Even as protests over the death of a medical aspirant from a backward community in Ariyalur continue in Tamil Nadu, the state has slashed scholarship for SC/ST students by a third.
This is due to a fund crunch and is bound to affect nearly 1.5 lakh students who want to pursue engineering, medicine, law and other streams, reports ToI.
The state's total demand under this scheme for scholarships, according to reports, was Rs.1,279 crore in 2016-17 and more than half of it is yet to be disbursed. Due to this, there will be a cut in scholarship for Dalit and tribal students in private colleges under management quota. An order to this effect has been passed.
Tamil Nadu has allegedly not received the full amount it demanded from the Centre in the past nine years.
Many students reportedly drop out of college citing inability to pay fees - an expense that is to be borne by the government and whose payment has been riddled with delays.
Dalit and tribal medical students, who had been receiving up to Rs 12.5 lakh each annually under the management quota, will now get only up to Rs 4 lakh, which is the limit fixed for such students' medical education under the government quota.
In May, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had reportedly written to PM Modi for the release of funds.
Over 30 Dalit students are apparently unable to join private medical colleges every year due to financial constraints.