Why Exclude Theological Studies From The Perview Of The Post Matric Scholarship Scheme

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By H. ThangtungnungIf we should review the objects of the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for the S.C/S.T, it is stated that ‘the objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students studying at post matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.’ Also, the conditions given for eligibility has specified that ‘these scholarships will be given for the study of all recognized post-matriculation or post-secondary courses pursued in recognized institution with the following exceptions……’ But the various exceptions given by the Regulation of the Scheme do not include or mention nothing about the ineligibility of the theological studies and alike within the scheme of the scholarship. Instead, it has stated in its Note 1 of Conditions of Eligibility as thus: ‘It is since clearly mentioned under the item III (condition of eligibility) of these regulations that the scholarship will be given for the study of all recognized post-matriculation or post-secondary courses pursued in recognized institutions, the list of courses grouped (A to E) is, thus, only illustrative and not exhaustive.’ Of Course, theological study courses like B.Th, M.Th, B.D., M.Div, D.D., etc are not mention within any of the Group stated under the Value of Scholarship in Section V of the Regulations.  Yet, it has stated as above that ‘the list of courses grouped (A to E) is, thus, only illustrative and not exhaustive. If it is this, the concerned implementing agency can definitely include rather than exclude the various courses of theological study within the purview of the scholarship as the Note 1 at the end of Section/Item III– Conditions of Eligibility of the Regulation itself implies that, ‘The state Government/Union Territory Administrations are, thus, themselves competent to decide the appropriate grouping of courses at their level as advised vide this Ministry’s letter No. 11017/13/88-Sch.Cell, dated 3.8.2989’.
At the time of preparing the grouping of courses as to what courses of study would be eligible for getting this scholarship, the Ministry might not have been aware of all existing courses eligible for this scholarship or might have left out one or other courses unscrupulously and as such, the list of courses which are arranged under grouped A to E are ‘only illustrative and not exhaustive’. Therefore, theological courses like D.D., M.Div., M.Th., etc could come under Group C of Section Five, as these are Doctorate and Master Courses, graduate courses like B.Th., B.D., etc could fall under the list of Group D from their 2nd Year and onward and the rest, from their 1st Year Graduate Courses, basic course or any other course could come under the list of Group E of the Regulation of the Scholarship Scheme. To supplement our point, it can also be stated that the theological courses are certificate courses, which follow the general academic session/calendar of the Country or State concerned, maintaining educational norms like the other academic courses with three years duration of course for Graduate level like B.Th, two years duration for post-graduates like M.Th or M.Div. and a minimum of three-five years for a doctorate degree. Thus, is there a wide gap and difference between the theological courses and other secular courses in regard to imparting education at large? If it has to be argued that these theological courses are purely religious and therefore cannot be within the purview of the scholarship, then one has to turn back the pages of the Indian Constitution again and study carefully the portions and sections containing secularism and Scheduled Tribes and Castes before taking a final judgment and decision.
But the actual problem behind the Government of Manipur as an implementing agency is that it is generally partisan or reluctant to award scholarships than to support or encourage the targeted students of the State. It is hope that one of the major aims of the Scholarship Scheme is that majority of the targeted students of the Scheme apply and receive the scholarship so as to enable and encourage them for opting farther studies, but the State of Manipur seems negligence and indifferent to this attitude. The actual purpose of the implementing Department is to avoid giving it to maximum targeted students by way of limiting the list of courses under the groups A to E. Therefore, reimbursement of fees to Scheduled Caste and Tribe students of IGNOU and NIOS are also almost viewed and considered by the Directorate as excluding by this time. So, the style of implementation seems to be a twist according to the needs of the implementing Agency as and when financial shortage in other areas needs to be ameliorated by way of diverting the scholarship funds!
But if one is pursuing a post-matric or post-secondary course and fulfill all the eligible criterion and conditions of the Scheme as long as he or she is a Scheduled Caste or Tribe, such a student applicant should not be rejected otherwise, except on ground of incomplete documents or other reasons like double applications. When every students of the same study course are denied the scholarship solely just because of the nature of the course, it is nothing more than injustice done to them and therefore, is no less than a breach of faith, unless definite and lawful reasons of the same could be indicated.
The theological students who are being denied the scholarship are denied not because they do not meet the required norms or standard of the scholarship scheme, not because they hold other stipend/grant or scholarship from another source, and not because they pursued their courses in an unrecognized institution but just because such a study is not a secular one. If such has been the rule and these study courses are against the rule, why then the students were paid the scholarship for so many consecutive years unhindered till the year, 2006-2007 and then cancelled thereafter. More so, why could other states paid the same in par with other courses of studies without any question raised? These are some of the pertinent questions that the implementing authority needs to definitely answer in a satisfactory manner. Otherwise, the Ministry at the Centre needs to involve to solve the matter without any further delay. So, the underlying question here is that if all the theological courses of study are not regarded as recognized post-matriculation or post-secondary courses even if it is in a recognized institute, why are they amazingly spare to receive the scholarship for such a long time, till 2006-2007? As such is the case, it is not a simple matter which can be neglected for long.
The Scheme of the PMS instead, transgresses its objectives and contradicts the Regulation governing the Award unless all eligible study courses are not paid. Therefore, the concerned authority is requested to look into the matter with no ulterior motives left behind. 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Theology?? .. Seriously.. why would anyone want to study that? Why should a poor state like ours which is on the brink of delusional hypocrisy fund people to get more delusional?

    If it were for Religious Studies I would have supported as this is the secular study of religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions. It is more like philosophy.

    Theology on the other hand requires you to actually believe the scriptures and apply false logic with scripture as evidence. These are the people who really believe that Earth is only 4000 years old.

    • Akhoi gee etau Khuman na khang daba topic seh amatta hek leitey hey! Chang -ngu chang -ngu ba news , current affairs, articles tah etau gee comments mayam see na wai chai reh. E-pao da …Kangla online da…etc ..etc.. Phaja na khang -sana nee akhoi eetau seh. Mayam agree tauwee taudey amuk tah haibee yu!

  2. LOL, is theological study worth scholarship is the big question you should ask yourself? when there are many other religion in the country why only theological study should only get the benefit? Study some better subject where you can serve the people not by preaching some orthodox crap.

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