Punjab: Non-payment of scholarship, NCSC seeks reply
Punjab: Non-payment of scholarship,  NCSC seeks reply

The National Commission for Scheduled Caste said on Wednesday that over two lakh students from the Scheduled Caste group dropped out of college due to non-payment of dues under a scholarship programme worth around Rs 2,000 crore by the Punjab government.

Last week, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann reportedly ordered a thorough investigation into claims of irregularities in the state's post-matric scholarship programme that surfaced under the previous Congress administration.

According to NCSC chairperson Vijay Sampla, the Commission has asked the state government for an explanation as to why the funds haven't been distributed to institutions despite the Center having completed its obligations.

"We have suo motu taken cognizance of the situation. There have been many complaints from SC students that they are not being allowed in colleges as the government has not paid their fees. Approximately three lakh SC students benefited from the programme in 2017, but that figure fell to one to one and a half lakh in 2020. These kids dropped out, according to the state administration when we questioned, he stated.
Sampla reported that the Punjab administration and the Social Justice and Empowerment ministry met to discuss the issue on Monday. It was revealed at the discussion that the state government must pay these colleges dues of Rs. 2000 crore even if there are no outstanding balances from the federal government. He asked, "Where has the money gone that is due. 

Sampla said that a request for an explanation by next Wednesday has been made to the Punjabi administration.

Bhagwant Mann had taken to Twitter to announce the decision for a probe into the matter. "I have files relating to the release of scholarship funds under the previous govt. There have been irregularities in the distribution of funding to private entities. The chief minister promised to take action against the matter.  "Orders have been issued for an inquiry, account of every single penny will be taken,” said Mann.

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