Getting admission into professional programs like Medicine, Engineering, Dental, Veterinary, Agriculture and Law after high school completion is highly competitive and especially for kids who do not come from an educated background have to rely on hearsay and choose the program according to their understanding. In addition to this many do not have the financial resources to put them through these programs and so even after achieving good marks in their public exams cannot go for professional studies.
The recent scheme First Graduate Students, was initiated specifically to address this situation. There is no caste discrimination or financial demarcation enforced to obtain these scholarships. As long as there are no graduates in their family and the student is the first to enter college, the government will pay the tuition fees for the professional course the student joins. The student has to get admission by merit into the professional college in order to avail this program. The students have to get a certificate from the Tasildhar of their community to attest that he/she is the first to enter college. Of 1073 petitions received from youths for this scheme, 869 applicants are granted first graduate student certificates, and the first batch of 27 certificates where distributed to the youths by the Transport Minister K.N.Nehru in Trichy on 9th June. Similar to this there are many schemes and scholarships in place by the Tamil Nadu government, which most of the citizens are unaware as reluctant to pursue due to the extensive bureaucratic hurdles. First the students should be notified of all the schemes available by distributing a pamphlet or there should be a counselor in government schools who should guide the kids into respective scholarship they qualify.
We in 5th Pillar have been voicing these ideas to the public and one mode of spreading information is through media. Director of Operations of 5th Pillar, Mr. Subramani, spoke in JayaPlus TV on 24th May, about student loans and answered calls that he received during the program. The media are also taking part in empowering our citizens by creating such informative programs for the viewers.
On 5th June in another JayaPlus TV interview, Mr. Bhanukumar, Retired Executive Director of 5th Pillar and Mr. Subramani took part in an interactive program, on the topic primary and secondary education in the state of Tamil Nadu. The subjects covered were standard of education in private and Government schools, the impact of the Govt, order on the fee structure,, detention of students in elementary classes, the impact of SAMACHEER Kalvi in the educational system, malpractices in private schools, etc.
Empowering our citizens with information is the first step towards overall success and that is what we are trying very hard through our organization.