The Department of Social Justice, headquartered in Nashik, provides Post Matric Scholarships for Scheduled Caste students. This scholarship is funded with 40% by the state government and 60% by the central government. Educational institutions filed a petition in court to collect the scholarship amount from colleges. However, for the academic years 2021-22 and 2022-23, the central government has not disbursed its 60% share, resulting in pending scholarships worth ₹1,657 crore for 7,21,082 students.
The Department of Social Justice enabled online application facilities for various scholarship schemes for Scheduled Caste students via the government's website https://mahadbtmahait.gov.in. These schemes include the Government of India Post-Matric Scholarship, State Government Post-Matric Education Fee-Exam Fee Reimbursement Scheme, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj Merit Scholarship, and Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Caste students studying in vocational courses.
For the academic year 2021-22, 4,05,656 students received a 40% share from the state government, and for 2022-23, 3,36,026 students received the same. Unfortunately, the central government did not disburse its share for either year. Consequently, students are awaiting ₹1,657 crore in grants, causing a delay in receiving their scholarships.
However, the High Court has ordered an immediate deposit of the scholarship amount into students' bank accounts, potentially resolving the pending arrears within the next 15 days.
Colleges hampering students' progress
Educational institutions enroll students from backward classes, leveraging scholarships offered by the central government. However, delayed disbursement of scholarship funds obstructs these students' educational paths within these institutions. Frequently, colleges retain essential documents, compelling students to clear all fees to retrieve them. Consequently, this predicament leads to the loss of an academic year for affected students.