Fund crunch at NITs deprives 2000 students of scholarship

Fund crunch at NITs deprives 2000 students of scholarship

For the second consecutive year in a row, National Institutes of Technology (NITs) has scrapped scholarship for 2,000 students to pursue B Tech at the institute  under a special scheme launched in 2010-11, citing fund crunch.

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry under Prakash Javadekar has put on hold the scholarship scheme introduced for "meritorious" students during the erstwhile regime of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

It has recently directed the central seat allocation board (CSAB) not to "operationalise" the scholarship scheme for the students who qualify in the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination), Main, this year and figure in the all India rank list of less than 2000).

The CSAB is the highest body, constituted by the HRD Ministry every year, to play a supervisory role in the conduct of the JEE-Main. IT also finalises the procedure and schedule for seat allocations.

"The scholarship scheme is under review of the Ministry," an official said.

The scholarship scheme is meant to cover the tuition fee of the students who qualify the nation-wide test with less that 2000 all India rank and get admission at any of the 31 NITs.

The merit scholarship award is granted for the entire duration of the engineering course, subject to "good academic and non-academic record" of the students.

The Ministry has put the scheme on hold after the NITs cited paucity of funds, requesting for the government's support.

A standing committee of the Council of the NITs at its meeting in November 2016 had recommended for scrapping of the scheme "on account of the huge gap in grants-in-aid between the requirements of the institutes (NITs) and that disbursed by HRD Ministry"

"The issue is still pending for the Ministry's decision. We are waiting for the Ministry's instruction," an NIT official told DH, when contacted.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is set to conduct the JEE-Main 2018 in pen and paper mode (offline) on April 8. The computer-based test (online mode) will be held by the board on April 15 and April 16.

Many private technical institutes are expected to accept the JEE scores for filling their seats from this year. The Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the IITs (Indian institutes of Technology) has invited BITs Pilani to come on board to accept the JEE scores.

"The Ministry is in process of formulating guidelines for inclusion of self-financed technical institutes in the list of those accepting the JEE score for admission of students," an official said.

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