There will be 'zero tolerance' on corruption in scholarship disbursement, says minister Temjen Imna Along; appeals 'underground groups' not to demand anything from dept
Kohima: The Nagaland directorate of higher education on Tuesday informed that a total of 41,841 students have benefited from the state merit and research scholarship schemes and the first installment of the post-matric scholarship (scheduled tribe) under the department for the year 2019-20. A total of Rs 22,39,44,907 has been disbursed to these students so far.
Addressing a press conference, Keduosielie Keyho, OSD, scholarship, informed that under the post-matric scholarship (PMS) for scheduled tribe (ST) students of Nagaland, a total of Rs 1,936.68 lakh has been disbursed as first installment for 39,975 ST students. A total amount of Rs 21,66,43,000 has been proposed as the second installment central share, he informed. Under the PMS, the funding pattern is 90% Central government share and 10% of state government share.
Unlike the PMS, the State Merit Scholarship and Research Scholarship are 100% funded by the state government. For the year 2019-20, a total of Rs 266.21 lakh was awarded to 1,734 meritorious students and a total of Rs 33.56 lakh was disbursed to 132 research scholars.
Besides these scholarships, 74 eligible professional students have been selected for the NEC-Stipend & Book grant for the year 2019-20 amounting to Rs 16.62 Lakh although the sanction is still awaited. The funding pattern for the NEC Stipend & book grant is 90% central share and 10% of state share.
'Zero tolerance' on corruption in the scholarship disbursement:
Minister of higher & technical education, tribal affairs Temjen Imna Along said that the state government and the directorate of higher & technical education is ensuring that there is transparency in the disbursement of the scholarships for students.
“It has been our ardent endeavour to make sure that scholarships are disbursed in time and there is zero tolerance to any corruption in the scholarship disbursement,” said Along.
The minister said that scholarships which remained pending due to certain litigation's were all released in January 2019. "I assure you of no such litigation, PIL or any kind of corruption in the disbursement of scholarship, today and in the times to come," he said further adding that it is the stand of the department towards the students of Nagaland.
He also appealed the students who are yet to receive their scholarships due to certain technical issues to claim the cheque that remains unclaimed. While he urged the officials to notify such students, he said that the unclaimed amount received for scholarship of students will be reverted back to the scholarship scheme implementing agencies -- the central government, state government and NEC.
"I also appeal to all the underground groups not to come and demand anything in this department because this is not a welfare department. This department works for the students and [for] the welfare of the students community. This dept should be exempted from any demands and appeals as it works solely for the student welfare," he added.
He said that when the department "is not doing any corruption on scholarships or any issues pertaining to the welfare of the students", the people must also understand it. "With limited resources and manpower we are trying our best to develop and built the future of the students," he said further adding that any kinds of demands must be "blotted out for the department of Higher and technical education".
Meanwhile, Vimeyiekho Vitso, president of the All Nagaland College Students' Union (ANCSU), acknowledged the department for disbursing the scholarship at time when most are in need. He said that the student body has been sensitizing students about the various scholarships. He assured that the students are wisely utilizing the scholarship amounts to meet the needs of their academic requirements.
While the Scholarship cell was set up following the order of the Commissioner & Secretary on October 25, he said that in-depth [functioning] of the cell yet to be made known. He also said that there is still need to streamline the scholarship schemes.
He revealed that between 2014-17, a total of 860 students who failed to claim their scholarships were identified and appealed the department to facilitate it. He also said that a total of 362 phone calls and messages were received from the students citing their grievances.