NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s proposal to increase the amount of pre-Matric scholarships to OBC students from a paltry Rs 25 per month has been struck down by the Ministry of Finance due to “paucity of funds”.
The scheme was started in 1998 to help OBC students to fund their education, but the amount has not been revised since then. Presently, students from Class I to V are entitled to Rs 25 per month, students from Class VI to VIII get Rs 40 and students from Class IX and X get Rs 50 for 10 months under the scheme.
Officials of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said, “A proposal to increase scholarship rates under the pre-Matric scholarships for OBCs was initiated by the ministry, but it was turned down by the Department of Expenditure on account of paucity of funds.” Under the scheme, only 50 percent of the scholarship expenditure is borne by the Central government.
Students to be awarded the scholarship are selected by states, and many have nil beneficiaries. Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Chandigarh have not sent a complete proposal under the scheme.
Nearly Rs 40 lakh has been disbursed to 24.54 lakh students in only seven states.
[Source:-The New Indian Express]