BENGALURU: Students from Bangalore University were in for a surprise when they received an SMS alert recently about money being deposited in their account under the PM Kisan Samman Yojana (PMKSY) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The amounts ranged from Rs 6,000 to Rs 30,000, and these SC/ST students were not sure as to why the money was deposited all of a sudden.However, when they checked their SSD portal (the communication link between them and the social welfare department that disburses their annual scholarships), they realised that the amount shown in the text message was reflected in the portal. This meant that the money came from the social welfare department itself.
The period from May to July was hard for nearly 300 scholars from various schools of studies under Bangalore University, as they did not receive even the Rs 750 per month for their day-to-day expenses which they should have got from the social welfare department.
University trying to fix problem
A couple of months later, when these students returned to Bangalore University for their admissions to third year, they were in for a shock as the university asked them to pay the admission fees. “The students from SC/ST communities receive a scholarship of Rs 40,000 per annum that covers fees such as admission, hostel and examination among others. Only after the necessary deductions that students are given about Rs 14,000 in hand for day-to-day expenses,” a student told TNIE.
“ But this time, it was a shocker that the university asked us to pay the admission fees,” said the student. The amount from the purported PMKSY and MGNREGA schemes is just a fraction of the Rs 40,000 scholarship that they receive. “This is uncalled for, as we are expected to deposit the fees to the finance officer’s account in order to get our admit cards,” the student added.
Ashok, another student, said students received Rs 3,000 per month for hostel and food, and Rs 750 for incidental expenses. “However, neither was the money used in the hostel during the three months of lockdown, nor were we given that amount,” he said.“Now, they are threatening to deny us our admit cards and convocation if we do not transfer the money that we received in our accounts,” he said.
The students took the matter to BU Vice-Chancellor Prof K R Venugopal on Monday. Venugopal told The New Indian Express that the university was trying to get this problem sorted out. He said the problem was specific to law college students and hence their admission deadlines have been extended till the students get their scholarships.