The Maharashtra Government is considering returning tuition fees from students in areas hit by the drought, reports the Indian Express. Students from all streams in the drought-hit areas can expect to have their fees refunded for the current academic year.
During the debate on drought in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Maharashtra’s Revenue Minister and Leader of the Legislative Council, Chandrakant Patil, said, “We are positively considering refunding the educational fees of students in drought-hit regions from all streams for the current year. Even if a student from a drought-hit region is studying in the cities, we will consider him/her for the refund. We will start the process immediately.”
The move, however, would lead to an additional financial burden on the state government of around Rs 400 crore, Patil added. The statement came in response to the Oppositions parties’ demand of refund of fees for the students.
Patil also said the government had given powers of district collectors to sub-divisional officers. “Besides, we have delegated the powers of district collectors to sub-divisional officers for taking immediate decisions on providing water tankers. Directions have been issued to provide water tankers within 24 hours of receiving a request,” said Patil, while adding, “Had we opposed it, we would not get any financial assistance from the Centre,” he added.
The drought-like situation has hit 151 tehsils and 268 agricultural circles, Patil said, and added that the government was making arrangements for food for cattle until June 2019.