DIFFICULT NORMS Fee waiver eludes 3.4 lakh students.

DIFFICULT NORMS Fee waiver eludes 3.4 lakh students.DIFFICULT NORMS Fee waiver eludes 3.4 lakh students.DIFFICULT NORMS Fee waiver eludes 3.4 lakh students.

Applications of many students are still pending at the mandal revenue offices as they are still waiting for their income certificates.

Thanks to the newly-introduced stringent norms, nearly 3.4 lakh students who availed of the fee reimbursement scheme last year were not able to do so this time around. Out of 14 lakh students, only 11.6 lakh managed to submit their online applications before the deadline expired on November 20.

This will, in all probabilities, prove disastrous for the hapless students from socially and economically weaker sections.

The government had estimated that it needed `5,000 crore to fund the scheme this year. Though it had allocated `2,000 crore in the budget, most of the amount was used to pay the arrears of the last two years.

The government thus introduced stringent norms to bring down the number of beneficiaries. Its first step was to cancel the income certificates submitted by students till September and ask them to submit them in a new format in October.

The government also made it clear that only income certificates issued after October 10 would be valid. With this, nearly 30 lakh students had to secure fresh income certificates within a month and revenue offices failed to issue the certificates within the stipulated time. So, applications of many students are still pending at the mandal revenue offices across the state.

Added to this, there was confusion about getting the income certificates attested though later it was scraped. It was made mandatory for all colleges to register their names online to avail of the fee reimbursement scheme. Nearly 500 state colleges failed to register citing lack of computers and Internet connections.
Some state colleges also stayed away from registration citing lack of budget to get the work outsourced.
Thus from 11,300 colleges that had registered for fee reimbursement last year, the number has come down to less than 10,800 this year.

Despite all this, the government has made it clear that it has no intention to extend the deadline again. There is no plan to extend the deadline again , said Mr Raymond Peter, principal secretary, Social Welfare department.

Meanwhile the online application process for freshers who took admissions this year has finally been started. They will be given time till December 12 to submit their applications.

Source: DC

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