--by Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 9:53am
The young and progressive chief minister of Andhra Pradesh sri Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy has released a press note on 02-08-2011 about the flagship programme "EPASS ONLINE POST-MATRIC SCHOLARSHIPS OF GOVT OF AP' . Please read it as follows.
-HYDERABAD: Nowhere in the country, no State for that matter provides full tuition fee reimbursement for these many students for these many courses as Andhra Pradesh. The State is learnt to have broken all records in this matter and now stands first in providing Post Matric Scholarships (PMS) to the highest number of almost 26 lakh students. Andhra Pradesh is also the first State to upload the entire PMS scheme online and make payments direct to the students' bank accounts after due verification. This avoids all kinds of duplication, foul play and fake claims. The Chief Minister Mr Kiran Kumar after assuming charge as Chief Minister of the State, cleared all backlog arrears of Post Matric scholarships of 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years and has now directed the officials to chalk out an action plan to release the 2011-12 Post Matric scholarships also on time. He said funds, if need be, will be generated specially towards the scheme but the State Government will fulfill the commitments given to the students and parents towards the PMS. The State Government now requires Rs.3805 crores only for 2011-12 towards the PMS after clearing all the backlog arrears. The Chief Minister said that Education and Health are the priority schemes of the State Government. "I do understand that providing Post Matric Scholarships to 26 lakh students from Intermediate to all Professional Courses including Engineering is a gigantic task but then it is our commitment and we stand by it. Education and Health are the basic priority of the State Government. The State Government provides Post Matric Scholarships for 1600 unique courses in 10,934 colleges for 26 lakh students. "We will not only provide the Post Matric Scholarships to all the eligible students of SC/ST/BC/EBC/Disabled/Minorities on a saturation basis but also decided to increase the income limit of the SC/ST parents from this academic year", he said. Meanwhile Officials informed the Chief Minister that all the backlog payments towards the Reimbursement of Tuition Fee and Maintenance Charges (RTF and MTF) for 2009-10 and 2010-11 are fully cleared and the last instalment of Rs.480 crs will be paid in a month. The Chief Minister directed the Social Welfare Department officials who are dealing with the PMS that while weeding out duplication and fake claims for scholarships, they should ensure that not a single eligible student is deprived of the benefit. The officials assured that Chief Minister that the online system is being made fool-proof and the payment towards the PMS will be credited direct to the bank account of the student and he can withdraw it with his ATM card. The Chief Minister directed the officials to clarify if there is still any confusion regarding the Reimbursement of Tuition Fees to the students who are now taking admissions through counseling. He said the Colleges, under no circumstances, should be allowed to collect tuitions fees from the students eligible for the Reimbursement. He said that there should not be any ambiguity in this regard and asked the officials to make it clear to the Colleges and at the Counseling Centres in this regard. The Chief Minister said stern action should be taken against the colleges asking the eligible students to first pay the tuition fees pending adjustment. He said this should not be allowed. The State Government launched the scheme on a saturation mode for SC/ST students from from the beginning, BC and Minorities from 2008-09 and Economically Backward Class students from 2009-10. The income ceiling is Rs.1 lakh and administered fully online since 2010-11 (http://epasswebsite.cgg.gov.in) by the Social Welfare and Minority Welfare Departments. Hereafter the payment of RTF will be made in two instalments and MTF in four instalments after proper verification. The Group of Ministers constituted to study the PMS has recommended age restrictions to 30 years for other categories of students and 34 years for SC/ST students as on July1 of the year. The GoM also recommended grading of colleges, vigilance committee to be constituted for surprise checks and reorganisation of para medical courses etc. The PMS are paid for courses like B.Tech, Degree (General), MBA, MCA, Intermediate, B.Pharm, Polytechnic, Post Graduate courses, Nursing, B.Ed etc. The Chief Minister also decided to increase the income limit of SC and ST parents from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.2 lakh per annum and also hiked the maintenance fee (MTF) of these categories of students in all courses. Following the enhanced income ceiling of the parents, Class IV employee having income of Rs.16,700 per month shall become eligible for MTF and 2,19,694 Class IV employees from the SC, ST Communities in Government and Public sector will be benefitted by this. It was also decided to streamline issuing of income and caste certificates by Revenue department. Counseling of Engineering courses are also to be streamlined and made online and absolutely transparent. The future plans include that each college has to furnish the nominal rolls/admission register to the regulating authority and it will be the key document for verification of students in the college and admission registers and nominal rolls for all colleges across the State to be online to make it transparent, accountable and responsible. The registration and renewal of colleges and college hostels, courses and sections etc. to be made online at the earliest. To avoid confusion of all scholarship applications of Muslim students, it will be hereafter filled on one portal only and can be processed independently by the Minority Welfare department. The Chief Minister also agreed to the proposal to create a Directorate of Scholarships to administer the scholarships and officers from different departments will be posted for addressing the departmental issues which will be administered fully online and redressal of grievances will be done through customer care.