Facing heat from the Congress for discontinuing centrally-sponsored scholarships, the state government Thursday decided to resume the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme that was offered for the higher education of Scheduled Caste (SC) students studying at private institutes.
Announcing the decision, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Pradip Parmar, said the scholarships were given to Scheduled Castes students studying in non-FRC (fee regulatory committees) courses under the Central governmentâ€™s Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme until 2019-20. â€œAn important decision has been taken by the state government to pay the same fee till the completion of the studentâ€™s course,â€ the minister stated.
A fees regulatory committee (FRC) exists for different courses and the time limit for fixing fees was until 2020-21. However, the matter of fixing fees for 2021-22 is under process. In such cases, the minister said, the students will be given scholarships as per the previous yearâ€™s fee fixed by the FRC. Fees will be paid accordingly as and when FRC fixes the fees.
The development comes after Congress MLA from Surendranagarâ€™s Dasada constituency and former chairman of Scheduled Caste Department of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, Naushad Solanki announcing last month the party will take out a padyatra with 1 lakh agitators on the first day of the assembly session against the discontinuation of the centrally-sponsored scholarships for SC students. He had claimed that the discontinuation of the scholarships had resulted in 7,000-8,000 students dropping out of their studies.
The Centre had issued revised guielines for the scholarship from 2020-21 to 2025-26.