Maharashtra minister's daughter decides to give up scholarship

Maharashtra minister's daughter decides to give up scholarship”

The Social Justice Department of Maharashtra government awards financial assistance to 50 students from the scheduled castes and neo-Buddhist communities to pursue higher education, post-graduate and doctoral courses in foreign universities.

Badole's daughter Shruti badole was granted Maharashtra government's scholarship meant for Schedule Tribe students to pursue a PHD at Manchester university in UK.

Mumbai: A Maharashtra minister's daughter has said she will not accept a state government scholarship to study overseas, after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis sought an explanation from her father Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole. The names of Shruti and sons of two senior bureaucrats in this year's list of recipients triggered a controversy given their privileged backgrounds, though technically they fulfilled the criteria.

The assistance includes one-time fare of flight for economy class, education fee, allowances etc.

The scholarship includes an additional fund of $1,375 (around Rs 88,000), or £ 1,000 (around Rs 83,000) for the United Kingdom for other academic expenses.

Meanwhile, minister Badole and the two bureaucrats whose sons are among the beneficiaries said in an official statement that the selection was based on merit and they played no role in it.

"Shruti Badole has a degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, and has studied Master of Science in London". I got admission and scholarship there purely on the basis of merit. "Similarly, Antariksh Waghmare has got admitted to the 95th best university", the department said.

Adding that she had apprehended that there could be a controversy since she was a minister's daughter, Shruti, in her statement, said that was why her father made a decision to withdraw himself from the procedure.

Antariksh's father Dinesh Waghmare is secretary, higher and technical education, in the state government and Sameer's father Dayanand Meshram deputy secretary, higher education. The chief minister constituted a new committee this year under the chief secretary's chairmanship."He added that both Shruti and Antariksh were adults and applied independently, and the fact that their fathers are a minister and a secretary is no reason for their disqualification.The opposition has slammed the state government's move".

To avail the scholarship, the family income of the applicant should be less than Rs 6,00,000 per annum but for the ones eligible for the top 100 universities, the income criterion has been removed. "I was not even part of the selection committee", he said.

"On one hand, the prime minister appeals to people to give up gas subsidy and the state government tells well-to-do farmers to refuse the loan waiver, but on the other hand, the minister is misusing a scheme for his daughter", said Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant.

"This shows the double standards of the government, where the public should keep sacrificing, while the ministers keep benefiting", he added.

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