Srinagar, Aug 27:
In a grim reminder about the abject failure of Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS), a Noida based university has expelled at least 30 students from Jammu and Kashmir after Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India failed to release the scholarship amount in their favour.
“They asked us to leave the university campus as well as the hostel accommodation instead of pursuing the matter with MHRD for early clearance of the pending scholarship amount,” complained the students studying in Noida International University.
August 23 was a tough night for the expelled students as they were forced to spend it in a park in Delhi. The students are pursuing their engineering degrees and hail from both divisions of the state Jammu as well as Kashmir.
“We belong to poor families and cannot afford the tuition fee demanded by the university now,” the aggrieved students said, adding that they have already spent two years in the institute.
Umaid is pursuing BE Biotechnology. He said the university has been telling them for last two years that they have been enrolled under PMSSS and don’t have to pay any fee.
“But now they are asking us for fee,” he said.
“We have been staying in Jamia Masjid for last three nights,” Umaid added.
The scholarship scheme was launched by former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh as a special package for poor students of the state but right from its inception it has been mired in controversies.
Special Director, Noida International University, Col Shailendra Singh said: “It is wrong that we expelled these students. The procedure for expelling a student is by writing a termination or suspension letter. But to these students, we just gave them a letter reading ‘you students have been promising us for last two years that our money will be released…is being released…has been just halted while releasing by MHRD, so please concretize it on ground now.”
He added that MHRD procedure is to apply for JKPMSS to AICTE which then gives to MHRD and then based on the recommendation and availability of funds, scholarships are released to selected people only. Once the list is ready, MHRD releases the funds that go directly into students’ account and not that of university.
“The university is barred from contacting AICTE and MHRD but since we have been suffering from last two years so we sent our Admission Director to AICTE and MHRD but their objection was ‘why have you come here, you have no business here’.
Quoting the AICTE and MHRD officials, Singh said: “Whatever list has been prepared, only they will get the scholarship and the rest already know they have been rejected by the MHRD so the rejected students have to study on their own budget.”
He said there is no tie-up between Noida International University and MHRD regarding scholarship. “There is no such tie-up.”
About students being forced to spend nights in open, he replied: “After summer exams in May, hostels are vacated and then after two months, students have to re-register along with fee. And we had given these students a letter, sent a mail and SMS in June and had asked them to approach MHRD for clarification.”
The students have, meanwhile, requested Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to intervene in the matter and talk to union HRD Minister Smriti Irani for early clearance of the pending scholarship amount.