Pune, 10th February 2024: In the wake of the Maratha reservation, the Maharashtra state government announced two significant decisions on Friday related to student allowances and fee waivers in the state. Starting from the academic year 2023-24, students from the Maratha community without hostel accommodation will receive an increased allowance under the Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Hostel Subsistence Allowance Scheme. Additionally, girls from families with an annual income of Rs. 8,00,000 or below will be granted a full fee waiver.
Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil, in a press briefing after a cabinet meeting, outlined the details of the decision. Under the scheme, government, Zilla Parishad, and municipal school students will receive Rs. 51,000, Rs. 43,000, and Rs. 38,000, respectively. This allowance will be directly deposited into the Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of eligible students. In a separate announcement during a meeting with vice-chancellors, Patil declared a fee waiver for girls for the entire academic year. The Maharashtra government will reimburse these expenses to educational institutions, aiming to facilitate increased enrollment of girls in higher education.
Currently, girls enjoy a 50% fee waiver during an academic year. Discussing the Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Hostel Subsistence Allowance Scheme, Patil specified the allowances for municipal and ZP school students, district students, and taluka students. This includes food, accommodation, and subsistence allowances tailored to the respective levels of education.
Governor Ramesh Bais, present at the vice-chancellors’ meeting, stressed the importance of timely results and urged vice-chancellors to take strong action against delays. He emphasized that timely results are crucial to prevent students from missing academic years or job opportunities. A committee, chaired by the chief secretary, was formed to recommend criteria for scholarships from various departments, ensuring uniformity in proposed schemes. The committee’s recommendations align with the fixed rates for annual expenses of students not admitted to hostels, applicable to the higher and technical education departments under the Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Hostel Subsistence Allowance Scheme.