Students enrolled under PMSSS rue curtailment in scholarship grants

There seems to be no end to the miseries of students enrolled under Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) as complaints continue to pour in against AICTE over curtailment in scholarship grants to the students.

The students enrolled under various courses in different colleges complained that AICTE has not released their scholarship grants to the colleges, leaving them high and dry.

“We are not getting the full scholarship that was promised to us at the time of our admissions,” said Irfan Rafiq, a PMSSS beneficiary from Qazigund.

He said the students were promised to get Rs one lakh rupees for books, internet connection, hostel fee, and other maintenance fees.

“But for the current session we were told that we will only get only Rs 40000 instead of one lakh,” he said.

The student said the AICTE was justifying their decision saying that the students did not attend offline classes and continued their courses through online mode during COVID-19 lockdown.

“AICTE says students do not need any maintenance fees,” he said.

The aggrieved students stated that most of them enrolled under PMSSS were living as paying guests or have hired flats on rent for which they made an yearly agreement to pay rent for the whole year.

“Some students are living in hostels and have to pay hostel fees because all the accessories, books, important documents and other materials that students possess are stuck in the hostels they were staying in,” the students said.

They said any failure in paying the hostel fees will land them in trouble as they have apprehensions that they will lose all these belongings including their documents.

The students have already written to AICTE officials regarding the issue but have not received any communication from the other side.

“No one is paying heed to our issues. Students are facing lots of issues and depression as everyone’s economy has shrunk in the times of pandemic,” the student said.

Earlier, AICTE in a communication to all the colleges stated that it has released Rs. 20,000 to all beneficiaries for the odd semester of academic session 2020-21 as per decision of the Ministry of Education, GoI.

“It is decided to pay Rs. 20000 for even a semester too by the Ministry of Education on the basis of continuation in the programme,” the letter reads.

The AICTE also stated that currently it was processing the continuation certificate to release the maintenance allowance for the even semester of academic session 2020-21 and will be released shortly.

“Same will continue further in academic year 2021-22 till face to face classes start and hostels become operational,” the document reads.

The AICTE has asked the institutes not to charge any hostel related expenses from the PMSSS students during which the student has not availed the facility.

“It may be noted that academic fees will be paid as usual subject to promotion of the student in the next academic session,” it reads.

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