Minority scholarship schemes: an assessment
By Tarique Anwar, TwoCircles.net,
Patna (Bihar): The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs will grant 5,95,000 scholarships to minority students in the country during the year 2008-2009, but technical complexity in application forms and lack of proper advertisement may keep minorities from full benefit of the scheme.
The ministry has announced three types of scholarships: pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means scholarship for students from the minority communities. The pre-matric scholarship scheme is for students from Std I to X while post-matric scheme is for undergraduates and postgraduates and the merit-cum-means scholarship is for students going for technical, professional and vocational courses.
The authorities have asked candidates who were awarded the same scholarship last year to get their scholarship renewed for the year 2008-2009.
Pre-matric scholarship scheme
Under the pre-matric scholarship scheme a total of 4,00,000 scholarships are to be given to all minority communities across the country. Of them, Muslims will get 2,91,700 scholarships.
state-wise allocation of pre-matric scholarships (2008-09)
|States/UTs||Total No. of
Under this scheme, the admission fee and tuition fee will be reimbursed for students of Class I to Class X of minority communities. The government will provide reimbursement of admission fee up to Rs.500/- per annum and tuition fee up to Rs.350/- per month. Besides, the students will be given a maintenance allowance at the rate of Rs.600/- per month from class VI to X for hostellers and Rs.100/- per month from class I to X for day-scholars.
Post-matric scholarship scheme
Under the post-matric scholarship scheme a total of 1,75,000 scholarships are to be given to all minority communities across the country, out of which 1,27,619 are for Muslims.
state-wise allocation of post-matric scholarships (2008-09)
|States/UTs||Total No. of
Under the scheme of post-matric scholarship for students belonging to minority communities, 15 states/UTs were given grant-in-aid from the Centre for disbursement of scholarships in 2007-08. Haryana got Rs13,52,837, Himachal Pradesh Rs 4,48,435, Karnataka Rs 2,91,46,290, Kerala Rs 83,59,310, Madhya Pradesh Rs 61,56,734, Maharashtra Rs 2,22,51,700, Meghalaya Rs 1,85,783, Mizoram Rs 41,81,200, Orissa Rs 6,30,150, Punjab Rs 56,53,190, Rajasthan Rs 63,76,640, Tamilnadu Rs 96,28,486, Tripura Rs 1,28,882, Delhi Rs 17,40,345, Puducherry Rs 84,573.
The students of Class XI to PhD level will be able to avail the benefits of post-matric scholarships provided by the ministry. It also includes technical and vocational courses of class XI and XII. It has provisions of re-imbursement of admission/tuition fee per annum up to Rs. 7,000 for class XI and XII, up to Rs 10,000 for technical/vocational courses at class XI and XII level, and up to Rs.3,000 for undergraduate and post graduate courses, Maintenance allowance varying from Rs.235 to Rs.550 for hostellers and Rs. 140 to Rs.330 for day-scholar will be given. A total of 5 lakh scholarships under this scheme has been sanctioned in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.
The merit-cum-means scholarship is for students going for technical and professional courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. A total of 20,000 new scholarships will be given every year. It will provide full re-imbursement of fees for 70 institutes listed in the scheme. Under this scholarship re-imbursement of course fee up to Rs 20,000 per annum for listed institutes will be made. It also includes maintenance allowance of Rs.1000 for hostellers and Rs,500 for day-scholars for ten months in a year.
Under the merit-cum-means scholarship scheme a total of 20,000 scholarships are to be given to all minority communities during 2008-09. Out of which 14,585 scholarships are for Muslims.
state-wise allocation of merit-cum-means scholarships (2008-09)
|States/UTs||Total No. of
Many Muslim organizations like Imarat Shariah (Bihar, Jharkhand & Orissa), Idara-e-Shariah, and Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) are making efforts to implement the schemes fully in Bihar. They are providing the form to the deserved in the community. Their activists are also helping in filling up the forms.
Complicated application form
Central government officials concerned with minority affairs have made the application form for pre-matric scholarship very complicated. The form, which is supposed to be filled up by the students of class I to X, is so complicated and technical that it is difficult for candidates to furnish the details correctly, said the organizations.
The application form prepared by the department of minority affairs has 24 columns spread over six pages and is printed only in English. The application form should be duly filled by the students in their own handwriting. It has 90 sub columns and the information demanded to fill in this form from the student of class I is wholly illogical. How can students of that class be expected to fill up such forms? Reality is that help of a learned advocate will be sought to furnish required details.
The form should have been printed in Hindi and Urdu also and it would have been made so simple that anyone can fill up it. It should not be made mandatory that the form should be filled by the candidate only.
Additionally the documents required to be attached with this application form are also giving headache to students as well as their parents. People who passed order to attach income certificate, residential certificate and a declaration of income of the parents or guardian with this application form perhaps ignored the fact procurement of such document will cost parents around Rs 500, at least in a state like Bihar.
Besides, there was no need to have certificates attested by gazette officers, attestation by school principal should be enough.
Moreover, parents or guardians are required to provide affidavit of income and child’s caste declaration. This is also unnecessary. What is the need of affidavit for child’s caste when students have caste declaration on their transfer certificate?
“For all others the amount of scholarship is given through school/college but for the minority community, Maharashtra Bank has been contracted for opening student’s account, that too in CBS branches. The phrase "Preferably the CBS branches" is misused by the bank authority as the entire city does not have this facility,” said Nazim Khan, student of LL.B. and human rights in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, to TwoCircles.net
Lack of advertisement
In Ballarpur, a small town in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, the news of scholarship forms spread everywhere but no one was having any knowledge about class or courses. Around 500 students filled in the forms. They get the affidavit made on Rs 100 stamp paper each for parent and student. The affidavit cost 25 rupees that means each student gave Rs 250 to government but only 9 students got the scholarship, said Nazim Khan.
No proper publicity was made by government. The collector sent the letter to education officer to publish circulars for schools regarding minority scholarship. But till date no such circular has been issued, he said.
Talking to TwoCircles.net Ekhlaqur Rahman of SIO in Patna said that the amount of post-matric scholarship for last year has been sent to the state but the government is not distributing it among the selected candidates. He also added that on repeated attempts to know its reason and latest development on this issue they gave an application asking details under Right to Information Act (RTI).
We will submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister and after that we will conduct protests to press the government to release amount to the shortlisted candidates, said Ekhlaqur Rahman.
http://www.twocircles.net/2009may20/list_selected_candidates_minority_sc... : State-wise list of scholarship awardees
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