All Nagaland College Students’ Union (ANCSU) and Eastern Nagaland College Student’ Union (ENCSU) have expressed shock and dismay by the state government’s decision to disburse the 2017-18 Post Matric Scholarship (PMS) for ST students of Nagaland on installment basis.
The unions affirmed that they would not accept partial payment of scholarships or on installemnt basis.
In a joint statement, ANCSU president Katho P Awomi and ENCSU president M Longre Chang said after meeting the department officials, commissioner & secretary Higher and Technical Education and the concerned minister, it was agreed upon to disburse the full amount to the beneficiaries, while anticipating the remaining amount from the Centre after submission of the SIT report.
However, the unions said that the department dishonoured the agreement, which was an insult and direct challenge to the students’ community.
ANCSU and ENCSU reiterated its earlier demand not to accept partial payment.
While acknowledging that the state government had issues regarding funding from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the unions however maintained that it was not the fault of the students, but the failure of state government and the concern department.
Pointing out that scholarships were not being disbursed on time over the years, ANCSU and ENCSU asserted that the students’ community should not be fooled over and again due to the delay tactics and lame excuses of the government.
Though the total required amount for the year 2017-18 was Rs. 30,60,17,435 including 10% state matching share for 29,130 beneficiaries, they said the first installment amounting to Rs. 6.14 crore was sanctioned by the Centre for payment of PMS to the ST students of Nagaland (2017-18) on May 2, 2017 as ad-hoc grant.
However, due to delay in submission of SIT report for the year 2010-2015, the unions stated that the Centre was not releasing the remaining amount.
They said the students’ community were told on many occasions that the Centre was ready to release the remaining amount, but after submission of SIT report.
Though the SIT report for the year 2016-17 was submitted earlier, they said the report for 2010-15 could not be prepared on time due to untold reasons which was best known to the Special Investigation Team and the concern department.
ANCSU and ENCSU cautioned that they will not accept any kind of manipulated or compromised SIT report.
It further demanded the SIT report to be made public and not to be delayed any further.
ANCSU and ENCSU warned that the unions would resort to its own course of action if scholarship was disbursed on installment basis.
In this regard, the union have called upon all affiliated colleges to be prepared if their demands were not met by the state government.