The National Scheduled Castes Alliance and its fraternal organizations have entered into their 10th day of symbolic hunger strike and protest at Sector 25, Rally Ground Chandigarh against the Post-Matric Scholarship scam and the denial of admission by colleges/universities of 3 lakh students under the scheme and non issuance of degrees/certificates of around 6 lakh students over the past 3 years by these institutions.The scam revolves around the misuse of funds by the State government led by Captain Amrinder Singh and corruption of Rs. 63 crore by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. Under the third party conducted by the state government, it was found that there were irregularities in the scheme amounting to Rs. 500 crore. The CAG audit of 2018 also found diversion of funds and corruption by the colleges and universities in Punjab. The NSCA also criticized the State government for providing funds to those colleges which were incriminated in the CAG report.The National Scheduled Castes Alliance and its fraternal organizations also thanked the Central Government led by Shri. Narendra Modi ji for approving a corpus of Rs. 59,048 crores over 5 years for the Post Matric Scholarship scheme. The NSCA had in 2019, met and submitted a letter regarding the scheme to Shri. Som Parkash, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry whose efforts in this regard were appreciated. Starting from 2021-22, the Central share (60%) in the scheme would be released on DBT mode directly into the bank accounts of the students as per fixed time schedule, after ensuring that the concerned State Government has released their share.The Central Assistance which was around Rs 1100 crore annually during 2017-18 to 2019-20 would be increased more than 5 times to be around Rs 6000 core annually during 2020-21 to 2025-26.
The Central Assistance which was around Rs 1100 crore annually during 2017-18 to 2019-20 would be increased more than 5 times to be around Rs 6000 core annually during 2020-21 to 2025-26. “We demand that the Captain Amarinder Singh’s government should make sure that admission of students which were denied in 2020-21 academic year be granted to those students.” said Kainth.Paramjit Singh Kainth, President of the National Scheduled Castes Alliance said, “Our main demand is that the students belonging to the SC-OBC and other marginalized communities be granted admission and degrees/certificates be issued to them. Other demands include CBI inquiry into the corruption scandal, amendment to the Village Common Land act whereby 1/3rd land is auctioned every year to the Scheduled Castes community and this should be guaranteed by law insofar that no member of the community is forced to vacate the land given to him or to step down from the auctions forcibly, Scheduled Castes Sub Plan be implemented in the next financial year and cases of atrocities and social boycott be prosecuted and justice be provided the victims.”Speaking at the protest, Mr. Kainth further said, “we have been along with other organizations sitting here day and night to fight for the rights and equal status of our community in the State. We are being treated as second class citizens and this will not be tolerated anymore. The future of our community, our next generation is being deliberately destroyed through these corruption scams of the government and our fight shall continue nonstop till our demands are met.”The protest has been supported in the recent days by retired Senior IAS officers T.R. Sarangal and Gurpal Singh Bhatti who joined the protests. SC-BC Employees and Lok Ekta Front Punjab and SC/BC Employees Welfare Federation (PSPCL/PSTCL) Punjab with its President, Avtar Singh Kainth joining at the site. Other organizations such as Nav Nirman Kranti Dal’s Dalip Singh Buchra, Dalit Bhalai Manch’s Kirpal Singh are part of the protest. General Secretary of NSCA Gursewak Singh Manmajri, Jaswinder Singh Rahi, Rajwinder Singh Gadu etc also joined.