Punjab Educational Institutes Directed To Give Degrees To SC Students Within 3 Days
Chandigarh: The Punjab government directed all the colleges and institutions on Friday to release degrees to the Scheduled Caste students within three days. The directive comes after taking serious note of the withholding of degrees of the SC students by private colleges/institutions due to non-payment of fees after the closure of post-matric scheme for SC students by the Centre in 2017. The decision was taken during a meeting of the high-powered committee of the group of ministers, according to a government release. The committee, under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, was formed to decide on the pending issues regarding the year 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 arising out of the closure of the scheme.
After the meeting, Badal said the panel had extended an invitation for January 19 to all the colleges and institutions for comprehensive discussions on the pending issues and explore ways for their redressal. The finance minister pointed out that the colleges and institutions had been given three days to release degrees to the students. "The meeting would also brainstorm about the ways and means to settle the pending liabilities of three years," Badal said, adding that the releasing of the degrees within the stipulated three-day period would be a pre-requisite for the institutions to attend the meeting.
Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi accused the Centre of being anti-Dalit by stopping the scholarship scheme. "The Punjab government is opposed to the colleges withholding degrees of the students and taking affidavits or indemnity bonds from them," he said. The minister added that the state government had decided that in case any institution or colleges withholds the degree of any student or takes an affidavit from the students, the affiliation of the institution concerned would be cancelled.
The issue pertaining to fees is between the government and the institutions and the future of SC students would not be allowed to be "jeopardized", Channi added.