SPPU earn and learn extension comes as a blessing for students

Pranita Roy
Saturday, 5 January 2019

As relief to students from drought hit areas in Maharashtra, Student welfare department of SPPU has extended the earn and learn scheme for third year to them.

PUNE: For Narayan Giri, a student of masters in education at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), earn and learn scheme has proved to be a blessing, as it helped him to continue his education, which would have stalled because of drought condition back home in Kopargaon taluka, Ahmednagar district.

“I come from a family that practices ‘bhiksha’ for living. Our annual income is Rs 40,000. In fact, I am the first person in the family to pursue education. However, my family cannot monetarily my support education, because of which I am dependent on earn and learn scheme here. I am relieved by receiving the extension of this scheme. I had availed it for two years earlier too while I was pursuing my masters course in History department,” said Giri, who is currently studying in first year of master of education in department of education and extension. 

As relief to students from drought hit areas in Maharashtra, Student welfare department of SPPU has extended the earn and learn scheme for third year to them. The earn and learn scheme is offered only for two years to students studying in university and affiliated colleges. At present, around 100 students in SPPU are benefiting from the scheme for the third time now. 

“Students have been demanding extension of earn and learn scheme for a while now. But the expert committee set to device the scheme couldn’t come up with a reason to offer the scheme for a third year, as it isn’t feasible since university has to provide the scheme to maximum students possible,” said Prabhakar Desai, Dean of Student Welfare of SPPU.

“When the state released the list of drought-hit areas, few students came forward and requested to offer the scheme for another year. We decided to provide the facility to those students who hail from drought affected areas and called for the applications,” said Desai.

However, Narayan Giri added, “As our applications were approved in December 2018, we only got five months to avail this scheme till May 2019.” 

Another student, Usha Kamble from Jamkhed taluka, Ahmednagar district, said, “My father is a farmer but we don’t own a farm. He does labour and arranges for money. Technically, whether there is drought or not, our family struggles for livelihood. Now in this drought situation, it becomes more difficult to earn money. Therefore, it is impossible for my family to financially support me.”

“I receive payment of Rs 4,050 per month in which I manage my mess food in university. It pinches our pockets when on leave or wrong punching in biometric attendance when we miss a portion of our salary. However, by availing it for third year, I could continue my education,” said Kamble.

The university has an annual budget of Rs 7 crore dedicated for earn and learn scheme out of which a provision of Rs 25 lakh is allocated for university campus students.

“The extension won’t affect much on the university budget. It can be included in the present budget system,” said Desai.

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