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Age restriction on fee benefit scheme

Special Correspondent

Officials find some students received double benefit of scholarship and tuition fee


No plan to scrap the scheme for PG courses as reported in a section of the media: Minister

Findings reveal 20 persons aged 66-70 and 181 in 46-50 group had claimed the benefit for 2011


HYDERABAD: The coverage of the post-matric scholarship and tuition fee reimbursement schemes will hereafter be restricted to students aged 34 years and below -- whether pursuing graduate or post-graduate courses -- in case of open category and backward classes and to those aged 39 and below for the SCs and STs.

This decision was taken by the Cabinet Sub-committee headed by Social Welfare Minister Pithani Satyanarayana at three-hour-long meeting with officials of all welfare departments at the Secretariat on Wednesday in order “to avoid misuse of public money”. Ministers P. Balaraju (Tribal Welfare), Syed Mohd Ahmadullah (Minorities Welfare) and K. Parthasarathy (Secondary Education) attended the meeting. Its implementation, however, is subject to approval by the Cabinet which is meeting on April 16.

Mr. Satyanarayana flatly denied there was any plan to scrap the scheme for PG courses as reported in a section of the media.

Mild commotion

R. Krishnaiah, president, AP BC Welfare Association, stormed into the meeting hall with his followers and did not leave till the Minister gave an assurance that aid to PG courses would continue. G. Raja Sunder Babu, president, Indian Dalit Employees' Association raised slogans outside the hall, forcing authorities to bring in the police.

The Minister appealed to the agitated parents, students, organisations and political parties not to get panicky over the reports and assured that there would be “unbridled aid to PG courses too”.

Startling findings

Briefing reporters, Mr. Satyanarayana said the committee had fixed the upper age-limits for each social group, going by the ones fixed by the A. P. Public Service Commission for various recruitments.

The decision was also taken based on “a perplexing finding” that 20 persons aged 66--70 had claimed the benefit for 2010-11, along with 30 others aged 56-60.

Besides, 181 candidates aged 46-50 took the benefit along with 40 others of 41-45 age group. Officials while scanning the IT-based data, found to their dismay, that some students received double benefit of scholarship and tuition fee.

Another decision taken by the committee to avoid misuse was to insist on daily attendance of the students. Officials were asked to work out a uniform fee structure for courses covered by the scheme in consultation with university vice-chancellors.

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