Future of 2 Lakh SC students, 1600 unaided colleges is uncertain- PUCA & PUTIA
Jasbir Kapoor/ royalpatiala.in/ Bathinda
Punjab is far behind than many other States in the disbursement of Post Matric Scholarship (PMS) to around 1600 Colleges of Punjab. The situation has worsened ever since the Centre has announced this scheme as the State’s liability.
President, Punjab Unaided Colleges Association (PUCA) & Federation of Self Financed Technical Institutions (FSFTI), Dr. Anshu Kataria urged Centre & State Govt to release pending post matric scholarship before 31st March.
PUCA expressed that teaching and non teaching staff may refuse to conduct April examination as 7-8 months salaries are due in many of the colleges.
PUCA has approached many other States to know the status of PMS funds and shared the report of other stakeholders of the Country.
Around 1850 crore due of 4 years:
It is to be mentioned that bill of around 780.31 crore was generated for 2016-17 out which 415 crore is still pending. Around 208 crore is due towards centre Govt and 207 crore is due towards State Govt. In 2017-18, Centre Govt declared this scheme as the state liability. As per that, around 567 crore of 2017-18; 437 crore of 2018-19 and around 437 crore of 2019-20 is due towards the State Govt. Though, State Govt has clearly objected that they cannot run the scheme without the share from Centre Govt.
Heavy Migration to abroad for Higher Education:
Kataria further added that Punjab accounts for maximum SCs nearly 32-33% of total population. Major chunk of the students of Punjab who can afford fees are migrating to Abroad for their higher studies and deprived youth then searches for the educational options in Punjab.
PUCA urged to fix cut off dates for PMS:
Kataria questioned that when other States can disburse the scholarship amount in time then why can’t Punjab as per the scheme? Moreover, when Govt has fixed cut off dates for admissions, examinations etc then why not such dates for scholarship disbursement? “To overcome this problem, the state should also adopt Credit card scheme for the students on the pattern of Bihar Govt” Kataria suggested.
Who will pay the PMS?
Senior Vice President, PUCA, Amit Sharma said that in this dilemma, unaided colleges are not clear who will pay the scholarship amount centre or state? Due to this unaided colleges are passing through a huge financial crisis.
Affiliating Universities pressurizing Colleges for SC Fees: PUTIA
President, Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association, Dr. Gurmeet Singh Dhaliwal (PUTIA) said that colleges are not getting fees either from the centre govt, state govt or from the students while our affiliating universities including IKG-PTU, Jalandhar, MRS-PTU, Bathinda, Punjabi University, Patiala; Panjab University, Chandigarh; GNDU, Amritsar; PSBTE & IT etc are charging Registration fees, Admission fees, Examination fees or other Student Related Funds (SRF) and colleges are paying from their own pockets.
PUCA announced that no college would pay registration fees, examination fees etc till the centre and state disburse the PMS funds.
Lakhs due for OBC Students: PUTIA
Senior Vice President, PUTIA, Manjit Singh said that OBC Students of Punjab are regularly applying for the scholarship but colleges are not getting their dues. In majority of the cases, the students have completed their studies and colleges are still waiting for their dues from Government.
Comparison in Post Matric Scholarship of different States of last 4 years: