The Rs 20 crore SC scholarship scam in Punjab, which involves a large number of technical education institutions, appears to be merely the tip of the iceberg.
In the last five years over Rs 1,000 crores have been released by the Centre under the SC post-matric scholarship scheme. The National Scheduled Castes Alliance (NSCA) has sought a CBI inquiry into the misappropriation of funds under the aforementioned scheme in the last five years.
A large number of technical education institutions had made dummy admissions of students to claim scholarship amounts in their own names.
“How do we know that the practice of making dummy admissions has not been going on for the last many years. This should be thoroughly investigated. So many dummy admissions had been made at the cost of genuine SC students. The SC and backward classes welfare minister, Gulzar Singh Ranike, and chief minister are morally responsible,” said president of the NSCA, Paramjit Singh Kainth.
“The institutions that have been named in the SC scholarship scam should be derecognized. The bureaucrats in the SC welfare ministry should be made accountable and Ranike should be asked to resign,” demanded Kainth. “The NSCA will be presenting a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the governor of Punjab. The NSCA will also launch a state-wide agitation next month,” he added.
According to information obtained by the NSCA under the RTI, in 2013-14 the Centre had released under the post-matric scholarship scheme a sum of Rs 281.80 crore. In 2014-15 the amount went up to Rs 370.87 crore.