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MAEF fails to deliver scholarships

New Delhi: This year not only the Union ministry for minorities affairs is moving at a snail’s pace in payment of scholarships to minority students but the autonomous institutions working under it are also depriving minority students of scholarships. In Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF), which was set up for promotion of education among the Muslim minority students through funding for new schools and distributing scholarships, a big conspiracy to deprive them of scholarship has come to light. This year scholarship cheques are being sent to students so late that they may not avail of this financial help. This can be understood from the fact that though scholarship cheques of minority community students were prepared about three months ago, last April but were kept unnecessarily in the office and sent out by post only 4 or 5 days before expiry of the validity of the cheques, which was 10 July 2016. The scholarship cheques were received by students on Friday 8 July. Next day was second Saturday, a bank holiday in accordance with the latest agreement between bank employees and government after the threat of the strike for rejection of their demands. After Saturday it was Sunday, a normal bank holiday, with the result that validity of these cheques had expired before these could be deposited in banks.

It came to be known from bank sources that the MAEF had hired ADBI for receiving and sending these cheques to students. The mystery behind the cheques being prepared three months ago but holding them without any reason for a long time and then mailing them to students only a few days before the expiry date of cheques gives rise to questions and intentions of those working in the Foundation and IDBI. When this conspiracy and cheques becoming invalid was known, the affected students were asked to send a photocopy of the invalid cheques along with their passbooks to the ministry so that new cheques could be issued to them with extended dates of validity.

As regards the unnecessary delay in sending the cheques to students because of which their cheques became invalid, an officer of MAEF said on condition of anonymity that in the whole affair the concerned ministry has taken action against IDBI and its AGM has been transferred. Another reason for delay in receiving the cheques by students is that instead of sending the cheques by speed post, they were sent by courier which is delivered in cities and towns and not villages, because of which, out of about 48,000 applicants, scholarship cheques could be delivered to about 12,000 students only. It is said that because of the carelessness and deliberate delay in sending out the cheques, about 27,000 students failed to benefit from scholarships. In this whole affair MAEF and the hired bank IDBI appear to be responsible

It may be stated that about Rs. 60 crores are spent annually by MAEF towards scholarships to students. In addition to scholarhsips, the Foundation also spends money on building new schools and other requirements of schools for minority community students. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2016 on page no. 15

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