Shruti Badole, daughter of Maharashtra minister will not accept a state government scholarship to study abroad
MUMBAI,Sept8: A Maharashtra minister’s daughter has said she will not accept a state government scholarship to study abroad, after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis sought an explanation from her father Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole.
It is the Social Justice Department that gives 35 scholarships for foreign education to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students. Controversy erupted after the names of Shruti Badole and the sons of two senior bureaucrats featured in this year’s list of recipients. While they all qualify for the said scholarship, critics have pointed out that there is a conflict of interest. Also that these students should not get the benefit given their privileged backgrounds.
Shruti Badole, a graduate from IIT-Madras, defended her decision to apply for the scholarship, but said she would not accept it now. “The course I am pursuing at the University of Manchester in UK does not have any scholarships. So I decided to apply for the scholarship offered by the government. Is it my fault that I happened to be the minister’s daughter?” she said.
She hadn’t opted for an education loan she said because her family is already paying EMIs for a loan for her brother to study abroad.
The minister and the two bureaucrats whose sons were given the scholarship said in an official statement that their children’s selection was based on merit and that they played no role in it.
Ms Badole claimed that her father had recused himself from the selection process. “The state administration itself had come up with a government resolution in 2015 allowing SC/ST students from any income background to apply for state scholarship, provided the applying university is among the top 100 varsities as per QS World University Rankings,” the minister’s daughter said, pointing out that no Indian university features even in the top 200 list. “Is it my fault that I got selected for such a university?” she said.