Four months ago in mid-August 2015, Ghulam Mohindin Sofi, a daily wage labourer in Rakh Shalina Taingan, a remote village in Budgam district of Kashmir, sold his wife’s jewellery for Rs. 20,000 and appealed to his relatives to lend him Rs. 40,000. He needed the money for the admission fee and paying guest accommodation rent for his son Imran Ali who had secured a seat in a prestigious Delhi University (DU) college under the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) for students of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
Ali came to Delhi and joined Ramjas College, using up the money his father had raised for buying books, on accommodation and other urgent expenses. However except for the admission fee of Rs10,000, AICTE hasn’t as yet released the remaining amount for his scholarship of Rs 1.3 lakh which covers admission fees, PG accommodation and study material.
“I uploaded all the requisite documents for admission on the AICTE website as instructed but till now I haven’t got any money for my PG accommodation, which takes up a major chunk of my expenses. I made several rounds of the AICTE office but did not get a satisfying reply from officials there. Last month I borrowed Rs 500 from a friend and now need to ask other friends for more money. My parents are borrowing money from my relatives to support my studies but they feel they should give up now. If I don’t get the scholarship money now, I will have to drop my studies and go back to my home town,” says Ali.
When asked by HT Education on November 20, 2015, about the release of grants to Ali and Ravi Rajra, another student in dire need of finances, the AICTE chairman asked the Council’s J&K admission cell to expedite all such cases of students who have uploaded documents on priority.
More than a month has gone by but the students are still waiting for the funds. Other students too have complained of not receiving money for the admission fees. AICTE officials on their part say many students have not got the scholarships because they had either given wrong bank account numbers or uploaded incomplete documents on the AICTE website.