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Case study from Kerala

Case study from Kerala

Case Study from Kerala

There are several challenges faced by SC and ST students in their access to higher education. In terms of accessing scholarship, students experience discrimination at several levels. Starting from the application, many applications from the SC/ST students are not accepted and are denied admission stating reasons of insufficient documents. Moreover often the process of filing application is often so lengthy and tiring, that many students lack the resources in doing so and there are no mechanisms to address to smoothen out these issues. Adding to it, there have been certain policy level changes in terms of reduction in allocation, number of scholarship, linking scholarship to aadhar making the Dalit and Adivasi students more vulnerable in terms of the position in the educational institutions.

Sl No District Number of SC students  scholarships withheld Total Number of ST   students  scholarships withheld Total
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
1 Thiruvananthapuram 216 1277 727 2220 14 68 15 97
2 Kollam 431 1479 691 2601 14 27 15 56
3 Pathanamthitta 375 397 230 1002 14 18 5 37
4 Alappuzha 102 391 241 734 4 10 2 16
5 Kottayam 255 528 294 1077 39 54 27 120
6 Idukki 69 216 181 466 36 59 18 113
7 Ernakulam 267 869 508 1644 15 69 35 119
8 Thrissur 247 1126 772 2145 4 12 4 20
9 Palakkad 93 929 569 1591 8 84 38 130
10 Malappuram 285 1738 813 2836 9 35 19 63
11 Kozhikode 214 696 256 1166 6 34 18 58
12 Wayanad 75 92 30 197 141 136 35 312
13 Kannur 134 280 146 560 14 53 22 89
14 Kasargod 67 205 159 431 14 120 114 248
State Total 2830 10223 5617 18670 332 779 367 1478

Even after Supreme Court’s judgement, that Aadhar should not be made mandatory for availing      government welfare schemes, Government of Kerala, in circular dated 19/12/2012 made it mandatory. Since then department withheld applications of the students who didn’t provide aadhar linked account details. The list of these students who couldn’t avail the scholarship due to non-compliance with Adhar was published in the website with district wise details.

In Kerala due to this issue of linking Aadhar number with the scholarship distribution around 20000 Dalit and Adivasi students had been denied scholarships for more than two years. After obtaining this information the state team met the Minister and Secretary SC department and Directors SC and ST department for his immediate intervention. The team also filed number of RTI application to verify the information, further also issued a press note stating gross violations. All major newspapers and online portals carried this news in detail.  Later the Director SC department informed that pendency of scholarships due to Aadhar has been brought down to less than 1000 students. Therefore this campaign has benefited at least 19,000 Dalit and Adivasi students in the state of Kerala.