Tamil Nadu for status quo on scholarship scheme


Chennai : The Tamil Nadu government will ensure status quo on a scholarship scheme for the Scheduled Castes and Most Backward Castes students in higher education after a group of students protested the central government’s new rules limiting the educational aid.

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Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in a statement assured the assembly Thursday that his government would ensure status quo on scholarship guidelines.

“My government will also use its good offices with the central human resource development ministry to ensure a rethink on the whole issue,” he added.

The central government Wednesday said students from the Scheduled Castes obtaining less than 60 percent marks at the higher secondary level will not be considered for the scholarship.

The move prompted a few dozen students to demonstrate in the arterial Anna Salai late Wednesday. Their numbers went up slightly the next day and many of them managed to reach the secretariat despite heavy police presence.

Over 150 students belonging to an umbrella organisation of unions blocked the traffic on the thoroughfare outside the assembly and courted arrests.

Police sources said they suspected two political outfits, the Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), were behind the protest demonstrations after the state government stated strict action would be taken against those supporting the Tamil Tigers.

The two parties are seen as supportive of the Tamil Tigers , but along with the Congress prop up the minority DMK regime in the state.