Mangalore, Aug 21, 2014: Speaking at the Vishwa Konkani Student Scholarships award ceremony 2014, organised by the Konkani Language and Cultural Foundation and World Konkani Centre here at TV Ramana Pai convention hall on aUGUST 20, Manipal Global Education Chairman T V Mohandas Pai has suggested the need to petition the Union government to address the issue of inconsistency in the implementation of provisions of Article 30 of the Indian Constitution pertaining to minorities.
He said that if the government fails to address the problems, then there is a need to think of filing a PIL in the Supreme Court demanding due share for liguisitic minorities as per the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The Article 30 does not make any distinction between the minorities. Owing to the failure of the government, linguistic minorities are not getting their constitutional due.
He said that linguistic minotiries should also get due share on the same footing. However, the government of India has been focusing too much on religious minorities for political gains. “We will work on seeking equal footage. First we will petition the government. We will also study legal aspects based on the past Supreme Court judgments and a decision will be taken on filing a PIL, if need arises,” he added. Pai said that the benefits guaranteed in the Constitution should benefit all the minorities across the country.
The PIL should benefit all minorities, not only Konkani community alone, he added. Konkani community has its unique history, culture and tradition. The community is known for its leadership qualities from centuries. The scholarships are distributed to the students to chennelise them towards the welfare of the society.
“The VKSSF should plan to disburse scholarships to one lakh students in the next few years. There is a need to conduct leadership awareness for the students,” he said. MLC Ivan D’Souza said that he will raise the issue of Konkani community during the next session at Belgaum. “I will raise the issue in Konkani language,” he said. Vishwa Konkani Kendra President Basti Vaman Shenoy presided over the programme. Anand Rathi, Mumbai Executive Director Sandeep S Shenoy, Sri Venkatramana Temple Managing Trustee M Padmanabha Pai, ICYM Central Council Mangalore Diocese President Melreeda Rodrigues, VKSSF Chairman Ramdas Kamath were present.
Later, Manipal Global Education Chairman T V Mohandas Pai distributes Vishwa Konkani Student Scholarships award to selected students, at a programme held at T V Ramana Pai convention hall in Mangalore. The award ceremony also coincides with the Konkani Recognition Day.
Addressing a press meet, VKSSF Chairman U Ramdas Kamath said that the VKSSF was instituted in 2010. The total outlay of budget for scholarship in the last five years is Rs 8.5 crore. The flagship programme being the engineering and MBBS scholarship programme with scholarship amount of Rs 30,000 and Rs Rs 40,000 per year per student respectively.
In the last five years, scholarships have been disbursed to 2005 engineering students, 101 medical students, 12 students to study abroad, 1,875 degree students, 1,458 II PUC students, and 7,000 other scholarships. In the study abroad scholarship for higher education abroad, scholarship amount of Rs 1 lakh per year per student is given. This year too will award four scholarships under this category.
Stating that the WKC has introduced a series of training programmes for the benefit of scholarship beneficiaries and the Konkani youth, Kamath said that 7,200 man days of training has been completed. In the first batch of training, 145 students have passed out, of which, 100 students have been placed at good positions by various companies.
The WKC is aiming towards an holistic development approach. Different programmes such as ‘Beneficiary orientation and training programme’ (BOTP), ‘Beneficiary Language Skills Improvement Programme (BLSIP),’ General Management and Communication Skills Programme (GMCS), Graduates Employability Skills Development Programmes (GRADES) are being organised. KSHAMATA is a programme under VKSSF which is a development model for all scholarship participants to accomplish with an end result of personal growth, leadership development, and a greater appreciation for the Konkani society in particular. An alumni association of the students who have been scholars of the VKSSF for the full term of respective education courses came into existence with 142 scholars from the first batch of VKSSF Scholarship Programme for engineering passing out from their course.
To a query, Kamath said that the scholarship is not restricted to students of Karnataka alone. All those Konkani speaking students from across the country can apply. “Owing to financial crunch, the VKSSF is unable to fund 100 per cent expenses of a scholar,” said Kamath. WKC President Basti Vaman Shenoy was present. This augmented the Konkani Recognition Day celebrations in the city, also a special meet on Konkani was organised at Ganapathi High school Mangalore.