Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: In a good news for students belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe (SC/ST) communities, the Odisha Chief Minister's Office (CMO) on Sunday has put a notification regarding slashing of scholarships on hold.

The notification on revision of post-matric scholarships for meritorious students of SC/ST communities was issued by the Scheduled Casts and Scheduled Tribes Development Department. Apart from putting the move on hold, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has ordered the department to send the related files to his office immediately, CMO informed.

The SC/ST students of the State will now be able to get scholarships as per the existing provision, the CMO added.

The move of the CMO came a day after the Sate Congress slammed the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-led Odisha government for reducing the post-matric scholarship amount of SC/ST students.

The party had alleged that the State government’s notification would create hurdles for poor meritorious students in perusing higher studies.

“It will amount to playing with their career. It is unfortunate that the notification was issued by the SC/ST Development Department after the by-elections for the Balasore Sadar and Tirtol constituencies were over. Students were getting 100% scholarship during the UPA regime while the incumbent BJP-led Central government has reduced it substantially. It will discourage the students in pursing higher studies,” Congress President Smruti Ranjan Lenka had said during a press conference.

(Edited by Ramakant Biswas)