Expelled Kashmiri students of Rohtak Institute of Management and Engineering, who are sitting on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar here, on Saturday demanded release of pending scholarships and action against NGOs.
Organising and Publicity Secretary of J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Salaman Nizami met the students here and pledged Congress's support to them. "Congress wouldn't budge until the demands were met."
He said a scheme was envisaged in 2010 by the UPA govt for providing 5,000 scholarships to students from the state in institutions all over the country for enhancing their employment opportunities. In 2013, 3,747 students were given the scholarships and in 2014 their numbers were reduced to only 1,000 and no scholarships are being given to them even though around Rs 12,000 crore was earmarked for the scheme. "They have been taken out of colleges. They have been left in the lurch. They have no money to even go home and are left of their own on roadsides," Nizami added.
He said leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad had written to the HRD Minister but nothing is being done.
"Under the PM Scholarship Scheme, many low profile colleges, in blatant violation of rules, had enrolled scores of students from Kashmir for various courses to "usurp" the scholarship money," Nizami added.
"These colleges preferred to enroll Kashmiri students under PMSSS after various local NGOs approached them with the assurance that Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) would pay their fees, but now they have kept them in dark," he demanded strict action against these NGOs for misleading the students.
He said that due to withholding of PMSSS to these students, the parents in an effort to save the career of their children are applying for loans on higher interest rates while some of them have sold their ancestral properties. Unilaterally with-holding of PMSSS has forced most of these students to leave their studies midway and return to their home.
He said the Centre should come to the help of these students who hail from poor families and cannot afford the fee and have been the victims of fraud played by certain NGOs, he said.