PM Scholarship Scheme bungling being probed: Omar Abdullah

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SRINAGAR: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah  Friday told Legislative Council that Crime Branch has been asked to look into the complaints against the NGOs reportedly fiddling in the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (SSS) for the meritorious students of the State. 

Omar said that the reports of cheating by some NGOs has besmeared the reputation of the scheme and marred the future of various students admitted by these NGOs in some educational institutions without having any authority or any role in this regard.

The Chief Minister was intervening during the reply of questions by Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, Ravinder Kumar Sharma and supplementaries of other Members during the Question Hour in the Upper House:

“There is even no role of the State Government in the monitoring or placing of students in educational institutions outside the State. The scheme is completely run by the Union Government. However, the State Government cannot absolve itself of its responsibility towards the people as such the matter of reported cheating by some NGOs has been vehemently taken up with the Central Government. 

I have written to Prime Minister in this regard urging upon him to grant one time exception to the students who have sought admission in various institutions through NGOs and do not qualify for the scholarship so that their educational career is not marred. I have also emphasized the need of involving the State Government in the implementation of the scheme so that it is run hassle-free ensuring transparency and no chance for fraudulent elements to sneak in and take advantage of any lacuna in this centrally sponsored scheme”, he said adding that the scheme provides for getting admission in the educational institutions by the students on their own and if they obtain first five positions in the Entrance Tests held by these institutions, they are only then entitled for scholarship under the SSS.

Omar Abdullah said that some NGOs and the educational institutions have admitted students in bulk despite the fact that there is a cap placed in the scheme for grant of scholarship to only first five position holders. “It is as such required for students to ascertain whether they are falling in the first five positions or not before moving ahead to seek admission under SSS”, he elaborated.

The Chief Minister said that SSS could prove highly beneficial for the students of the State to seek higher trainings and education in the reputed educational institutions in the Country. However, he underlined the importance of involving the State Government in the implementation of the scheme through Higher Education Department so that students do not get led astray by unscrupulous elements and are properly guided for seeking admission and obtaining scholarships provided under the scheme. He said matter has already been taken up with the Union Government. He expressed the hope that positive results will be coming soon in this direction.

Intervening during the reply of another question by G. N. Moonga, the Chief Minister said that while the Government will take necessary measures to check the violation of traffic rules, the inculcation of awareness in people particularly the youth about the safety aspects while driving the vehicles and two wheelers, is of paramount importance. He said youth should be made well-versed about this importance so that they do not risk their lives while driving scooters and motorcycles. He said by not taking care of safety measures including wearing of helmets they put their lives to risk. “They consider fast driving and not using helmets as an element of bravery but this, in fact, is opposite to be the brave and the wise”, he said and reminded the parents of their responsibility and role to make youngsters aware of the importance of adopting safety measures while driving vehicles.

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