Congress slams TRS government for reducing education budget

Hyderabad: Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition Mohammed Ali Shabbir has accused TRS Government of hatching a ‘deep conspiracy’ to deprive higher education for students belonging to Dalit, Tribal, BC and Minorities communities.

Shabbir Ali, in a media statement on Tuesday, alleged that the TRS govt. has specifically reduced budget for schemes that helped poor SC, ST, BC, and Minorities in pursuing higher education. Quoting officials figures from the Telangana Budget 2020-21 presented in the Assembly on March 8, Shabbir Ali pointed out that the allocations under certain heads of SC, ST, BC, and Minorities Welfare were deliberately reduced to target the poor students.

Under SC Welfare, Shabbir Ali said, allocations were slashed by Rs. 490.91 crore for schemes like Professional Education Support Scheme; Scholarship Posts (MTF) Scholarship Posts (RTF); Post-Matric Scholarships for Quality Education; Post Matric Scholarships (Central Schemes). While the allocation was Rs. 890.61 crore in 2019-20, it was reduced to Rs. 400 crore in 2020-21.

  • Congress alleges ‘deep conspiracy’ against poor students
  • Over 25 lakh SC, ST, BC, Minority students likely to be hit

Similarly, under Tribal Welfare, funds were reduced for Scholarships Post (MTF); Pre-Matric Scholarships; Ambedkar Overseas Vidya Nidhi and Scholarships (RTF) and no allocation was made for Facilities in Gurukulams and Gurukulam Other IE. As against Rs. 484.8 Cr allocated in 2019-20, only Rs. 384.80 Cr were allocated in 2020-21, he said.

Likewise, under BC Welfare, allocations were reduced by Rs. 360.13 crore for various schemes including Scholarships to Non-Professional Courses (RTF); Scholarships and Stipends (EBC); EBC Non-Professional Courses (RTF); Mahatma Jyothi Ba Phule Overseas Vidya Nidhi; Post Matric Scholarships; Post-Matric Scholarships (Non-Professionals) and Assistance to TSREI for Residential High Schools Cum Jr. Colleges for BCs. Funds were also reduced for Centrally Assisted State Plan Schemes like Pre-Matric Scholarships; Scholarships and Stipends and Post Matric Scholarships.

The Congress leader pointed out that an amount of Rs. 318.95 crore was reduced for five education-related schemes under Minorities Welfare. As against Rs. 803.82 Cr allocated in 2019-20, only Rs. 484.87 Cr were earmarked in 2020-21.

The schemes are Pre-Matric Scholarships; Financial Assistance to Students of Telangana (FAST) RTF; Overseas Study Scheme for Minorities and Telangana State Minorities Residential Schools & Hostels. He said the budget for Minorities Residential Schools has been reduced by more than half from Rs. 483.95 Cr in 2019-20 to Rs. 212.98 Cr in 2020-21.

Overall, as against Rs. 3,642.07 crore allocated for various education-related schemes of SC, ST, BC and Minority students in 2019-20, only Rs.              2,372.38 Crore has been allocated for 2020-21. “Why this cut of Rs. 1270 crore was necessary when the State Government has increased the overall budget by Rs. 40,000 crores?” asked Shabbir Ali.

On average, the Congress leader said, if Rs. 5,000 is being spent on poor students, then this cut by Rs. 1270 crore would affect more than 25 lakh students. “Is this KCR’s model of governance wherein he is conspiring through the budget to deprive poor SC, ST, BC, and Minorities of getting a higher education?” he asked.

“Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao came to the power in 2014 on the promise of providing ‘KG to PG’ free education to all. Now he has changed his slogan to ‘Each One Teach One’ and expects to achieve total literacy with a mere allocation of Rs. 100 crore.

It is highly unfortunate that the TRS Government is using the budget to implement ‘deep conspiracies’ against Dalit, Tribal, BC and Muslim students. TRS Govt is trying to ruin the future of poor students by cutting down funds for scholarships and other education-related schemes,” he alleged.

Shabbir Ali said that Telangana has remained on the bottom of 31 States and Union Territories with regard to spending on education. He said that the TRS Government has reduced the spending every year. It was 10.88% of total expenditure in 2014-15 and it was reduced to 9.69% in 2015-16; 8.23% in 2016-17; 8.49% in 2017-18; 7.61% in 2018-19; 6.75% in 2019-20 and 6.64% in 2020-21.

“While this spending is too less, there is a deep conspiracy hidden in the budget figures which is aimed at depriving SC, ST, BC, and Minorities of higher education. KCR apparently wants poor students to continue with the caste-based professions. He is preventing them from becoming doctors, engineers, scientists or other professionals by depriving them of scholarships and other funds,” Shabbir Ali alleged.

The Congress leader demanded that the TRS Government take corrective measures by revising the budget figures to restore the highest allocations made in the previous years.