Over 80 students from Jammu and Kashmir, who were placed in the Cambridge College of Engineering in Punjab’s Fatehgarh Sahib under the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS), raised their voice against the college that allegedly shut its doors on the BTech students. Also, it allegedly refused to return the original documents, including the migration and No Objection Certificate (NOC).
Around 5,000 such students from poor families in Jammu and Kashmir were placed with different higher education institutes of the country in 2012, under the Government of India’s Human Resource Development (HRD) PMSSS scheme.
While education for the majority of them is going on smoothly, the careers of 82 students in Cambridge College of Engineering has been put on hold. As per the PMSSS scheme, the students were to pay Rs 25,000 each and the college would provide the tuition fees, boarding and lodging fees to the students who enrolled themselves in various professional and technical colleges, recognised by the government of India. In addition to this, books too would be provided for at the cost of the government. But the Cambridge students claim to have received none of the provisions. Instead, they say the college authorities asked them to pay Rs 1 lakh each.
The college at Isherhail, on the outskirts of Chandigarh on the Fatehgarh Sahib highway, was set up in 2010 and is affiliated to the Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar. Also, it is recognised by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi.
One of the students, Gulam Qadar Bhat said, “Many parents are fooled by the college as it came to Kashmir to show us colourful brochures. We sent 80 students to take admission in the fake college. We even checked the website which said a lot about the college. It is shocking how the college can be affiliated to the PTU, when basic infrastructure like professors and hostel facilities are not there.”
Meanwhile, the vice-chancellor of PTU remained unavailable for comment.
Sumaiya Jahan, one of the students who came to Chandigarh with high hopes and aspirations to study in a college named ‘Cambridge’, said, “It was a cruel joke played by the college with our careers. We came here to fulfill our dreams of becoming an engineer but the college has almost killed our life. If they are not going to return our original documents and the NOC, our careers will be locked and we will not be