Govt Bid To Reach Out To Youth In J&K Falling Flat13 December 2011
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: A government effort to connect the youth of Jammu and Kashmir with rest of India is falling flat. Four months after the Union cabinet approved a higher education scholarship scheme for students of the state, the government is yet to find a way to disburse the money to the students this year. Six months of the academic year have already lapsed, but the government still does not know whom to give the scholarships for the year 2011-12. The 5,000 free scholarships per annum varying from Rs 30,000 to Rs 3 lakh per annum are for students from the state going for higher studies outside the state. The special scholarship scheme for J&K was approved by the cabinet committee on economic affairs on August 4, with Rs 1,200 crore marked for five years, beginning this year. The scheme is based on the recommendations of the C Rangarajan headed expert group constituted by the Prime Minister last year. Students of J&K board joining government and selected private colleges across the country have to apply through their respective colleges. 'But as this is the first year and students are already half way into the academic year in various locations in the country, the state government should identify the eligible students and send the list to us so that we can disburse the funds,' an HRD ministry official, looking after the scholarships programme, told HT. But state government officials say they have no such instructions. 'As per the guidelines received, it is for the student to apply through the colleges where he is studying,' a senior Jammu and Kashmir official told HT on phone from Jammu adding that they have no means of identifying such students. The state government, which received the scheme guidelines some time back, has not yet advertised the scheme. A file to release ads for the scheme in the newspapers has been sent for approval now. 'The ads should come out in a few days.'