He said students from minority and special communities were being denied fee concession in educational institutions from this year.

President of Zilla Alpa Sankhyatara Vedike (District Minorities Forum) Khatib Abdul Rasheed on Wednesday said that the Central scheme to provide interest subsidy on educational loans was not reaching poor students from minority communities.

Addressing presspersons in Udipi, Mr. Rasheed said that such students got their pre-matric and post-matric scholarships of the Union government through the State Directorate for Minorities. The Centre provided funds for scholarships, which were being distributed by the directorate.

However, the system of “online” submission of applications for these scholarships had created problems. Poor students did not have internet connectivity in their houses. When they tried to submit applications online from cyber centres, there was problem with the software. Either the names of some colleges or codes were not found. The Union government released Rs. 4 crore to the directorate for scholarships last fiscal, but a large portion of this amount remained unused.

He said students from minority and special communities (those who do not come under the reservation category) were being denied fee concession in educational institutions from this year.

Another problem was that the banks were not coming forward to implement this Central scheme to provide interest subsidy on educational loans taken by poor students from minority communities. Since poor students did not have computers or internet access in their houses, the government should direct the educational institutions to accept their applications and submit them to the directorate. The last date for submitting post-matric applications for educational loans should be extended to October 31, he said.

The Union government should direct all nationalised banks to implement the schemeThe pre-matric and post-matric scholarships sanctioned last year should be distributed immediately, Mr. Rasheed said.