PM Scholarship Scheme bungling being probed: Omar Abdullah

Srinagar, Oct 4 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday said the crime branch of the state police would investigate cases of alleged bungling by non-governmental organisations in the Prime Minister's Special Scholarship Scheme.

Omar Abdullah told the state legislative council: "Cases of bungling by NGOs in the Prime Minister's Special Scholarship Scheme are being investigated by the crime branch.

"Many NGOs, some of them high profile ones, who invite VIPs and VVIPs to their functions, have been involved in exploiting lacunae in the scheme. I have written a letter to the prime minister to plug loopholes in the scheme. I have also sought one-time waiver in respect of students from the state who have been admitted to various colleges, in excess of the five-student cap under this scheme," the chief minister said.

The scheme, launched in 2011-2012, allows students from the state who have passed the 10-plus-two or grade 12 examination, and gained admission to professional courses in UGC/AICTE-recognised colleges in different parts of the country, a scholarship of Rs.6 lakh per year.

The scholarship, administered by the union human resource development ministry, places a cap of five students for one college.

Omar Abdullah appealed to students to not fall prey to middlemen. "Students must apply directly under this scheme, and not through any NGO," he said.

Earlier, state Minister for Higher Education Muhammad Akbar Lone told the legislative council that the scheme was directly implemented by the union human resource ministry, and the state government had no role in it.

The scholarship amount was earlier Rs.4.5 lakh per year, but the limit has now been raised to Rs.6 lakh per year.

So far, Rs.31.9 crore has been released to beneficiaries under this scheme.

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