NEW DELHI:A government document has revealed that funds for the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Caste students (PMS-SC) has not been released. According to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Rs 7,032 crore is pending with the Centre. Officials said the government couldn’t release the entire PMS-SC central assistance to states due to inadequate allocation.
There have been protests, with activists approaching courts for release of funds. Last month, an advocate approached Madras High Court to direct the Centre to release Rs 1,765.62 crore for SC students and Rs 31.2 crore for ST students. He also made a plea for direction to the state government to take effective steps to get funds from the Centre. The court issued a notice to the Union and state governments.
Nagendra Pradhan, a Biju Janata Dal lawmaker had recently raised the issue in Parliament. “A huge amount is pending… This is certainly affecting the education of SC students from financially poor backgrounds,” he said.
The ministry’s reply on Pradhan’s question said, “Central Assistance towards outstanding arrear/pending amount is considered for release to states/UTs from time to time after receipt of complete proposals along with Utilization Certificate, audited expenditure etc and based on availability of funds.”