At a time when Kashmiri students are pitted against the non-Kashmiris in NIT Srinagar, the All India Council of Technical Education has decided to rework the scholarship scheme for J&K students.
Starting this academic session, the AICTE will allow up to 10 students — instead of just two — from the region to study at an institute outside the state.
The move is aimed at ensuring that students do not feel “isolated” on a faroff campus. The AICTE is cautious that the upper ceiling must be 10 so that there is no “bunching” of students, or “incidents” like the cricket-cheering controversy at a Meerut institute in 2014. “As of now, there are two seats per college or institute under the scholarship scheme. As agreed by the interministerial committee, from this year we will allow 10 J&K students on scholarship in the same institute. Students will then not feel isolated and have a support system when ill or when travelling back home,” AICTE chairman Prof Anil Sahasrabudhe told ET.
“Also, we will not exceed the ceiling of 10 as we do not want any bunching of students since they could lead to certain incidents as seen in reports of an institute earlier,” the chairman said.
As per the ‘bunching’ norms, only two students per institute are awarded this scholarship to “avoid bunching in any one particular institute and to have an even distribution of students among various institutes of the country”.
The ceiling was reviewed in a meeting of the inter-ministerial committee in November 2015. In the last academic year, about 1,600 of the 5,000 available scholarships were taken.
The panel decided there should be a “supernumerary quota of two seats in all universities/colleges/institutes, for all courses, for students hailing from J&K” and “the limit of two supernumerary seat may be increased by the regulators to 10 per institute”. While AICTE has decided to increase seats, other regulators are yet to move on it.