Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday called for legal action against NGOs allegedly involved in duping Kashmiri students enrolled in various colleges under the PM's Special Scholarship Scheme.
State Chief Secretary Iqbal Khandey briefed the Prime Minister on the implementation of the scheme through a video conference, an official spokesman said.
"The PM called for initiating legal action against the NGOs allegedly involved in duping the students who have enrolled in various colleges under the PMSSS," the spokesman said.
The Prime Minister reviewed the progress of PMSSS in the state and directed for taking necessary corrective measures and holding regular consultations for better implementation of the scheme.
"The Prime Minister directed Union Higher Education Secretary S Mohanty to share with the state government immediately the list of all colleges approved under 12B of UGC Act, or recognised by AICTE so that aspiring students can know in advance about the UGC certified colleges, their fee structure, etc and not get into trouble later as has been the case," the spokesman said.
"The students in the state should know in advance about the scheme as well as the eligible colleges for availing the benefits of the scholarships under PMSSS. No student will risk his career and it is our duty to ensure that they are well informed and properly counselled," the Prime Minister said.
Modi also directed Union Higher Education Secretary to give the State Chief Secretary and Joint Secretary in the PMO all the details of the students who are pursuing higher education under the PMSSS in various colleges outside the state and the status of scholarships disbursed to them.
The Prime Minister directed Mohanty to ensure that counselling takes place at both Srinagar and Jammu for the benefit of students besides ensuring that all students getting benefitted under the scheme are provided Adhaar Cards, the spokesman said.
Earlier, the state Chief Secretary said around 3,520 students had availed PMSSS during 2012-13 which drastically dropped to 246 against the target of 5,000 per annum.
As per the recommendations of the Expert Group constituted in 2010, PMSSS was designed to provide 5,000 scholarships to J&K youth every year for pursuing higher education opportunities in colleges or institutions outside the state.
Of these, 4,500 scholarships are for general degree courses, 250 for engineering and 250 for medical courses. The scheme covers cost of tuition, hostel fee, cost of books and other incidental charges.
To oversee the implementation of the scheme, an inter-ministerial committee has been constituted which has taken several initiatives to address complaints with regard to the scheme.
To address the complaints of inordinate delay in scholarship, the scheme has been brought under the DBT for disbursing scholarships directly into the bank accounts.
"Students can now apply directly via online application on AICTE portal aicte-jk-scholarship.in and they shall be eligible only if they have secured admission through counselling or in colleges approved under 12B of UGC Act, or recognised by AICTE," the spokesman said.