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Slash of study dole draws BJP flak

Patna, June 10: The state government’s decision to withdraw scholarship to the backward class and extremely backward class students enrolled on the technical institutions outside the state and slash the same in the state has come under fire from the Opposition BJP.

“The JDU government has adopted discriminatory attitude towards the BC and EBC students. The withdrawal of scholarship to the students of relatively weaker sections of the society is testimony to the fact that the government has turned unjust to them,” senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said.

The government, as part of its venture to promote quality technical education among the BC, EBC, SC/ST and minority community students, had introduced the scholarship scheme for them. But faced with resource crunch, the government withdrew the facility in February this year.

Students, whose family income is less than Rs 1 lakh per annum, get the scholarship. Sources said more than 50,000 students belonging to backward class and extremely backward class students had been affected by the decision.

The SC, ST and minority students, however, continue to avail the facility.

About his “delayed” reaction to the government’s decision taken in February, Sushil said: “We were not aware of the decision. We came to know about it only when a group of students raised the issue at my janata durbar recently.”

The newly appointed BC and EBC welfare department minister Bima Bharti said: “The government issued the notification much before I joined the ministry but I will take it up with the chief minister with a plea to restart the scholarship facility for students.”

Students belonging to students of backward class and extremely backward class categories studying at technical institutions (engineering, medical, law and management) in state will get Rs 15,000 per annum. Earlier, the amount was Rs 1 lakh. However, the new notification adds a rider with students getting only 60 per cent in matriculation, intermediate can avail the scholarships facility. It stipulates the payment of Rs 2,000 per year for those studying in intermediate (Class XII) while the students studying undergraduate courses in the state colleges will get Rs 5,000 per year.

The students are visibly upset with the new notification. Raj Sinha, a student of Patna University who is still getting the scholarship amount of Rs 5,000, said: “The scholarship of Rs 5000 per annum is very less as we were expecting the government to increase the amount but it has been slashed.”