Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed authorities to give benefits of Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) to 183 students of Mewar University who had taken admission in the session 2013-2014.
The students have been denied scholarships after the J&K government revised eligibility guidelines. The division bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice MK Hanjura directed students to produce relevant documents before the competent authority to show that they are pursuing the studies at the university.
In 2017, the students who had sought admission in Mewar University, Rajasthan had approached the court, claiming the authorities have denied the benefits of the scheme.
As per the petition, in 2013-2014 scholarship was denied to 183 students. For 2014-2015, 474 students were denied scholarships. The University had asked them to leave in the middle of the academic year.
The single bench headed by Mohammad Yaqoob Mir through the judgment dated 07-06-2017 had directed authorities to release the scholarship in favour of the students for academic year 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.
The judgment was challenged in the division bench seeking quash of single bench order.
Bilal Ahmad Malla, counsel representing All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) submitted before the division bench that the judgment was in violation of the special scholarship scheme.
“The judgment is against the norms of the schemes laid down by the inter-ministerial committee which is an apex body for laying down of norms for better implementation of scheme,” said advocate Bilal.
In 2011, the government of India implemented the scheme to provide 5000 scholarships per year to the students of Jammu and Kashmir who wish to pursue the degree courses outside the state. The special scholarship covers tuition fee, hostel fee, cost of books and other accidental charges for eligible students. In 2012, a notification was issued by government of Jammu and Kashmir revising guidelines for the scholarship scheme.
As the eligibility of the student was changed in the middle of the session, many students who had applied for the scholarships didn’t receive scholarship.
As per the revised guidelines, the scholarship would be provided to only those candidates who had secured more than 65 percent marks. The AICTE will allocate the college, while previously it was the choice of candidate to select their college. The third case was that admissions would be made through counselling, which earlier was not the case.
Advocate Zaffar Shah, representing the petitioners said due to the new criteria, many students faced problems by which they have suffered academic loss.