ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Scheduled Caste Students’ Education and Post-matric Scholarships in Punjab

The issue of the massive dropouts of Scheduled Caste students from colleges and universities in Punjab is investigated in this article. For understanding the dropout rates of the SC students, it has been argued that one should take a cognisance of social and economic processes of the Punjabi society.

The author is grateful to Mehal Singh, principal of Khalsa College, Amritsar for his help in getting some crucial information.

Punjab takes pride in being one of the most developed states in the country. The green revolution—a phenomenon of high agricultural productivity—started from there. Despite its small size, it is regarded as the food bowl of the country. The primacy of agriculture is time and again emphasised in the case of Punjab, but it has moved from that position some time back, and at present, it merely constitutes 25% of the total gross domestic product of Punjab. Over a period of time, Punjab has been facing serious governance issues. One party after the other has failed to carry out the necessary task of pushing the development process further. Against the backdrop of the general economic scenario, we find corruption in most of the sectors of the economy. It is in this context that the issue of post-matric scholarships came up, which drew less-than-needed attention from the media and the beneficiaries in general. Let us look into the matter the way it came up in the press.

On 20 July 2022, the news of drop-outs of Scheduled Caste (SC) students studying in the colleges of Punjab app­eared online in most of the newspapers at both the regional and national levels. This dropping out was attributed to the failure of the Punjab government in disbursing the central government scholarship grant to the SC students. The chairperson of the National Commission for Scs, Vijay Sampla, who also happened to hail from Punjab, told the press that about `2,000 crore had not been distributed among the students. He further added that about three lakh students benefited from the Post-matric Scholarship Scheme in 2017, whereas in 2020, the number of beneficiaries dro­pped to 1–1.25 lakh. However, no details were made available regarding such a large dropout rate. The chief minister of Punjab had already ­ordered a probe into the alleged irregularities in this matter.

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Updated On : 17th Oct, 2022
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