Skip to main content

2.26 lakh Gujarat minority students fail to get premartic scholarship: Paucity of funds?

By Our Representative
Mystery surrounds a whopping 2.26 lakh pre-matric applications for minority scholarship for the year 2014-15, “missing” from the list of about 5.87 lakh pleas made for those studying in classes 1 to 10. In a right to information (RTI) reply, the Gujarat government has “revealed” that of the 5,66,823 applications it forwarded to the Government of India, 3,35,561 applications were “accepted”, and another 5,176 applications were “rejected”.
Wondering what has happened to the balance numbers, a Khambhat-based activist Janisar Shaikh, who has been tracing minority scholarships issue in Gujarat for the past several years, says, “There is little information of the 2,26,086 applicants, whose names do not appear either in either of the two lists.” Shaikh, who is a right to education (RTE) campaigner, is attached with Ahmedabad-based NGO Janvikas.
A district-wise list, forwarded by the director, developing caste welfare department, Gujarat government, to Shaikh under the RTI plea, suggests that, from Ahmedabad, a more than 1 lakh applications were made for receiving premartic minority scholarship. Of these, 342 were rejected, and 53,094 approved. There is no information on what has happened to the rest.
The other big city from where a large number of applications were forwarded is Surat. Of the 75,720 applications, 44,572 were approved, 802 applications were rejected, and there is no information of the applications which were neither approved nor rejected. Similarly, from Vadodara, 42,875 applications were sent. Of these, only 130 were rejected, and 27,485 approved.
Finding this strange, Shaikh wrote to the authorities to know why this. In his reply, NJ Gurung, joint director, developing castes welfare department, Gujarat government, said, an “additional fresh proposal for 2,26,086 students under prematric scholarship scheme” was forwarded to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, on November 11, 2014.
But, added Gurung, because this was “an additional fresh proposal”, the Ministry of Minority Affairs did not sanction it. “The Ministry has informed us that they have already sanctioned proposal as per the physical target set for the financial year 2014-15 for fresh scholarship. So, an additional fresh proposal under prematric scheme cannot be sanctioned due to paucity of funds”, he added.
The reply, significantly, comes amidst strong view in Government of India’s corridors of power to drastically reduce the scope of the scholarship by giving it only to the below poverty line minorities.
The scholarship scheme began being implemented in the country in 2006, following the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme for alleviating the minorities’ plight. The Gujarat government refused to implement it till February 2013, when the Gujarat High Court ordered in its favour. Delivering the judgment, Justices V M Sahai, DH Vaghela and Akil Kureshi called it an “affirmative action” and “not discriminatory” in nature.
According to Shaikh, now that 2.26 lakh students did not receive scholarship in the year 2014-15 for no fault of theirs, “they must receive it”. Each child is to be paid at least Rs 1,000 per annum, including the admission fee, tuition fee and hostel fee. “Among the private schools, the amount may go up to Rs 10,000. As an obligation, each school is supposed to fill up and submit the form for scholarship”, Shaikh said.
Predicting that in 2015-16, things are likely to be even more difficult, as for classes 9 and 10 only online applications are being accepted, Shaikh said, “Schools have still not received physical application forms for classes 1 to 8. Also, the Gujarat government order, specifying all the details of the scholarship, has not yet been sent to schools.”
Meanwhile, in several of the districts, where Janvikas is active, a campaign has been launched to send postcards to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel and Union minister for minority affairs Najma Heptulla protesting against large-scale unofficial rejections. “A team of activists led by Mir Khan has sent about 2,000 postcards from Himatnagar twon in Sabarkantha district alone”, said Shaikh, adding, “A similar campaign has been launched in Banaskantha, Panchmahals and other districts.”

Comments

TRENDING

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.