Special Scholarship Scheme for J&K Students

Creation of more avenues for professional courses is necessary for achieving the desired objectives of the scheme

OPPORTUNITY

DR RAJA MUZAFFAR BHAT

During the summer 2010 massive anti India agitation, an expert group was constituted on the directions of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. This expert group was constituted to look into enhancing the employment opportunities in Jammu & Kashmir. In addition to it this group was asked to formulate jobs plans by involving the public and private sectors. The Expert Group headed by C Rangaranjan, the former Governor of Reserve Bank of India,  suggested providing 5000  educational scholarships to the students of Jammu & Kashmir each for a minimum period of five years which would enable the students from J&K  to undertake career based education outside the state after passing class XII exams. The proposal got the cabinet nod from the financial year 2011 and an estimated amount of Rs 1200 crores has been earmarked for implementation of the Special Scholarship Scheme by Government of India. During the first year (2011) only 38 students could avail the benefits of this scheme and this was due to lack of awareness.
Objective of the scheme:
Under the Special Scholarship Scheme for J&K students, the Government of India through its Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) provides tuition fees, boarding and lodging fees (hostel) to the students who enroll themselves in various professional and technical colleges across India which are recognized by the Government of India. In addition to this, books are also provided to the students at the cost of Government.
Courses covered:
Out of the 5000 scholarships offered each year to the students of J&K, 4500 scholarships are allotted for general degree courses, and 250 each for engineering and medical studies. The medical courses include MBBS and BDS. But hardly any students has been enrolled to undergo MBBS course as the college authorities demand hefty capitation fees (donations etc) ranging between Rs 25 lakhs to 35 lakhs. The Special Scholarship Scheme only provides yearly fees up to Rs 3 lakhs and hostel charges up to Rs 1 lakh for medical courses and it is suggested that MBBS course should not be included under this scheme as the students from J&K hardly afford to take admission in this course. Instead of this, courses like BUMS, BVSC should be included in the medical courses which are right now included under General Degree Courses and Government provides mere Rs 30,000 annually under this category plus hostel charges. Under the Special Scholarship Scheme students can undergo B. Tech course in all branches and for this Government provides up to Rs 1.25 Lakhs as annual fees plus hostel and mess fees. Other courses such as B Pharma , BSC Nursing , BSC IT , BPT , Integrated LLB , Integrated MBA , BCA , BBA, BHM,  and lot many graduation level  courses are covered under this scheme.
 Present status of the scheme:
As of now the scholarships of session 2012 -13 appear to have been released for about 3000 students out of 5000. Around 2000 students enrolled last academic year (2012-13) are yet to be covered under the scheme. The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), which is the nodal agency for implementation of PMís Special Scholarship Scheme, has given out that only those students who got registered before 30.9.2012 have been taken care of. Due to lack of awareness and improper notification the students beyond 30/9/2012 could not register themselves and have not been considered for the scholarship so far. The Union Minister for HRD Dr Pallam Raju in his recent statement at a conference in New Delhi on July 24 said that the matter is under serious consideration of MHRD and all the leftover students would be provided the scholarships. The Member of Parliament G N Ratanpuri who is also the Member of Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Ministry of HRD  took up this issue with the Union Minister HRD Dr Pallam Raju and MoS Dr Shashi Tharoor several times and both of them gave assurances to him as well that matter would be looked into on humanitarian basis. Due to non disbursement of 2000 scholarships students studying at many colleges are facing lots of problems and the college managements is mounting a lot of pressure on them. If it took more than a year for MHRD to disburse scholarships to 3000 students of J&K which actually should have taken quite a few months, why the students from J&K are being made scapegoats for minor errors and delay of just few weeks for registering themselves with AICTE?
Revision and amendment in the scheme:
The scheme is due to be reviewed as per inbuilt mechanism as 3rd year thereof has commenced. Upon consideration of all material facts, ground realities and aspirations of the youth of J&K state, the following amendments are proposed in the scheme:
The number of scholarships from 5000 for each year should be enhanced to 10,000 per year with removal of rider in Engineering & Medical courses vis-ŗ-vis the prescribed number. The scheme should be liberalized in such a manner so that the overall number of scholarships for each session should not exceed 10,000. The general degree courses like BBA, BCA, Hotel Management etc are otherwise available within the state. It is only the professional course in Medical/Engineering streams like  BDS , BUMS , BAMS, BHMS & B Tech in all branches of Engineering which allures a students for that it has the potential of attractive placements. Therefore creation of more and more avenues for professional courses is absolutely necessary for achieving the objective of the scheme. The graduates of general degree courses would, in the near future, add to the number of unemployed youth. The PG courses such as M Tech, LLM, MCA , MBA , MSc etc should also be included under this scheme.
Eligibility and admission procedure:
Student should be permanent resident of J&K State (Need PRC / State Subject Certificate)
2. Should have passed Class XII exam from J&K State through J&K Board or       CBSE
3. The annual income of parents should not exceed Rs 6 lacks (Income certificate to be obtained from Tehsildar concerned only)
4. Should have obtained not less than 50 % marks in class XII exams (except SC,   ST, etc)
5. Scholarship is meant only for Graduation level courses.
The students who have not taken the admission yet in any college outside J&K under this scheme can directly register themselves via AICTE website   http://www.aicte-india.org . After opening the website one must click J&K Admissions and do the online registration. The last date for online registration was fixed as August 3rd 2013 and now the deadline has been extended to August 10th 2013. Students do not have to pay anything in anticipation , the fees is directly reimbursed to the college authorities after proper verification by AICTE/MHRD and this is not a reimbursement scheme at all .
(Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat is a Social/RTI Activist. Feedback at muzaffar.rti@gmail.com)

Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Aug 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Aug 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Aug 2013 00:00:00 IST




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