Aadhaar & Pan cards will be made mandatory for students and parents to be eligible for scholarships and fee reimbursement to pursue higher education courses in Telangana state.
Children of government employees and professionals like doctors, engineers etc., besides private employees drawing reasonable salaries will be barred from the schemes. The TS government has drafted stringent norms to this effect to check bogus beneficiaries.
The Cabinet sub-committee constituted by the government came out with tougher norms to reduce the financial burden on government, which is pegged at Rs 2,500 crore this year.
It came to the notice of the committee that the schemes were grossly misused in the undivided state, wherein students from financially well-off backgrounds availed of the benefits causing huge loss to state exchequer.
The committee also found that several bogus colleges came up in Telangana since 2009, only to siphon off fee reimbursement funds.
The tougher norms were necessitated as the Telangana State Cabinet had recently decided to continue the fee reimbursement scheme launched by the Congress government in 2008 in toto, against its earlier decision to implement FAST scheme wherein the benefit would be extended to only those students whose ancestors were/are residents of Telangana from before November 1, 1956.
The government dropped the FAST proposal after it invited the wrath of the courts, the Opposition parties as well as the students.
The committee has decided in favour of PAN card and Aadhaar as these details will enable the government to ascertain beneficiaries’ financial position besides their local, non-local status as per Article 371 (d) of the Constitution.
Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao had announced that Article 371 (d) would be followed to determine the local, non-local status of students and students complying to these local norms would be eligible for the benefits.