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Savitribai Phule Pune University tweaks earn and learn scheme for sake of ‘equality’

Now, the university would provide 90% of the stipend for all students, irrespective of gender, caste and so on.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune |
August 28, 2016 12:03:39 am
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In a move to give students of all categories an equal opportunity at the varsity’s Earn and Learn scheme, the Savitribai Phule Pune University has decided to do away with its old system of giving full share of stipend to students from reserved categories while giving only 75 per cent for the open category students for which the colleges had to pay the remainder 25 per cent.

According to the latest decision of varsity officials, a 90-10 scheme will be adopted for the Earn and Learn scheme where the university would pay 90 per cent of stipend amount for all students whereas colleges would have to bear 10 per cent.

According to the previous policy, SPPU would give 100 per cent of the stipend for SC, ST, SBC, VJNT, minority and girl students, 90 per cent for students of colleges in tribal areas and only 75 per cent of stipend amount for the remaining colleges.

Varsity officials say that under the old system, it was noticed that the maximum opportunities under the scheme were being given to students from reserved categories so that colleges did not have to bear share. “Hence, to ensure that an egalitarian approach is adopted and the only criteria remains economically needy students, we decided to do away with the multiple rules for sharing of expenditure. Now, the only criterion is economically backward students in whose cases the varsity will bear 90 per cent of the expenditure, irrespective of gender, caste and so on. This will ensure that needy students get more opportunities,” said Wasudeo Gade, vice-chancellor, SPPU.

A total fund of Rs 5.5 crore is earmarked for the scheme and about 450 colleges affiliated to the varsity avail of it, said Sanjaykumar Dalvi, director of Board of Students Welfare. A student is paid Rs 30 per hour of work. According to varsity rules, they are allowed to work for a maximum of three hours everyday.

Dalvi said that the ceiling of payment for the colleges depends upon the enrollment of students. For instance, for colleges having up to 500 students, a maximum share of Rs 50,000 can be availed under Earn and Learn scheme while colleges having up to 1000 students can avail up to Rs 1 lakh.

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“It is the responsibility of the college to scrutinise whether a candidate is eligible for the scheme or not. The work depends on the jobs available in the college. Students could be assigned to help in library, reception areas, laboratories and so on. It is expected that they get a mix of technical jobs and some field work. Since the jobs are limited, we want that students be given an equal opportunity based on their economic conditions alone, which is the reason for the change in decision,” Dalvi said.

However, the vice-chancellor said the new scheme would be watched for implementation and response of colleges and students, and if needed, changes could be introduced depending on the outcome.

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