NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has rapped the University of Hyderabad on ST students facing difficulty in depositing their semester fees due to delay in receiving their scholarships.
With the Centre and state often releasing the funds late, students are left struggling to manage their semester fees, the Commission has learnt during a visit to the university on Thursday.
In several cases, the scheduled tribe (ST) students had to borrow money to clear their dues before being able to take their exams. This was the case in 50-60% of the cases among ST students who are pursuing their post-graduation degrees, integrated courses or their M.Phil, according to the NCST. “The Commission has recommended that all scheduled tribe students should be completely exempted from tuition fees and that the university should not insist on the clearances before their exams.
Students are made to run from pillar to post to get clearances before every semester exams.The students do not receive their scholarships on time. Why should they suffer for this? We have told the university the students would not be running away from campus and should be allowed to take the exams if they cannot clear the dues,” said SK Rath, joint secretary, NCST According to the Commission, the university said they were aware of the issue and were “sensitive” to the challenge the students were facing in clearing dues and were trying to help them.
The NCST is also planning to take up the issue with the Centre and the state for timely release of scholarships for ST students. However, this will be a “long drawn process” to sort out and there should be interim relief for the students, the Commission as recommended.
The Commission met students, faculty members and representatives from the university. Faculty members belonging to the ST population told the Commission they often faced discrmination when it came to receiving promotions compared to their counterparts from general category.