The administration has ordered that all educational institutes in the district must promote free education facility for Scheduled Caste (SC) students through their prospectus, website and campus billboards before the start of admission process.
Strict action would be taken against institutes demanding fee from eligible SC students, it has also warned.
Sanjeev Sharma, the general assistant to deputy commissioner, while presiding over a meeting of principals and representatives of various colleges and aggrieved students on Wednesday said that it had been observed that benefits of the Post Matric Scholarship for SC students was not being extended to the beneficiaries.
He said that the administration had taken a serious view of reports pertaining to a section of colleges, ordering the beneficiaries to deposit the requisite fee, while threatening them with the denial of roll numbers.
“All educational institutions are instructed to immediately release roll numbers to such SC students,” he said.
The institutes should impart requisite information pertaining to scholarship scheme in their prospectus and submit a copy of such brochure to the administration for verification, he said. “The scholarship scheme should be promoted through colleges' websites. The hoardings of the colleges, depicting information about offered courses, must also provide details. I will visit colleges soon to verify the implementation of these directions,” he said.
He said that administration would recommend action against colleges, who would fail to comply with these instructions in a time-bound manner. “We will recommend such cases to the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes for initiation of penal action.”
However, college representatives maintained that the state government had failed to release funds allocated under the scheme during the past three years.
“We have been sending reminders to the director public instructions (colleges) for release of scholarship, to no avail. Why has government failed to release funds, in spite of allocation by the centre? The state government is responsible for the problems of such poor students,” they alleged, asking Sharma to recommend to the state government to release pending grants immediately.
“There is a need to evolve a foolproof mechanism on verifying income credentials of the beneficiaries. There are instances when ineligible students manage to procure income certificate, even as their family income is more than the upper limit of Rs 2 lakh per annum,” a representative said.
Meanwhile, the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman Rajesh Bagha and Ambedkar Education Mahasangh convener Des Raj Kali appreciated the administration for issuing instructions to the educational institutions on popularising the scholarship scheme.
Representatives of Doaba College, St Soldier College of Girls, Khambra, Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women, Trinity College, SD College for Women, MK College of Education, DAV College, Sant Baba Bhag Singh Institute of Engineering and Technology, Adampur, BD Arya Girls College, Guru Nanak National College, Nakodar attended the meeting.
In case of denial of admission, please contact the following:
Rajesh Bagha, Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman: 94174-20108
Shruti Singh Jalandhar DC: 0181-224783
Sanjeev Sharma general assistant to Jalandhar DC: 78370-48773
Rajinder Singh, district welfare officer: 94172-02323