Visa Crunch

Madhya Pradesh: Scheduled Castes Students Backed By Government Scholarship Studying Abroad Yet To Receive Money

Bhopal: About 48 students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) who have gone abroad to pursue higher studies on the state government’s scholarship have been allegedly struggling to get the amount for several months. They have shared their experiences on Twitter.

A student studying at Loughborough University in England, Vaybhav Singh, took to Twitter and narrated his condition tagging the government officials a couple of days back.

He wrote, “I’m a recipient of the Foreign Study Scholarship provided by the SC (scheduled castes) welfare of Madhya Pradesh. I’m in the UK for Masters’ Degree since September. I haven’t received any promised expenses other than the visa and ticket price reimbursement. I’d be presented before debt collecting dept of UK on failing to pay dues (sic).”

It can hamper my prospects of working and learning here. I’d be really glad if you can please expedite the process, so that I can pursue my studies with peace. My rent is due by 15th Dec,” he further added.

Vaibhav is a resident of the Nariyalkheda area in Bhopal and is in the United Kingdom to pursue Masters in Sports Management. He has to pay 500 pounds as rent and requires at least 150 pounds for miscellaneous expenses.

Betul’s Rohit Athankar had left his job in a telecom company to pursue Masters in Artificial Intelligence from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. He could not go to Scotland as he did not have money to pay for flight and visa. Lockdown had ruined his father’s business and he would have only gotten the reimbursement after he reached Scotland.

While talking to Free Press, he said, “If the government is ready to pay for my expenses, I can pursue the degree of my choice.”

Another student from Sagar, Ankur Rai, said, “I was selected to pursue MSc (Project and Infrastructure Management) from Brunel University in London. The government has not released the funds because of which I cannot go and study there. The session is to begin from January 2022.”

Madhya Pradesh government provides an annual scholarship of US $40,000 for the tuition of US $9,000 for maintenance, US $1,000 for contingency and local travel expenses under the Overseas Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes Scheme for studies abroad.

Need Rs 7 crore from govt: Joint director SC development department

Joint director of the SC development department, Sudhir Jain, said, “We have limited funds because of which we cannot release payments to the students stuck abroad. We have requested the government several times. We need Rs 7 crore to pay to all the scheduled caste students who have gone abroad and who are here.”

This story was first published in The Free Press Journal.

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