New Delhi: Making scholarship more inclusive for the students of scheduled castes (SCs) remained the area of focus for the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment during the year 2018.
The Ministry decided to continue the Post-Matric Scholarship scheme for SC students for three years, that is, from 2017-18 to 2019-20 and additional allocation of funds for clearing the arrears under this scheme for which an amount of Rs 3,000 crore was earmarked under the Budget Estimate (BE) for the year 2018-19.
According to the official details, the proposal for the revision and continuation of National Fellowship Scheme for SC students for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 was also approved by the Government. Under this scheme, an amount of Rs 15 crore has been earmarked under the BE for the year 2018-19.
The Central Sector Scholarship Scheme of Top Class Education for Scheduled Caste Students was also revised in October 2018 to cover more institutions with an increased number of slots. The revised scheme is applicable from the academic session 2018-19. Now 220 institutes including IITs, NITs, IIITs, IIMs, NIFTs, NLUs, AIIMS, hotel management institutes, aviation training institutes and flying training institutes are empanelled under the Scheme
“Total of 1,500 fresh scholarships will be provided under the Scheme. Provision for 30 per cent reservation has also been made for the girl students. The eligibility criteria have also been changed by increasing the total family income to Rs 6 lakh per year from Rs 4.50 lakh per year previously,” said a ministry official, while quoting the details from the official notes. Under this Scheme, an amount of Rs 35 crore has been earmarked under the BE for the year 2018-19.
Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana, which was launched during 2009-10 (pilot phase) and expanded during 2014-15 (Phase-I) has now been further expanded and will cover 4484 SC majority villages (Phase-II).
The mandate of the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment (SJ&E) is empowerment of the socially, educationally and economically marginalised section of the society including Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes, senior citizens, victims of alcoholism and substance abuse, transgender persons, beggars, Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNTs), and economically backwards classes (EBCs).