Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cabinet sanctions free education upto college level for Sikkimese


GANGTOK, 18 Aug: The State Cabinet has approved the announcement made by the Chief Minister to make education free up to college level [in government schools and colleges] for Sikkimese students. Sikkimese, in this context, like in the Income Tax exemption criteria, is defined as bona fide Sikkimese [having valid documents like the Sikkim Subject Certificate] or their descendents with Certificates of Identification.
Students who do not possess such documentation and are enrolled at government colleges and schools will, meanwhile, have to pay the prescribed and approved fees.
This proposal of the Human Resource Development Department was approved by the Cabinet in its last sitting held on 12 August, chaired by the Chief Minister.
This waiver of fees is to be applied with retrospective effect from the current academic session 2014 and the Cabinet has also sanctioned and approved the proposal of the HRDD to “refund” the fees already deposited by Sikkimese students.
This follows from the fiasco triggered by the four-fold increase in college fees imposed by the HRDD, reportedly in consultation with college managements, starting from the current academic session. This was protested by the students and their protest had snowballed into three days for showdowns between students and the police and the establishment in Gangtok. The fee was initially rolled back, and then came the Chief Minister’s announcement that all fees would be waived for Sikkimese students up to college level.
The same Cabinet sitting also sanctioned, in principle, for consideration, a tentative amount of Rs. 4 crore per annum as proposed by the HRDD “for functioning of colleges and schools”.

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