Scholarships to be released every quarter?

The government is considering a proposal to release post-matric scholarships and fee-reimbursement every quarter for the convenience of students and college managements.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Thursday, Panchayat Raj Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, a member of Group of Ministers that submitted recommendations to streamline scholarships and fee-reimbursement scheme, said that so far the practice was to release funds once or twice a year. Dismissing the speculation in a section of media that new guidelines recommended by the government for fee-reimbursement were a ploy to curtail the number of beneficiaries, Mr. Satyanarayana asserted that the guidelines were only to prevent well-to-do families from cornering the benefits meant for the poor.

The Minister reiterated that every student whose family annual income did not exceed Rs.1 lakh would be entitled for the scholarship and fee-reimbursement.

While the number of students who availed of the benefit under scholarship/fee-reimbursement scheme was over 24 lakh during 2009-10, it was expected to be 28 or 30 lakh this academic year, he said.

He justified the decision to give fee-reimbursement only to students given admission under convener quota.

It was noticed that some private managements who collected capitation fee under the management quota were later transferring students to convener's quota to claim fee-reimbursement for additional revenue. Similarly it was observed that some corporate colleges were collecting fee-reimbursement from the government even for students who failed in the exam.

On eligibility for scholarships like 75 per cent attendance, pass/promotion to next year, he said those rules were imposed by universities and the government only wanted their enforcement. The unique ID number given to each student would facilitate transfer of funds directly to his/her bank account.

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