Internet blockade: MHRD extends date for valley students selected for scholarship

SRINAGAR: In a major relief to over two hundred Kashmiri students, who qualified last year’s National Merit-cum Means Scholarship (NMMS), the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has extended the last date for the online registration for the scholarship in view of internet blockade and suspension of messaging services in the valley.
The ministry has also kept a special provision of online passwords instead of those sent through text messages for the Kashmiri students, Kashmir Reader has learnt.
The 263 Kashmiri students comprising 111 students, who qualified the scholarship test held on November 21 last year and 152 students in the supplementary scholarship test of September 30, had been selected for NMMS 2018-19.
However, due to internet blockade and suspension of SMSs in the valley since the abrogation of Article 370 in August, the students had been left high and dry as they could not carry out the mandatory online registration with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on the National Scholarships Portal (NSP).
Once a student qualifies the scholarship test, the online verification of his/her credentials is done by the MHRD at three levels – the individual candidate, the respective school he/she is enrolled at and the concerned Chief Education Officer of the district.
Even if a student from Kashmir managed to access internet at a government kiosk, he/she could not complete the registration process due to suspension of messaging services as the students are required to produce a one-time password (OTP) specifically sent through text.
However, the MHRD has now begun to send OTPs to Kashmiri students through e-mails as a special alternative, Dr Farooq Ahmad Peer, Director Academics at the J&K Board of School Education (JKBOSE), which is the nodal agency for NMMS in Jammu and Kashmir, told Kashmir.
Peer also informed that the ministry had also extended the last date for Kashmiri students for the online registration for NMMS till January 16.
He further said that Secretary School Education and also the board authorities had took up the matter with top officials in the MHRD.
“We have asked the officials associated with the scholarship to carry out the online registration of the selected students at respective DC offices, who also have been directed by Commissioner Secretary School Education Department to monitor the registration of students,” he said.
Out of the 1091 students selected for last year’s NMMS from Jammu and Kashmir, 921 had already completed the online registration on the NSP, Peer further informed.
“We have also asked the directors of school education to forward the list of ineligible candidates so that we can frame the waiting list”.

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