ITANAGAR, 14 Apr: Education Minister Taba Tedir’s recent comment regarding the students’ stipends has caused a lot of resentment among the state’s student community.
The minister had while responding to a query put forth by a journalist during an interview stated that this year students would not be getting their stipends because all district institutes of education and training (DIET) and schools remained closed the whole year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moreover, replying to a question about the state government’s reducing the amount of students’ stipends, the minister said, “Stipend amount will be issued from the date all DIET and schools reopened in the state. Since there had been no classes the whole year, how could students expect to get a full stipend?”
Many students have criticized the minister’s statement and said that it was completely irrational on his part to claim that no classes were held as schools remained closed. Despite schools, colleges and universities remaining closed, studies were not affected and students had to attend online classes, submit online assignments and sit for tests/exams regularly. They also had to pay their full admission, examination and library, etc, fees for the whole year on time, despite the schools remaining closed.
Presently, many students are still awaiting their stipends and scholarships as the state government generally releases the same within a month.
When this daily on Wednesday spoke to Education Commissioner Niharika Rai regarding the status of the students’ stipends and when it will be released, she said, “The department is going to discuss the matter with the directors. They are presently on tour, so decision will be known in a day or two.”
Regarding the issue of the pending scholarships, the commissioner informed that the NSP scholarship amount is yet to be received in full from the tribal affairs ministry.
She did not deny that lack of funds is behind the delay in the release of stipends and scholarships.