The Ambedkar Students Association has condemned the University of Hyderabad's latest decision to ask students to reimburse the UoH-Student Assistance funds if they happen to get an additional source of financial help. The students said that a recent circular has informed students that the disbursement of the UoHSA is subject to them submitting an undertaking stating that they would refund the UoHSA if they happen to get financial assistance from any other source.
"The students have submitted their forms and started getting assistance and now they are being forced to submit this undertaking form with a deadline of November 28. This condition for availing UoHSA is highly condemnable as it is against the spirit of any financial assistance for that matter," the ASA said in their letter to the Dean of Students Welfare.
The ASA pointed out that when the sources and intentions of these scholarships are distinct from that of the UoHSA, it is unreasonable, "We don't see the rationale behind these conditions. Also when the guidelines of the above-mentioned scholarships have clearly mentioned that the students can avail of other scholarships as well, why is UoH bent on bringing this cap," the students questioned.
They cited examples like the Post Graduate Scholarship for Single Girl Children, which states that "the awardee can avail of other scholarship also during the tenure of this scholarship" and the Post Graduate Merit Scholarship for University Rank Holders that also mentions that 'the student who is awarded postgraduate scholarship will not be debarred from accepting any other scholarships."
"The circular is ambiguous in nature and it would only lead to confusion and fear among the students. In this regard, the ASA calls for an immediate revocation of the circular and we also demand that necessary changes should be made in revised guidelines of UoHSA," the group said.
Gopi Swamy, the general secretary of the Students' Union took to Facebook to condemn the move as well, "All the Telangana Epass holders and other state-level scholarship holders also can be removed from UoHSA and they can be asked to refund the money with the help of the recent circular. This is nothing but an attack on SC, ST, OBC and other economically backward students. Such a brutal idea."