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Significant dip in minorities' scholarship allocation in last five years

Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 1:41 (IST)

Government reports reveal a significant decline in scholarship allocation and number of beneficiaries to Indian minority students who are pursuing higher education.

According to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, students coming from economically weaker sections are awarded scholarships under three schemes: pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means scholarship. Scholarship-eligible students come from six minority communities in the nation including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis.

While there was an increase in pre-matric scholarship allocation, the post-matric and merit-cum-means students saw a reduction in scholarship and beneficiaries in the last five years.

The amount spent on post-matric and merit-cum-means scheme dipped from Rs 598 crore in 2014 to Rs 412.8 crore in 2018 and from Rs 335 crore in 2014 to Rs 280 crore in 2018, respectively. However, the amount on pre-matric scheme increased from Rs 1100 crore in 2014 to Rs 1257 crore in 2018. These differences show government prioritizing pre-matric scholarship over the other two schemes.

Among the 20 lakh applicants, only six lakh post-matric students received scholarship and among the 3.26 lakh applicants, only one lakh merit-cum-means students received scholarship.

To qualify for scholarship, selected students undergo a verification process. But data prior to 2018 reveals that applicants who passed the verification did not receive the allotted scholarship of that year.