SC students protest institute’s demand of ‘blank cheques’ against dues
Scholarship not released by govt yet, students allege harassment
Scheduled Caste (SC) and backward classes students of the CT Group of Institutions, Shahpur Campus, under the banner of the Punjab Students Union have staged a protest against the university authorities here today near bus stand for allegedly demanding a “blank cheque” against their pending fees.
Students claimed that the delay in the release of post-matric scholarships had created problems as they belonged to poor families. They alleged that the college had been pressuring them to sign an affidavit wherein it’s written that if the Centre and the state government fail to release their dues by July, students and parents will be solely responsible for clearing the pending fees.
Besides, the university had also demanded blank cheques and claimed that whenever the state government releases the scholarships, they were authorised to get the cheques cashed, they alleged.
CT Institute student Karan Kumar said: “We went to the college today to get our no-due slip clear. However, the college authorities denied giving clearance and asked us to sign the affidavit and submit five blank cheques against our pending dues to get the role number.”
He said his scholarship amounting to Rs 1, 27,000 is pending with the state government for the last five semesters. He said the last scholarship he received was in the last months of 2017.
Jaskaran Azaad, district president, Punjab Students Union, while talking to The Tribune said: “The state government should direct colleges not to harass poor SC students. If the government has not released the scholarship amount, it’s not their fault and the college authorities should take up the matter with the government rather than harassing students. We will start a series of protests if their harassment is not stopped immediately.”
He said by any means colleges and universities could not put pressure on students to sign any affidavit or submit blank cheques. Rather, they should take up the matter with the state government which had delayed the disbursal of the scholarship amount among students.
Manbir Singh, managing director, CT Institute, said till last year the government transferred the fee of SC students to the school’s account, but from this year they had changed the norms. “Now, the fee will directly come into accounts of students’ parents after they apply under the SC category.”
He said the government should release the scholarship amount as it was creating problems for both students as well as institutes. No students were being pressured to sign any affidavit.
“We have just asked the students to submit the cheques of the amount that is due for security purposes, not the blank cheques. We have asked them to sign written undertakings with the college management that they would shift the amount to college bank accounts after getting it from the government,” he said.
Courtesy: The Tribune