The Modi government’s modified scholarship scheme is not acceptable to Telangana’s KCR government and the later wanted to made changes over the scheme in the state, which centre not agreed. This leads to another tussle after paddy procurement debacle with KCR and Modi.

After the dispute over paddy procurement, the K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR)-led Telangana government is at loggerheads with the Centre over another major scheme, the Post Matric Scholarship for students belonging to the Scheduled Castes for studies in India (PMS-SC). 

Telangana has not implemented the Centre’s modified version of the scheme, under which funds are to be disbursed directly to the students under the direct benefit transfer mode. 

According to sources, the Telangana government is unhappy with the modified scheme, and wants to transfer the funds to the institutions rather than the students. 

Under the previous scheme, the central funds were first transferred to the state, which would then hand them over to the institutions. 

However, the Centre had modified the scheme in December 2020 in view of irregularities reported in various states including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh among others. 

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According to a senior central government official, under the modified scheme, 32 lakh students across the country have directly received a total Rs 2,200 crore in 2022. This doesn’t include Telangana. 

The Centre provides 60 per cent of the funding, and the remainder is borne by the state. The scheme has two components — funds to pay tuition fees, and an allowance to the students. 

“The overwhelmingly large amount is the tuition fee. Under the modified scheme, once the students receive the funds, they are supposed to directly pay the institutions where they are studying,” said the official. 

The official further said that if Telangana does not agree, it will lose about Rs 270 crore every year as part of central assistance.

However officials in the state’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government said that while they had not refused to implement the scheme, they were informed about the modifications “quite late”, and hence are not implementing it. 

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Meanwhile, speaking to #KhabarLive, Rahul Bojja, secretary in the Telangana Chief Minister’s Office, said, “We did not refuse to implement the modified scheme. We were informed about the modifications quite late and the deadline was 31 March. The Government of India wanted it to be done by 31 March. We did put up data in the Central database”.

“The reason for not implementing it yet is that we (the state government) did not discuss the merits and demerits of the modified scheme, and what the implications would be of directly putting the money in students’ accounts,” he added.

Bojja identified several such possible implications, such as students using the money for some other purpose, the dropout rate increasing, and institutions deciding not to allow students to attend unless they pay the full fees. 

He also added that the state government is spending Rs 450 crore from the budget to continue the old scheme on its own, without the central funds. 

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To get the Telangana government on board, senior officials of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had held a discussion with the state’s chief secretary  in February this year.

Speaking to #KhabarLive, a senior central government official said, “The chief minister seemed adamant about not providing the funds directly to the students. They pointed out that they feared students would not hand over the funds to the institutions.”

“To address this, the ministry had assured the state government that soon after funds are transferred to the students’ accounts, the institutions would also get an intimation, so that they could also get in touch with them,” added the official.

This entire episode is not convincing the both parties. Result, again the politics takes dominance to resolve the issue. Whatsoever the end result, we have to just wait and watch the entire drama. #KhabarLive #hydnews