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Karnataka's minority students affected as budgets are reduced
A special cash incentive of Rs 25,000 given to students pursuing B.Ed and D.Ed by the Directorate of Minorities will be affected after the government cuts the budget by 5 crore. The incentive of Rs 35,000 given to nursing students from minority backgrounds has been scrapped and applications for the incentive were not taken this year citing dearth of funds.
A total of 7,155 B.Ed and D.Ed students had availed the scholarship in 2018-19 when Rs 17.88 crore was disbursed. The scholarship fund for B.Ed and D.Ed students had been reduced to Rs 12 crore in 2019-20.
"The Directorate of Minorities is going to list the students as per merit and provide scholarship to how many ever students Rs 12 crore can cover. The rest has to be left out. The Directorate has been told funds have been diverted to flood relief and drought-affected areas," said a source.
In 2018-19, for 5,283 GNM and BSc Nursing students, Rs 18.43 crore was released. They were also provided Rs 5,000 as training expenditure in addition to a monthly stipend of Rs 1,000. Uniform and books were also paid for by the Directorate. "Nursing students went to the Directorate wanting to apply for incentive this year, they were sent back," the source said.
Food and infrastructure provided to residential students will also take a hit as the budget released to the Directorate reduced from Rs. 1,767 crore in 2018-19 to Rs. 1,666 crore in 2019-20. These students reside in the 314 hostels, 100 Morarji Desai residential schools, 21 pre-university residential colleges and five Muslim residential schools. The number of beneficiaries of various schemes and scholarships under the Directorate has reduced from 10.99 lakh in the previous fiscal to an 86,251 till December 2019, this fiscal year. "The Directorate's requirement is 25% more than 2019's sanctioned budget but it has been told it will be getting half of it in 2020-21," the source said.
The Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation runs nine schemes and has also seen a reduction in the number of beneficiaries from 67,052 in 2017-18 to a 28,414 in December 2019. Officials say the reduction of beneficiaries is directly proportional to the decreasing budget from Rs. 330 crore in 2017 to Rs. 120 crore in 2019-20.