The students belonging to Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (SC and ST) have been asked to pay tuition fee by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry. The guidelines regarding the same have been sent to several centrally-funded institutions including – NIITs, IIITs, IITs. Once, these candidates receive the scholarship money from the ministries and state, they shall have to pay the tuition fee.

According to the earlier guidelines by the ministry, both ST and SC students didn’t have to pay any tuition fee but with the passage of time a new scheme was introduced in early 2014 termed as direct benefit transfer (DTB). Under this scheme, the scholarship money was directly to the student’s account.

Before DTB scheme was introduced, institutions were instructed not to charge any fee from ST and SC students as their part of fees was directly sent to the institutions by the ministry.

In short, this waiver has put a burden on the ministry’s non-plan budget.

The first order by the ministry regarding this issue was sent last year, stating that all institutions should collect the tuition fee from these students after they have received the transferred scholarship money. On the other hand, these institution were also asked to extend a helping hand and make special efforts for other ST and SC students, who are not covered by the scholarship.

Social justice and tribal affairs minister with various other ministers give out money and acts as a helping hand to those students whose family income is below 2 Lakh per annum.