The Department of Adult and Higher Education (DAHE) has withheld stipends for scholarship students who have returned home due to Covid-19.
More than 600 students under RGoB and GoI scholarships have returned home. 411 are from India.
The students get two installments of stipend in May and in November every year. The stipend for May was disseminated for those who were still in their colleges.
An official from the DAHE said that stipends for students who had come home were not given because they were no longer in the universities or colleges.
Students who have returned home claim that they have rent to pay and mess dues to clear.
Most students who have returned from Sri Lanka (133) have paid their rent for May or June. Some can pay after they go back.
The stipends usually covered living expenses, inclusive of mess and accommodation in third countries, a DAHE official said. For students in India, stipends cover only mess because hostel fees are paid separately.
One of the students studying in India said that the students under the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) were provided stipends to study online even as they do not have to pay for anything.
A DAHE official said that a proposal had been submitted to the Cabinet. Whether to provide stipends to scholarship students who have returned will depend on the Cabinet directive.