After the commencement of the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme for Jammu and Kashmir, the students eligible for the grant had been applying to institutes of their own choice in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14. This was when AICTE stepped in as it sensed that the private players could be taking the students for a ride.
SS Mantha, chairman, AICTE, says, “We saw one college giving admission to 500 to 600 students in an academic session so that it could get the scholarship money running into several crores. Their motive was not to impart best training and education but to make as much money as possible. One dental college with an intake of 300 admitted 250 J-K students. Such colleges literally started running on government money. So, in 2014, we decided to fix a cap of two students per university.”
When apprised of the students’ complaints of not getting admission in colleges AICTE had advised them to join, Mantha says, “We tried our level best to send the students to good colleges but those institutions which come under the regulatory purview of UGC, Medical Council of India etc, should have ensured that these students were not harassed. As far as technical institutes are concerned, AICTE placed students in top colleges such as Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute and Ramaiah Institute of Technology.”
Highlighting the plight of students from J-K who were refused admission in top Delhi University colleges, Satpal Lakha, father of Anmol Lekha (allotted Daulat Ram College after AICTE counselling), said: “They kept asking us to go from one department to another and, disgusted, we finally decided to leave Delhi. My son and all these students will lose one academic year now.”
Says Jahangir Nazir Khan, who was allotted Zakir Hussain College, “When I got this scholarship offer, I opted out of the second year of my old college and my admission was cancelled. Now I cannot go back there and will lose two academic years.”
According to Khan Junaid Ul Islam, a student from Anantnag, “I was offered BSc (chemistry) in St. Stephen’s as I got 89.4% marks in Class 12. I was happy that I had the opportunity to study in one of the best colleges of the country, but did not realise that I would not be admitted.”