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Over 2.46 crore minority students got scholarships in 3 yrs

New Delhi: The Centre awarded scholarships to more than 2.46 crore students belonging to minority communities between 2012-13 and 2014-15, according to data released by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs.

According to scheme-wise details of scholarships awarded during the period, the government’s pre-matric, post-matric, merit-cum-means and Maulana Azad National Scholarship for Meritorious Girls programmes benefited 2,17,27,767; 25,51,730; 3,07,294; and 1,05,741 students during the period.

During the period, the government released Rs 5,172.2 crore funds for the purpose.

Under another programme, ‘Seekho aur Kamao’ (Learn and Earn), the Ministry has trained and placed 27,069 youths from minority communities between 2013-14 and October 31 this year.

The government sanctioned 61,864 trainees as per the scheme, while trained 38,685. It spent Rs 97.55 crore for the purpose.

The Ministry said to have extended loans worth Rs 1,348.86 crore at concessional interest rates to 3,22,449 lakh members through the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation between 2012-13 and 2015-16 (until October 31 this year).

Earlier in the day, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi informed Rajya Sabha that the government takes various measures to ensure benefits of the schemes reach students.

Naqvi said from 2015-16, students can apply online to seek benefits of pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means based scholarship schemes. He added the scholarships are required to be disbursed under direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode to bank accounts of youngsters.

“Moreover, under simplified procedure, students can submit self-declaration/self-certification and self-attested copies of documents in respect of religion certificate, annual family income, mark sheets, etc. Periodic regional reviews are undertaken with state government/Union Territories administrations in addition to regular video conferencing,” the minister said.