Taking serious note of the withholding of degrees of the SC students by private colleges/institutions owing to non-payment of fees after the closure of Post Matric Scheme for SC students by the Union Government in 2017, the Punjab Government today directed all the institutions to release degrees to such students within three days. The decision was taken here today during the maiden meeting of the High powered committee of the Group of Ministers (GoM), constituted in the State cabinet meeting yesterday (Thursday) by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, to decide on the pending issues regarding the year 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 arising out of the closure of the scheme.After the meeting, the Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal apprised that the GoM has extended an invitation to all the colleges and institutions for comprehensive discussions in an open minded manner on the pending issues and explore ways for their redressal, on January 19, 2021. The Finance Minister further pointed out that the colleges and institutions have been given three days timeframe to release degrees to the students. “The meeting would also brainstorm about the ways and means to settle the pending liabilities of three years”, revealed Manpreet Singh Badal adding that the releasing of the degrees within the stipulated three days period would be a pre-requisite for the institutions to attend the meeting.
The Technical Education and Industrial Training Minister Charanjit Singh Channi pointed out that the BJP led Union Government in a anti-dalit decision, stopped the Post Matric Scholarship scheme for SC students in 2017 which caused panic amongst the students belonging to SC category. He further said that the State Government is willing to contribute its share in the scheme. “The Punjab Government is opposed to the colleges withholding degrees of the students and taking affidavits or indemnity bonds from them which is the reason the State Government has decided that in case any institution or colleges withholds the degree of any student or takes an affidavit from the students, the affiliation of the concerned institution would be cancelled. The issue pertaining to fees is between the Government and the institutions and the future of SC students would not be allowed to be jeopardized”, added Charanjit Singh Channi.Meanwhile, the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot said that the Chief Minister had constituted the high powered committee in order to ensure that no student is deprived of the avenues of employment or higher studies on account of non-receipt of the degree. He further said that the committee would hold broad based dialogue with the institutions. The Minister also added that if the Union Government has abdicated its responsibility then the State Government stands firmly at the back of SC students and under no circumstances would their rights be allowed to trampled upon. “The colleges and the institutions have been directed to release degrees to the students in three days”, said the Minister.On the occasion, the members of the GoM including Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Higher Education and Languages Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Technical Education and Industrial Training Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Finance K.A.P. Sinha, Principal Secretary Social Justice and Empowerment Jaspal Singh, Principal Secretary Technical Education Anurag Verma and DPI (Colleges) Paramjit Singh were also present.