Govt to liberalise norms for fee reimbursement for general students

For the post-matric scholarship and fee reimbursement scheme, the Department of Social Welfare is planning to increase the annual income criteria of general category students from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

The department is also planning to reimburse the complete fee of post-matric courses of these beneficiaries. Like in the case of SC/ST fee reimbursement, the reimbursed fee for general category students will be now transferred to the account of the beneficiaries rather than the institutes.

Earlier this year, the state government changed the rules of scholarship and fee reimbursement transfer for SC/ST students. Before the change in rules, while the scholarship was transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries, the reimbursed fee was transferred to the account of the institutes where the student was enrolled. Several financial irregularities were unearthed in the department in Muzzafarnagar pertaining to the fee reimbursement scheme.

As per the new rules for both the schemes being prepared by the department, general category students whose family income is below Rs 2 lakh a year will be eligible for the scholarships. While the criteria for SC/ST was Rs 2 lakh a year of family income, for general category, the limit was Rs 1 lakh per annum.

Another change in rules for the general category include the decision to reimburse complete fee of the student. Till now, the fee reimbursement cap for general category was the fee taken for the respective course in a state government institute. If the student pursued a course from a private institute with a higher fee structure, the fee reimbursed would be partial.

"The new rules for general category students' scholarship and fee reimbursement scheme is ready and will be presented before the cabinet in the next meeting for approval. The budget for the scheme will be decided by the state government and we will have to accommodate the number of beneficiaries in general category to get scholarship as per the approved budget," said Sadakant, Principal Secretary, Department of Social Welfare.

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