Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik Saturday urged Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment to personally intervene in the matters of funding pattern for Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Caste (SC) students.
In a letter to Gehlot, Naveen wrote, “My government has attached the highest priority on providing quality education to weaker sections of the society, particularly ST and SC students. Approximately 2 lakh scheduled caste students are given post matric scholarships for higher education in Odisha.
The Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme is a centrally sponsored system, wherein until 2016-2017 the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment was offered about 90% funding, while the State Government bore the remaining 10% of the expenditure. Accordingly, during 2016-17, the central funding was Rs 215.80 crore, while the State’s share came to Rs 22.48 crore.”
“It is matter of great concern that 2017-18 onwards; the Minister has revised the liability of the State government towards post matric scholarship, wherein the State government has to bear more than 80% of the total expenditure. During 2017-18, the State government had to provide Rs 238.28 crore, while the ministry allocated a meagre Rs 35.12 crore. During 2018-19, The State government is to provide Rs 238.28 crore, while the Government of India share is projected to be Rs 49.39 crore. Such an abrupt change in the funding pattern by the Ministry has given a scaring jolt to the post-matric scholarship programme for scheduled caste students,” stated the CM.
“In the above context, I would request your personal intervention to reconsider the matter and restore the funding pattern of 90:10 for smooth implementation of the post-matric scholarship programme for scheduled caste students,” he added.