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Updated: December 29, 2013 00:47 IST

‘Inequality’ blot on minority scholarships

J. S. Ifthekhar
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Rampant disparity found in disbursal of fee reimbursement to minority students

They are intended to provide a level-playing field to minority youth in a highly competitive world. But, obtaining scholarship and tuition fee reimbursement from the A.P. State Minority Finance Corporation (APSMFC) is nothing short of a Herculean task.

Take the case of Syed Afreen of Tandur whose application for fee reimbursement has been pending with the district officer for the last one year. She applied to the APSMFC in December, 2012, when joined MSc (Organic Chemistry) at Sri Sarda PG College. Now, she is in the final year.

Afreen is among scores of poor students pursuing education against all odds. They have taken admission at good colleges in the hope of getting their tuition fee reimbursed. But, with the process dragging on, it appears they may have to pay the fee themselves.

Sadaf Fatima applied for post-matric scholarship during 2010-11. Since then, she has completed Intermediate and is now in her B.Sc first year. But, she has not received the scholarship.

In yet another instance, the application status of Ayesha Sultana shows it is sanctioned, but the amount has not been released. Sultana is a BSc student at St. Pious Degree College for Women.

This is not all. There is no parity in the disbursal of scholarship and fee reimbursement. There are instances where students doing the same course in the same college are granted different sums.

Roohina Nusrath, a student of BA at University College for Women, Koti, got just mess charges and tuition fee, while her classmate Ruhi Sameena got special fee reimbursement. Again, the tuition fee paid by the two differs. While Nusrath was paid Rs. 840 as tuition fee, Sameena got Rs. 930.

Interestingly, Sarikonda Mounika, a BC student at the same college, was given mess charges, tuition fee, exam fee and other fee.

“Officials have no explanation for this,” says Prof. Mohd. Ansari, president, Minorities Right Protection Committee, who has brought the inconsistency to the notice of the APSMFC.

According to him, students of private colleges get paid under five categories - mess charges, tuition fee, exam fee, special fee and other fee - while their counterparts at government colleges mostly get mess charges and tuition fee only.

“The government claims of providing scholarship and fee reimbursement to minorities on par with the SCs, STs and BCs. But, it is not the case in practice,” says Younus Parvez, president, Minority Students Organisation.

Many feel the government ought to remove the disparity in payment of scholarship and fee reimbursement and also do away with age limit for availing scholarships, since the idea is to empower minorities through education.

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