The HRD ministry has asked centrally-funded institutions, including NITs, IIITs and IITs, to charge tuition fee from SC and ST students after they receive reimbursements in the form of scholarship money from various ministries and states.
The ministry’s directive comes in the backdrop of institutions waiving off tuition fee from these students since the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme was launched in early 2014, with the scholarship money being sent directly into the students’ accounts.
The fee waiver was resulting in severe strain on the ministry’s non-plan budget.
Prior to the launch of the DBT scheme, scholarship money was directly sent to institutions and they did not have to charge students.
The recent directive is the second from the ministry — the first, sent last year, asked institutions to collect reimbursements from SC and ST students after they receive the scholarship money into their accounts.
It also asked institutions to make special efforts to get education loans for other SC and ST students, those not covered by scholarships.
Various ministries, including the social justice and tribal affairs ministries, give out scholarship money to students whose parents’ incomes are less than Rs 2 lakh per annum.