Hyderabad, Dec. 20: Irregularities in minority scholarships are a matter of grave concern for the students belonging to minority communities, compelling the students of Maulana Azad National University (MANUU) to protest these anomalies here Wednesday.
“The National Scholarship Portal, intended for students from minority communities, faced a setback last year when the Ministry suspended over 830 institutions, citing alleged fraud involving fake beneficiaries,” said a statement issued by MANUU Students Union.
Expressing concern over ‘the deliberate targeting of minority scholarships by the central government,’ Mateen Ashraf, President of MANUU Students Union, asserted that it ‘has become a systematic concern.’
Highlighting ‘a case where the negligence of a district nodal officer led to the red flagging of a MANUU student’, MANUU-SU President said it resulted in ‘the cessation of scholarships for over 1800 students.’
This year, the Ministry initiated a CBI inquiry, alleging that numerous minority institutions were involved in obtaining fraudulent scholarships. Consequently, the Ministry of Minority Affairs has not opened the scholarship portal for the academic year 2023-24.
“MANUU students, along with others from minority communities, find themselves unable to apply for scholarships due to this delay,” Ashraf further said.
Strongly condemning what they perceive as discriminatory actions by the Minister for Minority Affairs Smriti Irani, the MANUU Students Union demanded ‘the immediate release of scholarships and the reopening of the scholarship portal for the current academic year.’
The students also emphasized the importance of fair access to educational opportunities for all, irrespective of their community background.