IGNOU To Bring Back Reimbursement Policy For SC, ST Students After Facing Fund Crunch Due To Full Fee Waivers

Front gate of IGNOU campus in New Delhi (PankajKhare/Wikipedia)

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is set to go back to its earlier scheme of providing reimbursement to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students for specific courses, after running out of allocated funds in 2018 due to its experiment with full fee waivers for reserved category students, Indian Express has reported.

According to the report, IGNOU exceeded its budget last year and has now asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for funds amounting to Rs 32.8 crore.

The university, in a statement on Sunday (20 January), said, “ IGNOU has decided to develop an online portal for facilitating the process of reimbursement of fee to SC/ST students under the SCSP/TSP (Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan) scheme. Students will be able to submit claims for reimbursement on the portal. However, till the time the portal is developed, this will be managed offline.”

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The statement added that fee reimbursement will be done via direct transfer in the bank accounts of students. However, claims for fee reimbursement will only be accepted till 20 February 2019, it said.

“Last year, our expenditure exceeded our budget. So we have asked the MHRD for Rs 32.89 crore,” assistant registrar of the student registration division, Vikas Kumar, was quoted in the report as saying.

“As per data available to us, it also seems — though we are unsure — that in many study centres last year, fake admissions also took place, as enrollment of SC/ST students went up drastically. This was also a reason for our funds being spent,” Kumar added.

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