The much hyped Prime Minister Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) has proved to be a failure as out of 25,000 scholarships, ten thousand students have been provided the facility by the governments. Official PMSSS date of the last five years available with KNS reveals that out of total 25000 scholarships which were to be granted to the students from the state, only 10,118 students have been provided it while a whopping 14,882 remained vacant till this academic year. The yearly details reveal that in 2011-12, of the 5000 only 38 students were granted it while, 4962 seats remained vacant. “In 2012-13, 1225 seats remained vacant as only 3, 775 were filled. In 2013-14, 415 remained vacant, while 4585 students were granted it. 3686 availed the facility while 3686 remained vacant. This year (2015-16) has seen a drastic decline as only 406 could take the benefit while 4594 remained vacant,” the data reveals. Academic experts blame the governments, both at the Centre and the state as well, for failing to take off the scheme successfully. “First, the admission process adopted by MHRD under two supernumerary quota from the session 2014-15 is very difficult, which has resulted into failure of the scheme,” a top academic in India told KNS. But he wished not to be named. IN 2011, PMSSS was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of the Congress-led UPA regime with the object to provide 5000 scholarship every year to Jammu & Kashmir students (4500 scholarship to General, 250 for Engineering and 250 for Medical students). A budget of Rs.1200 crores for 5 years was approved by the cabinet for the PMSSS for J&K poor students. Started in 2011-12 academic session, the scheme was aimed to take the poor students of J&K out of state for professional, technical and job oriented education, make them employable and bring them into main stream of the society. “The main reason for students not getting scholarship came is that the educational institutions where the students are studying are not approved under section 12(b) of UGC Act and AICTE,” the academician said. He said that private universities where students are studying, the Universities do not require any approval under section 12(b) of UGC Act because they are self financing universities. “Section 12(b) of UGC Act mainly deals with granting of funds by UGC to Government aided institutions. AICTE approval is also not required, if engineering courses are run in the main campus of universities, as decided by the Supreme Court in various cases. Sources said that the MHRD officials, IMC members (officers of various Ministries nominated by Secretary, MHRD and AICTE authorities adopted difficult process to admit and give the scholarship to the students which has defeated main intention of the scheme. “The result is that a good scheme with noble idea resulted into a fiasco. For it credit goes to bureaucracy of this country and wisdom of political leadership in power,” the academician said. Attacks on the JK students in outside universities were also one of the main reasons for dissuading the students to avail the scheme.
2015 Kashmir Despatch