Skip to main content

Dalit students not being paid scholarship they are entitled to, reveals RTI reply received after three years

By Our Representative
In a major exposure of the working of the Gujarat government, a right to information (RTI) reply to a senior activist has revealed that as many as 3,125 Dalit undergraduate students of Ahmedabad district alone have not been paid scholarship despite the fact that they were entitled to it. "The matter came to light after earlier attempts to get information through RTI on scholarship to Dalit students failed to yield result", said Kirit Rathod of the Navsarjan Trust, a Gujarat-based human rights NGO.
Rathod said, "We demand from state social justice and empowerment minister Ramanlal Vora to provide complete details of how many students in other districts of not just undergraduate level but also school level  have not been give scholarship and for how long." He added, the decision to file an RTI application was taken after the Navsarjan Trust received "large number of complaints" about students studying in different colleges failing to get scholarship.
Despite the fact that the RTI application was filed three years ago, and an appeal was filed to Gujarat's information commissioner Balwant Singh on July 7, 2010, against the refusal of the state officials to provide information, indifference ruled about the issue all around. Even at the information commissioner's office the hearing took place only on April 4, 2013.
"The reason for such a long time to hear the appeal provided to us was, the state information commission was not given enough staff to handle appeals, whose number was piling up with every passing year", Rathod said, adding, "Based on judgment of the information commissioner in our favour, we were able to get information only on May 15, 2013."
Interestingly, the information provided, alleged Rathod, remained "incomplete", as it was only for Ahmedabad city and the district's several colleges of Sanand, Barwala, Dhandhuka, Mandal, Viramgam, Ranpur and Daskroi talukas and only for those who studied in degree colleges. No details of other districts has yet been given.
"Whatever information we got suggested that as on March 31, 2013, as many as 1,613 Dalit students' applications had scholarship were pending to be cleared, while another 1,512 students were not provided with scholarship on account of lack of grants."
Rathod estimates, "These students together have not been paid about Rs 3 crore as scholarship. If one adds the scholarship that needs to be given to students of primary and secondary schools, then it would multiply manifold. One has only to imagine what would have happened in districts other than Ahmedabad."
These facts have come to light at a time when in Gujarat a lower percentage of SC children, especially girls, go to educational institutes compared to other districts. According to National Sample Survey (NSS) survey put out last year, among SCs, 71.2 per cent females in the age-group 5-14 were found to be attending an educational institution, which goes down to 18 per cent in the age-group 15-19, and further to 7.2 per cent in the age-group 20-24.
Gujarat's percentage of sending 71.2 per cent of female SCs in the age-group 5-14 to an educational institution is lower than most states except Jharkhand (59.8 per cent). In the age-group 15-19, 18 per cent SC females go to an educational institution, which is lower than all other Indian states. And in the age-group 20-24, the corresponding figure for Gujarat is 7.2 per cent, which is worse than all states except Haryana (4.1 per cent), Jharkhand (2 per cent), Karnataka (5.3 per cent), Rajasthan 3.4 per cent) and West Bengal (4.4 per cent). 

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.