A meeting by the standing committee was held on June 5, where it was announced that students from private schools who come under the below poverty line and have secured more than 90 per cent marks in SSC exams this year will also get Rs one lakh cash reward.
After a report in Pune Newsline highlighted how the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) was indulging discriminatory practice vis-a-vis cash awards to SSC students from civic schools and private schools, the civic administration on Wednesday decided to tweak the rule and increase the prize money for meritorious students from private schools. Hundreds of meritorious students from private schools are expected to benefit from the move as now they will receive Rs one lakh instead of Rs 15,000, which was decided earlier.
On June 9, Pune Newsline had highlighted the fact that 18 PCMC-run school students who secured more than 90 per cent marks in SSC exams this year will get Rs one lakh cash reward while private school students within PCMC limits will get only Rs 15,000, a practice in force for past few years.
Civic activists had called for an end to this discriminatory practice. Taking note of the report, Pimpri-Chinchwad BJP president Laxman Jagtap, MLA had urged the civic administration and the standing committee to provide justice to private school students. As a result, a meeting by the standing committee was held on June 5, where it was announced that students from private schools who come under the below poverty line and have secured more than 90 per cent marks in SSC exams this year will also get Rs one lakh cash reward.
However, BJP leaders like city general secretary Sarang Kamtekar and PCMC House leader Eknath Pawar said they were in favour rewarding meritorious SSC students from economically weaker sections. “PCMC should honour students who come from poor sections of the society and have secured more than 90 per cent marks. Like students who live in one room chawls, sons and daughters of autorickshaw drives and vegetable vendors,” he said. Pawar said he too would take up the issue with the Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar.
When contacted, Hardikar said the idea was good and he would work out the budget for it. “We will have to see how many students fall in the category and whether we are in a position to provide the funds. But the idea is good…we need to honour the poor and meritorious students,” he said.
According to PCMC officials, last year over 1100 students from private schools had secured more than 90 per cent marks. “These students included the poor as well as the rich,” he said, adding that the figure of EWS students would be in the range of around 400. Officials said EWS families are those who monthly income is less than Rs 15,000.