Muzaffar Hussain Thakur
On Sept 2012, about 20 Kashmiri students were selected for PM Special Scholarship Scheme. On that day, Srinagar witnessed a lot of fanfare. But nobody sniffed what was about to follow. And when it followed, it snowballed into a crisis and kept reactions pouring from state as well as central corridors.
Selected by MHRD and AICTE, these students were sent to Deshmesh College of Nursing, Haryana. The local NGO (J&K Peoples Forum) played a role of middleman in selection of students.
These students are living below-poverty-line. And have above 60 percent marks in Class 12 examination. After one year of training on Oct 2013, all these students were declared ineligible by MHRD. And AICTE, after publishing a list on its website created chaotic situation both in the college and in the parents.
Notwithstanding the fact, that during this period, officials of MHRD and AICTE visited the campus. They interacted with the management and students on matters of mutual interest. These students have been evicted from the College Campus and Hostel as well.
Now the College authorities are demanding fees from the students for one year. Since the testimonials of these students are with the College, so these students are not in a position to leave the college. They have no means to pay the fees and seek admission somewhere else.
These students and their parents ran from pillar to post but without any tangible results.
Another group of 23 students studying pharmacy in Shekhawati College of Pharmacy, Rajasthan have also been declared ineligible after one year. They have also been evicted from the Hostel and college campus for non-release of scholarship.
These developments have created undue harassment and chaotic situation in the student community as also the parents. It reflects mismanagement and lack of coordination in the MHRD and AICTE which need to be looked into immediately.
These students are hanging upside down and have no option. As their testimonials are with the college authorities. So, they cannot leave the college campus unless they get back their certificates.
This scheme was conceived by MHRD after getting a report from Rangranjan, former Governor of Reserve Bank of India and world class economist to the Prime Minister. This scheme, if implemented as per its spirit, would go a long way in mitigating the sufferings of the poor people and bring about economic prosperity in due course of time.
But the democratic set up of our State is such that our so called leaders and representatives are living in bankers. And they are not accessible to common people either physically or through internet.
The email addresses of all MPs are not accepted by the Google and complaints are returned back to the applicant. And the grievances icon of the AICTE is also not accessible. As a result of which, it has brought untold miseries to the students.
In any democratic set up, schemes are conceived after ascertaining the pulse of the people. And then funds are allotted for the schemes and implemented by the executive.
The representatives are supposed to see whether the schemes are implemented in letter and spirit. But it is painful, when the ministers are themselves responsible in violating the scheme, the spirit of the scheme is defeated.
Since the state government is outside the purview of the scheme, so they are mute spectators. Notwithstanding the fact, these students belong to the state. And it is otherwise responsibility of the state govt to come to their rescue.
(The author can be reached at [email protected])