Chennai-based social movement Thudi Iyakkam has been conducting seminars and conferences across the state to make the benefits of the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme reach the maximum number of Dalit students.
As part of its campaign, it has organised a seminar in Madurai on Wednesday.
Bharathi Prabhu, Director, Thudi Iyakkam, said the scholarship scheme, announced through Government Order No:6, was called Fee Reimbursement Scheme. Later to rectify various anomalies in it, a new set of norms were listed in Government Order No:92 on September 11, 2012.
The scheme, as conceived, would bring about a sea change in the lives of SC/ST students.
As per the G.O, the SC/ST students and SC/ST Christian converts, with a parental income of less than Rs.2 lakh, did not have to pay any fees to the self-financing educational institutions they joined, he said, and added that students admitted under management quota could also get this scholarship. The self-financing colleges were asked not to collect the fees from the candidates covered under the scheme, and the Directorates of Technical, Medical and Collegiate Education should ensure their compliance to the rule.
The Directorates of Technical Education, Medical Education and Collegiate Education had been directed to collect data about eligible students and the fees from the self-financing colleges and get the required amount from the office of the Commissioner of Adi-Dravidar Welfare.
In the case of students joining Annamalai University and self-supporting courses offered by Anna University, the fees prescribed by the committee would be applicable. The Commissioner of Adi-Dravidar Welfare would ensure allocation of funds to the offices of the Directors concerned at the beginning of the academic year.
To monitor the implementation of the scheme, a committee of officials should be constituted by the Commissioner of Adi Dravidar Welfare, the G.O. added.
However, there had been no increase in enrolment of the SC/ST students and there were numerous institutions across the state which had to comply with the order. So, Thudi Iyakkam demanded that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa should look into the issue and direct educational institutions to abide by the order, Mr.Prabhu noted.