Telangana not to be part of Centre’s SC scholarship scheme

Telangana is the only state to reject the Centre’s flagship scheme of providing post-metric scholarships to Scheduled Caste students.

The Union government is winding up the process of distributing scholarships to approximately 3,500 crore beneficiaries across India for the year 2021-22. Telangana refused to be a part of the scheme since it found the revisions to be unacceptable.

As per the revised scheme, the Union ministry of social justice reimburses the scholarship amount directly to the student’s bank account. However, during a discussion on the issue, Telangana maintained that the scholarship amount be sent to the institution’s account.

MS Education Academy

The state representatives argued that the institutions would reimburse the money to the students. The Centre was unwilling to agree to the demand and stuck to the guidelines framed last year, reported the Times of India.

Although Telangana is implementing the scheme, which is popular among the Dalit community, the state is bearing expenses from its exchequer. This move by Telangana could be attributed to its strong revenue generation.

After the changes, the Post Metric Scholarship (PMS) scheme is expected to reach 48 lakh beneficiaries this year. The Centre is likely to spend Rs 3,500 crore on the scheme. The original target was to reach out to 60 lakh students with an estimated expenditure of Rs 4,200 crores.

The oldest scholarship scheme envisioned by Dr BR Ambedkar was revamped last year. As per the amendments, the Centre and states are supposed to work in accordance with a 60:40 fund-sharing pattern.

Prior to the changes, the scheme functioned on a Committed Liability basis till 2017, due to which the Central allocations dried up as states tried to keep their burden low.

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