Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Monday urged the Centre for early release of arrear for sanction of post-Matric scholarship to Scheduled Caste students.

In a letter to Union minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said as the state government has given top priority to education of weaker sections of society, particularly the students of Scheduled Tribe (ST) and the Scheduled Caste SC) communities, scholarships to poor SC students form a very Important intervention in this endeavour.

Drawing the attention of the Union minister, Patnaik said the Central assistance, released by the Social Justice and Empowerment ministry towards post-Matric scholarship to SC students, has been grossly inadequate since 2014-15 which has created significant arrear receivable from the ministry and the progressive outstanding dues amount to Rs 121.17 crore till 2014-15. This arrear claim had been duly posed in the calling proposal for 2015-16.

“Such huge gap in receipt of Central Assistance against the actual requirement is not only putting the socially and economically poor SC students in hardship but also posing serious challenges to the State Government in managing the grievances of hapless students,” Patnaik said.

He further said in order to ensure that the careers of the SC students is not jeopardised, the state government has incurred the expenditure out of its own budget provision of 2015-16 to meet the arrear claims of 2014-15.

“Since the outstanding receivables of Rs 121.17 crore is putting extra financial burden on the state government, there is an urgent need of recouping this arrear amount by allocation from the ministry to meet the requirement of the scholarship claims of the SC students for the current financial year,” the chief minister said and requested the Union minister to urgently intervene in the matter.