Manipur’s meritorious students likely to miss out Ishan Uday (NER)-UGC scholarship

Names of many meritorious students, who secured high marks in their higher secondary exams and even the position holders, were missing in the selection list that was released Tuesday.

Many meritorious students of Manipur who applied for Ishan Uday (North-Eastern Region)-University Grants Commission (fresh 2019-20) scholarship are likely to miss the opportunity of receiving the scholarship because of alleged government negligence.

In an effort to promote higher education and for encouraging children belonging to economically weaker section of the Northeast region, the University Grants Commission (UGC) launched Ishan Uday, a Special Scholarship Scheme for North Eastern Region (NER) from academic session 2014-15.

However, alleged negligence on the part of the government may hinder the scheme from benefitting many meritorious students in Manipur.

According to reliable sources, the state nodal officer for Ishan Uday (NER)-UGC scholarship failed to revalidate the applications of the aspiring candidates. As such, many meritorious students, who secured high marks in their higher secondary exams and even the position holders, were not named in the selection list that was released Tuesday. 

When checking online, the students found out that their applications were still pending with the office of the state nodal officer, who is responsible for completion of the revalidation process to qualify for the selection process. 

The application status was shown as “Application is pending for revalidation with state nodal officer” on the official website. 

Shockingly, the details of the state nodal officer have not been found in the related portal and even the high-level officials of the education department are reportedly unaware of the matter. 

Worried students and guardians have sought intervention of the chief minister and the education minister.

“However, there has been no positive response so far,” a guardian told the Imphal Free Press, contending that the seeming lack of transparency has jeopardised the opportunity for the students. He urged for completing revalidation and other pending processes at the earliest so that meritorious students belonging to economically weaker sections do not miss the opportunity of receiving assistance in their education.  

According to information received by the Imphal Free Press, almost all the passed-out students of DM College, Imphal did not get selection for the scholarship. The DM authority is in touch with the UGC and trying to resolve the issue at present. 

Notably, it is also not known exactly how many students are selected from the state for the scholarship. Guardians have raised questions whether the government agencies are taking advantage of the alleged lack of transparency in the whole process.

Th. Roben, OSD to state Directorate of Higher Education and University, clarified that the concept of re-validation by the state nodal officer is new to the state and the verification was done by the colleges.

The guideline of the scholarship scheme also clearly mentioned that the final stage of verification was done by the respective nodal officer of the college.

“Given the fact of how verification was done earlier, the very word re-validation or state nodal officer are very confusing. However, underscoring the formality we have written to the UGC with the same queries which is vexing everyone. We have also had a discussion with some of the nodal officers of the colleges in the state to hammer out a solution,” Roben said.

Under the Ishan Uday scholarship scheme, 10,000 students from Northeast, whose family income is below Rs 4.5 lakh, are entitled to get a scholarship amount of Rs 5,400 to Rs 8,400 for four years. The selection of scholarship is also based on the merit of the students.

 

First Published:Aug. 26, 2020, 11:15 p.m.

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