A large number of scholarships on offer in Panjab University have no takers every year as a meagre amount is offered to intended beneficiaries.
Out of a total of 73 scholarships for students of different varsity departments, as many as 51 offer amounts between Rs 100 and Rs 500 per month. These amounts have not been revised in years.
Some scholarships offering insignificant amount of money include Dr SR Ranganathan scholarship, Thakur Datta Sharma scholarship, Kamla Gupta memorial scholarships and Bishan Chand Mahajan scholarship. Under these scholarships, Rs 100 per month per student is given for a period of 10 months.
Criticising the varsity for "humiliating" students who wish to avail of scholarships, University Institute of Applied Management Sciences student Avish Sharma wondered aloud what good a scholarship of Rs 100 or Rs 150 will do to a student.
"Such scholarships fail to attract student. They should either be revised or discontinued. Otherwise, there is no point in continuing them," he said.
Not only this, students undergo a very tedious and time consuming process to avail of these scholarships.
Lovneet Thakur, a second year student and a Students Federation of India (SFI) leader, said that students have to get recommendation and signatures of various authorities to avail of such scholarships. "Why will a student take so much pain for an amount of Rs 100," said Thakur. He lashed out at PU authorities for "wasting money on unnecessary things while ignoring needy students".
When contacted, university finance and development officer (FDO) Vikram Nayyar maintained that majority of such scholarships were instituted by particular families in memory of their loved ones.
He claimed that the university had written to these families to revise the amount of scholarships, but had not received any response. The varsity even contemplated to enhance the amount from its own funds, but things did not materialise, he added.
Dr Gurmeet Singh, a senator and faculty member of Hindi department, has been raising the issue of increase in money offered through scholarships. "The university should find a way out for enhancing such stipends, or else they are of no use," said Dr Gurmeet, who opined that the varsity should fix a minimum amount to be offered considering the needs of intended beneficiary students, and nothing below this sum of money be offered as scholarships.