A Maharashtra minister’s daughter was given a state government scholarship to study abroad. But she decided not to take it after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis sought an explanation about the scholarship from her father, social justice minister, Rajkumar Badole.

Meant for the underprivileged

The social justice department hands out scholarships to 35 students every year to study abroad. The recipients are supposed to be from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.

A controversy erupted when Shruti Badole, daughter of Rajkumar Badole, and the sons of two senior bureaucrats featured in this year’s list of recipients. People are asking why these students are receiving scholarships when they come from privileged backgrounds.

Badole, who graduated from IIT Madras, initially defended her decision. “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 said that her family is already paying EMIs to pay off her brother’s foreign education. Rajkumar Badole and the two bureaucrats whose sons were selected also said that the selection was purely on merit. Badole claims that he 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 daughter said

If she had taken the scholarship, than taxpayers’ money would have gone towards paying her tuition fee and her return economy ticket. It would also give her 9,000 pounds, and an additional fund of 1,000 pounds, which is about Rs 83,000, for other academic expenses.

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