As many as 15 Jammu & Kashmir students pursuing Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) at Desh Bhagat Dental College and Hospital in Mandi Gobindgarh fear losing their degree due to non-payment of fee.
Enrolled under the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme in 2013 (PMSSS), students allege they haven’t received the scholarship amount for more than three years after an initial grant of Rs 80,000 in the first year.
Launched in 2012, the scheme was aimed to benefit J&K students studying outside the state. A student of medical studies whose annual family income is less than Rs 6 lakh is eligible to get a scholarship of Rs 3 lakh per annum under the scheme. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is responsible for disbursing the scholarship amount in bank accounts of students.
“Union ministry of human resource & development released mere Rs 80,000 in the first year. However, they have withheld grant for the rest of the years,” alleged a BDS student from J&K.
Another student on the condition of anonymity said, “We are in the last semester, but the college authorities have not received the scholarship amount since 2014. It will prove damaging for our future as the college may withhold our degrees. We approached AICTE in Chandigarh, but were asked to visit the Delhi office. Nothing has worked so far.”
She added, “Despite submitting documents every year, we are running from pillar to post to get the scholarship. This scheme has turned out to be a nightmare. We hail from financially weak families already reeling under debt.” The student added they will meet J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in this regard.
Although the college authorities refused to comment, AICTE associate director Rakesh Kumar Ganju said, “I will look into the matter and see if there has been any delay from our side. Mostly students or colleges do not submit all required documents, which causes delay. If pending, funds will be released soon.”