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SW dept sits on funds as minority students starve

Highlights

Even as the academic year is traversing the first quarter of 2013-14, the State Minority Finance Corporation, which is busy expending scholarships for the year 2012-13, is yet to start process for the new academic year. The corporation, which faced one of the peculiar scams in recent history of the State, had to put off the process of disbursing scholarships for year 2012-13. Now resumed, most of the students are availing the benefits, but anxiety for the new academic year is growing.

For the year 2012-13, the corporation is expected to spend Rs 280 crore as part of the scholarship programme. Official maintains that all the eligible candidates will get benefitted, as it is based on the principle of saturation.

Md Nizamuddin

Hyderabad: Even as the academic year is traversing the first quarter of 2013-14, the State Minority Finance Corporation, which is busy expending scholarships for the year 2012-13, is yet to start process for the new academic year. The corporation, which faced one of the peculiar scams in recent history of the State, had to put off the process of disbursing scholarships for year 2012-13. Now resumed, most of the students are availing the benefits, but anxiety for the new academic year is growing.

According to officials, the corporation will be expending more than Rs 200 crore for about 1.4 lakh students in the State for the year 2012-13. But the Social Welfare Department is yet to provide a clear picture for the scholarships of the current academic year.

Refuting the charge that officials were sitting on funds in spite of government allocation, one of the officials informed that for the year 2012-13, it was only Rs.15 lakh that could not be processed owing to technical reasons. “It was only because of certificates like bonafide, Aadhaar card, income certificates and bank pass book that these students were not able to receive the funds. We have intimated them to submit the same through SMS,” said Syed Vilayat Husain, General Manager, Minority Finance Corporation.

However, there is no clear explanation as to why the corporation failed to receive funds for the academic year 2013-14. The official pointed out that the corporation was awaiting funds to be released by Social Welfare Department. Another aspect is, monitoring of the scholarship distribution by the newly formed Minorities Commissionerate which could prolong the process. “We have one of our officials being designated there recently. The process is on,” he adds.

For the year 2012-13, the corporation is expected to spend Rs 280 crore as part of the scholarship programme. Official maintains that all the eligible candidates will get benefitted, as it is based on the principle of saturation.

During the 2011-12, about Rs 229 crore were spent benefitting 1,51,457 pre-matric and 1,45,185 post-matric students across the State. While Rs 9.35 crore were spent on pre-matric, Rs 221 crore were given to post-matric students.

About Rs 54 crore went directly into the accounts of the post-matric students. Remaining went to accounts of colleges. The leaders, who protested in front of the Haj House on Thursday, however pointed out the lack of conviction on the part of the corporation for getting funds sanctioned for the 2013-14. “How can the officials not push the matter with the Social Welfare Department? Is it not their responsibility? questioned Md Younus, student leader from Osmania University.

He pointed out to instances, where students were starving because of non-release of funds. Student organisations are likely to intensify the strike in the coming days, as series of meetings are being held to take up the issue with the corporation.

The government apathy could be pointed out by the fact that officials like Managing Director are holding additional charge in the Corporation besides working for regular post somewhere else. Even the much-hyped Minorities Commissionerate is yet to get a commissioner.

Professor Mohammed Ansari, president Minority Rights Protection avers that the problem with funds flow is to do with authorisation power held by Backward Classes Commissioner. Moreover the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were provided scholarships as per the revised expenses, the Minority students were still getting the remuneration evaluated during 2009-10.

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