(Dr Daljit S Cheema demands the scholarship dues be released imm to ensure the future of 2 lakh SC students was not endangered)
Chandigarh, June 5 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned the government for misappropriating funds meant for the Scheduled Caste (SC) post matric scholarship scheme and not releasing Rs 1,549 crore to private educational institutions which had endangered the future of two lakh SC students.
In a statement here, former minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said it was shocking that the Congress government had failed to release the SC post matric scholarship to private institutions continuously since the last three financial years due to which there was a huge backlog. “Now the very future of SC students has been threatened with the Joint Association of Colleges stating it will withhold the roll numbers of SC students in protest against the non-disbursal of the scholarship to the institutions”.
Terming this development as extremely unfortunate, Dr Daljit Cheema said the Congress government was directly responsible for this state of affairs. “The State government has failed to release one rupee from the Rs 2,440 crore budgetary provisions made for the SC scholarship scheme for the last three years. This is not all. There has been large scale bungling in the SC scholarship disbursal with former social welfare department Principal Secretary accusing its minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot of misappropriating Rs 64 crore. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh shielded the corrupt minister which has led to the present situation”, he added.
Asking Capt Amarinder Singh to sit up and take notice of the plight of SC students, Dr Cheema said the population of Dalit students which was four lakh during SAD tenure had reduced drastically under Congress rule. He said the now even the future of the two lakh students who were studying in private institutions had become bleak. “The SAD demands that the money due to private institutions be released immediately. It is also important that the SC students are not humiliated in any manner like not releasing their roll numbers and preventing them from sitting in examinations”.
Dr Cheema said even as the Punjab government had stopped funding the SC scholarship scheme other States including Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh had provided budgetary support to the scheme from State funds. He said the Punjab government should also immediately all funds earmarked for the SC scholarship scheme to ensure continuous access of Dalit students to institutes of higher learning