Jayalalithaa seeks PM Narendra Modi’s intervention on post-matric scholarship issue

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention for the release of over Rs 1,500 crore towards Post-Matric Scholarship to SC/ST students under a centrally sponsored scheme.

Jayalalithaa said her government had to incur a total expenditure of Rs 1,295.55 crore towards post-matric scholarships in 2015-16, of which Rs 942 crore was Centre’s share.

“For the period up to 2014-15, arrears totalling Rs 1,175.10 crore were pending. During 2015-16, so far, only Rs 567.34 crore has been released by the Government of India, leaving a total balance of Rs 1,549.76 crore,” she said.

In a letter to Modi, Jayalalithaa said she had been informed that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has admitted the state government’s claims under the post-matric scholarship scheme, “but is unable to release the funds to the State due to insufficient budgetary allocations.”

Scholarship under the scheme, a centrally sponsored one being implemented by state government, was very essential to keep students, most of whom were from very poor families, adequately motivated to pursue their studies, she said in the letter which was released by the state government.

She said delay in the disbursement of scholarship ‘undermines’ its credibility.

“This is clearly a very important scheme to enable the weaker sections to move forward in life through education.

Given the importance and sensitivity of this scheme, I request that the Ministry of Finance may be directed to provide adequate funds to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to release the entire pending central share of Rs 1,549.76 crore due to Tamil Nadu,” she added.