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Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC Students

A meeting of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment was held on 23.02.2012 in the Parliament House Annexe under the Chairmanship of Shri Mukul Wasnik, Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment to discuss the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of “Post-Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students”. Speaking on the occasion the Minister said that it was a matter of grave concern that major funds given to the states for improving the educational standard and providing scholarship to SC students don’t reach them properly. According to the Minister one of the major reasons is lack of information among the concerned students. Keeping this in view, the Minister emphasized that the details of all major funds released to states for providing educational benefits to SC students should be informed to the media and displayed on the Ministry’s website for wider circulation.

Participating in the discussion, the Members of the Committee stressed upon the need to further strengthen delivery and monitoring mechanism of the Scheme. The members said that the existing Annual Parental Ceiling amount of Rs 2.00 lakh should be increased to Rs 3 Lakh so that more and more SC students can avail the benefit.

Responding to the Members suggestions, the Minister said that a proposal for Monitoring and Vigilance of Post Matric Scholarship for SC Students has been sent to the Planning Commission. This will work very much in the pattern of Monitoring and vigilance work carried out by the Ministry of Rural development, Government of India.

The Post Matric Scholarship for SC Students Scheme is a single largest intervention by Government of India for educational development of scheduled caste students. It is a flagship Scheme of the Ministry, in operation since 1944, which provides financial assistance to Scheduled Caste students studying at post matriculation level in the country. There is no upper limit on the number of scholarships and all the SC students fulfilling the eligibility criteria are covered under the Scheme. About 48 lakh students are anticipated to be covered during 2011-12.During X FY Plan, an amount of Rs. 1826.91 Crore was released to cover 113.82 lakh beneficiaries. It has increased sharply in XI FY Plan and Rs.6780.52 crore has been released so far to cover 196.16 lakh beneficiaries.

In order to streamline the delivery system of the Scheme and fulfilling the objective of improving enrollment and retention of SC students all the State Governments and Administrators of UTs have been advised by Ministry to ensure timely and regular disbursement of scholarship to the beneficiary students, payment through bank/post-office accounts, start online processing of scholarship and designate Grievance Redressal Officers (GROs) at the State and District levels to redress students’ scholarship-related grievances.

The Scheme is implemented through State Governments and Union Territory Administrations which receive 100% Central assistance from the Government of India for the total expenditure under the scheme, over and above their respective Committed Liability. The North Eastern states have been exempted from the burden of committed liability.

The Scheme has been revised by the Government on 31-12-2010 w.e.f. 1.7.2010 and the revision includes increase in

(i) Parental income ceiling from Rs. 1.00 lakh p.a. to Rs. 2.00 lakh p.a.;

(ii) regrouping of courses; and

(iii) rates of maintenance and other allowances.

Rates of maintenance and other allowances have been increased by 60% with respect to pre-revised rates. Presently, 23 State Governments have already implemented revised Scheme. Others are under process to implement the revised Scheme.



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