Financial Assistance to Students of Telangana scheme upsets students

The Hyderabad High Court’s serious remarks against the Telangana government’s Financial Assistance to Students of Telangana (FAST) has come as a jolt to lakhs of students from socially and economically weaker sections who have taken admissions in various professional and higher education courses relying on the government's scheme.

The students are already under pressure from colleges to pay the fees with no FAST guidelines so far about who is eligible and who is not.With the case postponed to January 2015, the chances of implementing FAST now look remote for this academic year.

Students are now left with no choice but to pay the fees on their own or miss classes and exams. “Why should senior students be made to suffer while they have nothing to do with FAST? It shows that the government is not concerned about the future and career of students. Even the colleges were pushed into financial crises as the arrears have mounted to Rs 3,500 crore. We are not in a position to pay salaries for the staff or run the colleges. If the government is so keen on FAST, it can be considered from this year but students and colleges should not be made scapegoats,” said Ramesh Nimmatoori, chairman, Consortium of Telangana Technical Institutions.

The Telangana government has been adopting such a rigid stand on FAST that it has stopped renewal of the scheme even for senior students who took admissions in previous academic years in the undivided state and are currently in the middle of their courses. Though they have nothing to do with FAST, they have been the major sufferers. On the other hand, fresher’s who were given admissions this year after bifurcation of the state on the condition that they would be subject to the final outcome of the FAST case, too are not being allowed by colleges to attend classes. The students are not being allowed to even appear for semester exams unless they pay their fees.
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