Row over FAST: AP govt blamed

Row over FAST: AP govt blamed

Top legal experts say that Telangana government does not want to extend FAST scheme to all Telangana natives but only to those who are from poor...

  • No need for AP government to rake up controversy
  • New fees reimbursement scheme is within frame work of Constitution
  • Plan is intended to help students from poor family background

Hyderabad: The Telangana government is of the veiw that the Andhra Pradesh government is unnecessarily raking up a political controversy over the issue of the new scheme Fees Assistance to Students of Telangana (FAST). The FAST is replacing the fee reimbursement scheme.

Top legal experts say that Telangana government does not want to extend FAST scheme to all Telangana natives but only to those who are from poor family background.

Talking to The Hans India, the experts said the decision is well within framework of the Constitution. According to Article 15(4), nothing can prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Each State has discretionary authority regarding grants to poor students whether it is for buying books, paying fees, or providing hostel accommodation.

"The Telangana government has decided to extend financial assistance to students from poor family background (BCs, SCs, STs, minorities and even EBCs). The 1956 cut-off mark was set, so that families, who have been residing in Telangana even before 1956, get benefit from this scheme," the legal expert observed.

FAST is a scheme to help poor students hailing from Telangana region. Nobody is disputing the local or non-local claims of families from Seemandhra region who have been living here for decades in Hyderabad as it was the capital for undivided Andhra Pradesh till recently. They have made Hyderabad their home by the virture of their being in government service and other personal reasons.

They may become locals here in all other respects but as far as fee reimbursement is concerned, Telangana government has decided that they will not be eligible under FAST scheme.'

Telangana government is not objecting to admissions of AP students in any college in 10 districts. They can do so for next ten years since Hyderabad is the joint capital, he added.

Even Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the scheme was conceived after careful examination of various aspects, including the likely legal implications.

He claimed that Telangana government was determined to bear the fees for its students.

Likewise Andhra government should pay fees for its students. He said he had failed to see any dichotomy in it. He said that 1956 cut-off mark was only for FAST and is not applicable to jobs.

There is no bar for any student to take admission in any college irrespective of his nativity.

But the only thing is he will be eligible for FAST if his family was a native of Telangana prior to 1956 he said.

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