Image: Twitter/CMO_Odisha

Odisha Government Announces Full Fee Reimbursement for SC/ST Medical and Engineering Students

Bhubaneswar: To appease SC-ST votebank, the Odisha government has introduced the “Mukhyamantri Medhabi Chatra Protshan Yojana” (MMCPY), a scheme aimed at providing full fee reimbursement to students from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities pursuing medical and engineering courses in state-run institutions. Under this scheme, students with a maximum annual family income of Rs 1 lakh will be eligible for complete fee coverage throughout the duration of their courses.

The comprehensive fee coverage includes various components such as admission charges, seat acceptance charges, initial deposits, annual course fees (including tuition fees and other compulsory institutional charges), hostel admission fees, annual hostel and mess charges, and any other study-related expenses like the purchase of books and study materials, as well as coaching and tutorial expenses.

To facilitate reimbursement under the scheme, students are required to submit all relevant expense details, verified by the dean or head of the institution, to the district collector.

The Odisha SC/ST development department has instructed all district collectors to actively publicize the scheme by displaying notices on notice boards, informing faculties and institution authorities, and ensuring orientation sessions for students on September 11, 2023, with subsequent monthly follow-ups.

In its commitment to ensuring “equal access to quality education and promoting social inclusivity,” the state government has allocated a budgetary support of Rs 3 crore for the 2023-24 fiscal year. If necessary, additional funds will be allocated in the supplementary budget.

While some states offer partial fee coverage, Odisha stands out as the first state to introduce a scheme guaranteeing full course fee reimbursement under MMCPY, according to Roopa Roshan Sahoo, the state’s SC/ST development secretary.

This initiative is poised to significantly enhance accessibility to quality education for SC and ST students, fostering greater social inclusivity and educational empowerment.

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