amount of the previous two years be paid to the students.
If the demands are not given a serious consideration, then the organization will be forced to take the legal course of action.
After the demonstration, a delegation of SIO met Joint Director of Higher Education Shantikumar Gupta and apprised him of the total scenario and nuisance going on within the education department. Following which, the Joint Director assured that the matter would be put for discussion on the meeting scheduled for June 21.
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