Sanjeev Kumar Pradhan

Bhubaneswar: The activists of Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) and Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD) staged a demonstration today against the Centre’s decision of changing the funding pattern of post-matric scholarship scheme for Scheduled Caste students. A month-long signature campaign was also launched in this regard today.

The signature campaign will be launched in every district of the State during which 10 lakh signatures will be collected and sent to President Ram Nath Kovind.

“This is a programme of the central government but it is trying to put burden on the State government. So a signature campaign has been launched to create awareness and 10 lakh signatures will be collected and sent to the President,” said President of Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) Amaresh Patri.

Earlier the Centre- State contribution for post matriculation scholarship for SC and ST students was 90% and 10% ratio respectively whereas the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment recently slashed Centre’s contribution to 20%.

While Central contribution for the scholarship was Rs 215.8 crore in 2016-17, it was slashed to Rs 22.48crore for this session. As a result, Odisha’s contribution increased to 80% putting an extra burden on the State exchequer.

“It is very unfortunate that the Centre has not even provided its contribution of 20% amount,” advisor of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD), Chinmaya Sahu said.