Vague scholarship policy leaves students distressed

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Bhubaneswar: In a major instance of most misleading policy of government, the meritorious students of State-run College of Engineering and Technology (CET) have been asked to return the scholarship money which the government had awarded them during 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years based on merit.

Without citing any valid reason, the Higher Education department has directed the college authorities to notify the concerned students to pay back the amount.

Accordingly, the college has notified 12 such students including four from B.tech and eight from M.tech to refund the money and warned them of action in case of failure.

The notification acquired by OTV said “As per the verification of scholarship (Medhabruti) for professional/technical course by the audit authority for the year 2013-14 and onwards, the FA cum special secretary to government, department of Higher Education. Government of Odisha has intimated to the undersigned to recover the scholarship amount from ineligible students @10,000/- for the year2013-14 and onwards”.

“Therefore, you are hereby directed to return the scholarship (Medhabruti) amount @10,000/- per year received during 2013-14 and 2014-15 in form of DD in favour of Under Secretary, Scholarship, Higher Education Department payable at UCO bank, Odisha Legislative Campus Branch, Bhubaneswar on or before 8th, March, 2016, failing which action as per government norms will be initiated”, it added.

On the other hand, the warning has posed a major hindrance before the students in pursing higher education.
“They (college authorities) are not issuing our mark sheet as we have not refunded the amount Rs 20,000. I can not apply for PhD in the absence of the mark-sheet, said Pragyan Paramita Das, a student.

Anil Kumar Pradhan, another recipient, said “We have not hidden any fact and got the scholarship only as per merit. But, now the government is asking to refund the money without showing any valid cause.”

The college authorities, however, said if they do not deserve for the same, they should refund return it.

“The Government has shot up a letter asking them to refund Rs 20,000 which they have received from the government in two years. If they are not deserving for such scholarship as per guidelines, they should return it”, Pravat Padhi, academic in-charge of CET, said.

According to government advertisement, the meritorious post-graduate students deserve to get the scholarship. But, here, the Higher Education department did not accept the M.tech students as they failed to figure in merit list.

Questions are being raised as to why the government awarded the financial assistance before conducting a thorough verification to ascertain the real beneficiaries.

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