Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking the release of the pending sum of the scheduled cast students post-matric scholarship. He also urged the Centre to implement the revised sharing pattern of the Post Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste students (PMS-SCs) for the period 2017-2020.
In his letter, Singh said though the Centre had amended the revised sharing pattern between the Centre and the states to a ratio of 60:40, the same was made effective only from April 1, 2020. No decision, however, had been conveyed on the issue for the period April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2020, thus jeopardizing the future of lakhs of SC students, he said in the letter. The CM said in his earlier letters of October 2018 and February 2020, he had brought to the Prime Minister’s notice the state’s concern over the outstanding demand under the scheme. An amount of Rs 1,563 crore for years 2017-20 was still pending with the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for release as the central share under the scheme, he said, adding that no response has yet been received to those letters.
Pointing out that Punjab has the highest percentage of the SC population in the country, the CM said the state deserves special attention on this count. Further, being a border state, it needs to be ensured that its youths get the opportunity of education and employment so that they do not fall prey to anti-social and anti-national elements. Therefore, the non-release of scholarship funds under the PMS-SCs would adversely affect the education of SC students, who are unable to pay their fees, he said.