Students belonging to SC/ST communities, with a maximum annual family income of Rs 1 lakh, studying medical and engineering courses in state-run institutions will now get the entire fee reimbursed under a new scheme announced by the Odisha government.
Under Mukhyamantri Medhabi Chatra Protshan Yojana (MMCPY), eligible ST/SC students studying MBBS and Engineering (B Tech and M Tech) courses will see the entire course fee of the tenure being covered.
The course fee includes admission charge, seat acceptance charge, initial deposit annual course fee (tuition fee and all compulsorily payable charges to institution), hostel admission charge, annual hostel/mess charges and any other incidental expenses for study like purchase of books/study materials, coaching/tutorial expenses.
“All such expenses duly signed by the dean/head of the institution and the student may be forwarded to the district collector for reimbursement under the scheme,” said a notification issued by the state SC/ST development department.
The department has asked all district collectors to give adequate publicity to the scheme by affixing the same on notice boards, orienting the faculties and authorities of institutions, and making it mandatory upon every such institution to orient the students on 11 September, 2023 and repeat the same every month.
Under the scheme announced to ensure “equal access to quality education and promoting social inclusivity”, the state government has earmarked a budgetary support of Rs 3 crore during the 2023-24 financial year. If needed, more funds will be sanctioned in the supplementary budget.
Although a few states have facilities to provide part of the course fee, Odisha is the first state to announce reimbursement of the entire course fee under MMCPY, said state SC/ST development secretary Roopa Roshan Sahoo.
The Odisha government in March 2021 had notified to reserve 15% of seats for government school students in medical and engineering colleges of the state.