Mumbai: Draconian decision to prosecute college students to be withdrawn by the state

Feb 15, 2018, 10:05 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Resistance from across the state, has made the Maharashtra government drop a draconian decision that entailed prosecuting college students and their parents under certain sections of the Indian Penal Code, if they did not pay tuition fees

Representation pic
The rule stated that college students and their parents will be prosecuted for failing to pay tuition fees to their institutes after receiving scholarships

Resistance from across the state, has made the Maharashtra government drop a draconian decision that entailed prosecuting college students and their parents under certain sections of the Indian Penal Code, if they did not pay tuition fees to their institutes after getting scholarships.

Scholarship disbursement has become a tricky issue this year because of major goof-ups by the Information Technology Department. Firstly, students were asked to file applications online, and when the IT platform caved in, they were asked to go for offline process.

In addition to this, a directive was issued to take an undertaking signed on a stamp paper of Rs 100 that whoever gets a scholarship debited to his/her personal bank account, would pay tuition, examination fees and other due charges to their institutes, or face criminal action.

Students, parents agitate
Students and parents protested because of the hassles involved, and the threat to prosecute them. There are 16 lakh scholarship beneficiaries in the state, and if all were to buy stamp papers of Rs 100 each, they would give the government Rs 16 crore. Earlier, several educational institutes charged each student Rs 100 to get their forms filled online. The bond cost would be an additional burden on the students who had applied online.

The scholarships would earlier directly go to educational institutes. But when scams involving institutes which forged numbers of students to get maximum financial benefit came to the fore, the government changed the system. In the new system, the IT department fell short of efforts, and the government had to switch over to the offline method again. However, it was decided this year, that the money will directly go to the Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of students.

Directive to be dropped
Minister for other backward classes, special backward classes, denotified and nomadic tribes, Ram Shinde, told mid-day that the directive for prosecuting parents and students will be dropped. The social justice department will do away with a similar directive, said a government official.

16L
Number of scholarship beneficiaries in the state

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