New Delhi, 2 December 2021 – The State Social Welfare Department, Maharashtra government has been receiving multiple complaints from parents and education activists lately. As per the parents, a few colleges in Maharashtra have been demanding the students (belonging to socially backward classes) to pay the scholarship amount, which they originally received from the Social Welfare Department to bear their educational expenses. These colleges have allegedly held back the results of the students after they failed to forward the scholarship amount.
Looking at the situation, the Social Welfare Department of Maharashtra has issued a strict statement, warning these educational institutions against collecting the scholarship amount.
One of the students from Pune who was denied the mid-term result said, “I was not given my mid-term result after I refused to pay the demanded scholarship amount. I have taken all the efforts to file the forms and take benefit of the scheme because I am a legitimate beneficiary. The college has told many beneficiaries to pay the amount to the college in cash. I have not paid after repeated reminders now the college has restricted access to my result.”
Not limited to Pune, other students from Ratnagiri, Nashik, Aurangabad and other districts in Maharashtra have also filed similar complaints to their respective Social Welfare Department offices. The complainants have stated that some colleges even decided to hold the documents like transfer or leaving certificates of those students who refused to refund the scholarship amount.
Numerous students stated in their complaints that a few colleges promised to grant them admission, but then told them to pay the fee first and later apply for the scholarship and refund the received amount.
Speaking in regards to this issue, MM Atram, Commissioner of Social Welfare Department has clarified that the government has issued notifications from time to time since the year 2003 (when the scholarships were introduced) in which it was stated that the colleges or the management should not demand any fee from the students and they should not hold up any documents of these beneficiaries.