For the last 5 years, the students of tribal areas of Lahaul Spiti, especially Spiti valley have been deprived of scholarships that are provided under state and centrally-funded schemes.

The discrepancy has come to light during the inspection of various schemes under the Education department after which the Cabinet minister Ram Lal Markanda from Lahaul Spiti raised the issue with the government officials.

Officials said it has come to the notice that the scholarships are not being provided to the students of tribal areas especially at Spiti since last five years under the state and centrally sponsored scholarship schemes.

“This is despite the fact that the Education department regularly advertises the scholarship schemes through electronic media, newspapers and e-Portal every year. In addition, all type of instructions, guidelines circulars for applying for these scholarships are made available to the authorities,” officials said.

“A number of complaints have been received from various quarters regarding the non-disbursement of scholarship amounts under various schemes.

All these schemes are handled in the directorate and some of the reports from tribal area of Lahaul Spiti reveal that the scholarship amounts had not been disbursed for the last 5 years,” Arun Kumar Sharma, Secretary Education Department said.

He said it is very serious and one Cabinet minister had also suspected the genuineness of the disbursement. This scheme is online.

In view of the complaints, the director of Higher Education department has been asked to probe whether the schemes had been adequately publicised and the beneficiaries are aware of these.

Further, whether those who got the scholarships were genuine scholars within the ambit of the respective schemes, he said.

Sharma said the government has decided to appoint vocational coordinator as the in-charge for day to day monitoring and send a report.

“The coordinator has also been instructed to send public complaints responses to Agriculture minister Ram Lal Markanda and Social Justice Minister Rajiv Saizal also,” Sharma added.