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Don’t delay scholarships, HC tells Centre
Holding that the purpose of scholarship is to provide timely financial assistance to the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Most Backward Classes, the Madras High Court has directed the Finance Ministry to accord immediate approval for disbursal of such pending scholarship.
A division bench, comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad, passed the above direction after observing that the material on record discloses that scholarship intended to be given to the above students, during this academic year, is being delayed. Moreover, disbursement is being made by the Union government to the state only after the academic year ends and arrears of such financial assistance is still pending with the Union government, the bench said.
Also, the bench in its order said, “If approval of Finance Ministry has not been accorded, we hereby direct the Finance Ministry to accord approval, immediately disburse the scholarship (Center’s share forthwith to the state government). We state that if directions issued are not implemented in letter and spirit and reported to this court, it would invite further orders.”
The bench also recorded the Union government’s standing counsel KS Jeyaganeshan’s submission that on approval and obtaining funds from the Finance Ministry, balance of arrears would be disbursed shortly.
According to the counsel, up to the academic year 2015-16 scholarship and maintenance allowance for SC students have been disbursed. But for the academic year 2016-17 out of the Rs 1,524.01 crore, a sum of Rs 743.24 crore has been disbursed through the state while Rs 822 crore is yet to be disbursed and similarly for the academic year 2017-18 until September 10, 2018, a sum of Rs 584.47 crore has been disbursed.
Also, the committed liability of Tamil Nadu government each year of the 12th plan period that is 2012-13 up to 2018-19 is Rs 355.55 crore for the Post Matric Scholarship for SC students.
Status of Post Matric Scholarship for SC students
- Out of the Rs 1,524.01 crore, a sum of Rs 743.24 crore has been disbursed through the state
- Rs 822 crore is yet to be disbursed
- Only a sum of Rs 584.47 crore has been disbursed
- Liability of state government till 2019 is Rs 355.55 crore per annum for the Post Matric Scholarship for SC students