HYDERABAD: Welcoming the observations of Hyderabad High Court on Financial Assistance to Students of Telangana(FAST), former minister and Congress leader Dokka Manikya Varaprasada Rao on Monday said his stand on the scheme that it was discriminatory stood vindicated.
Varaprasada Rao, who along with TDP leader and former minister Pithani Satyanarayana, moved the court on August 2 over the issue, said the Telangana government should honour the court’s observation and provide fee reimbursement to all the students irrespective of their nativity.
They submitted that to achieve equal opportunities, existing admission quotas in all government or private, aided or unaided institutions of higher, technical and medical education should continue for a period of 10 years during which the existing common admission process should continue as per the Act.
The court ruled that ‘FAST’, introduced on July 30 by way of a GO, is completely against the Constitution and against the principles of democracy.
On July 30, the TRS government scrapped the previous government’s scheme of fee reimbursement for poor students and replaced it with FAST applicable to all students on rolls and those taking fresh admissions but whose parents are bonafide residents of Telangana as on November 1, 1956.
Of the 28 lakh students who benefited from the scheme last year, 14.88 lakh were from Telangana. The number is likely to come down to 8 lakh this year due to the nativity factor being introduced due to the large number of Seemandhra students, nearly 39,000, in Telangana who got admission under 15 per cent non-local (open merit) quota.
In contrast, about 18,000 Telangana students are in Andhra Pradesh.
However, the number of students with Seemandhra ancestry will be much higher as thousands of students born in Telangana to parents from Seemandhra are now considered Telangana students.