College students wearing black badges as a mark of protest against the state government’s failure to disburse scholarships.
• College students wear black badges
• ENCSU ready for ‘extreme action’
DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 9 (MExN): Students across Nagaland participated in the 1st phase agitation called by the Eastern Nagaland College Students Union (ENCSU) against the delay in disbursement of scholarships.
A press note from the ENCSU informed that students wore black badges as a mark of protest against the Nagaland State Government and the Higher Education Department.
“Today’s positive response from the students irrespective of their jurisdiction and affiliation gives the union courage to stand firm and fight against the unjust policy of the government and the department,” the ENCSU stated. It affirmed to “fight until justice is delivered and until our due share is credited to our respective account.” The union therefore called upon all Naga students to extend full cooperation.
It further asked the state government and the concerned department to “speak out the truth instead of issuing pathetic clarifications full of untruths.” The ENCSU questioned why the Higher Education Department “can’t produce the copy of directive from the ministry to the department asking the department to disburse the scholarship on installment basis.”
It informed that the ministry had on July 4 rejected the proposal of the department due to non furnishing of Utilization Certificate for Rs 13 Crore, which was released by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (Education Section) on December 28, 2016.
The ENCSU said that the ministry had also “clearly directed the department to furnish the UC, which the department couldn’t do; but very sadly, the department made the rejection letter a directive and started to play a blame game.”
“So there’s no logic behind the department blaming the ministry for delaying in disbursement of scholarship in full amount because had the department furnished the Utilization Certificate of Rs 13 Cr, then today there will not be hue and cry from the student community,” the ENCSU observed.
The present mess, the ENCSU said, is the creation of the government and the concerned department, and stated that both these entities have to own responsibility and release the full scholarship immediately.
Meanwhile, the ENCSU informed that the black badge protest would continue, and asked college authorities to implement the directive strictly.
“If the government and department fail to respond even tomorrow, then the ENCSU will initiate extreme action,” the union cautioned. It therefore appealed to the college authorities and the students to extend support and solidarity during the period of protest.
ASUD extends support
to black badge campaign
The Ao Students’ Union Dimapur (ASUD) has meanwhile extended support to the black badge campaign spearheaded by the Eastern Nagaland College Students’ Union (ENCSU), and stated that if the department’s clarification is true, “it should not be a mammoth task for the concerned authorities to produce valid documents supporting the claims so that the mystery surrounding the very elusive phenomenon called ‘installment scholarship’ is solved once and for all.”
A press note from the ASUD said that the whole controversy surrounding the implementation of scholarships in Nagaland is one that needs to be viewed seriously. “Every year, thousands of Naga students have to deal with the frustration of having to wait for their scholarships, which get delayed for unknown reasons. The end result is that the youth of today are losing faith in the governmental machinery,” the union noted.
“While departments like Higher Education are expected to set a benchmark for the rest to follow, it appears as though it is itself involved in fraudulent conduct of a higher nature,” it lamented.
The ASUD asked all tribe student unions based in and out of Nagaland to pursue the matter collectively so that the pending scholarship amount is received by the students at the earliest.
At the same time, the ASUD lauded the ENCSU for taking the bold initiative for the benefit of all Naga students. “The office of the ASUD is willing and ready to extend all possible cooperation in this regard,” it stated.