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
scholarships
Allocated for
Muslims
Andhra Pradesh 17,340 14,740
Arunachal
Pradesh,
760 40
Assam 19,620 17,400
Bihar 29,160 28,960
Chattisgarh 1980 860
Goa 980 200
Gujarat 10,460 9,700
Haryana 5,140 2580
Himachal
Pradesh
600 260
Jammu and
Kashmir
15060 14,340
Jharkhand 10,380 7,880
Karnataka 16,640 13,640
Kerala 29380 16,600
Madhya Pradesh 9,240 8,120
Maharashtra 36,800 21,680
Manipur 1960 400
Meghalaya 3,640 200
Mizoram 1,820 20
Nagaland 3,860 80
Orissa 3,580 1,620
Punjab 32,300 800
Rajasthan 12,020 10,100
Sikkim 420 20
Tamil Nadu 15,340 7,320
Tripura 960 540
Uttar Pradesh 67,420 64,900
Uttrakhand 2,660 2,140
West Bengal 44,460 42,720
Andman &
Nicobar Islands
220 60
Chandigarh 400 80
Dadra &
Nagar Haveli
40 20
Daman &
Diu
40 20
Delhi 4,940 3,420
Lakshadweep 120 120
Puducherry 260 120

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
scholarships
Allocated for
Muslims
Andhra Pradesh 7,586 6,449
Arunachal
Pradesh,
333 18
Assam 8,584 7,612
Bihar 12,757 12,670
Chattisgarh 866 376
Goa 429 87
Gujarat 4,576 4,244
Haryana 2,249 1,129
Himachal
Pradesh
263 114
Jammu and
Kashmir
6,589 6,274
Jharkhand 4,541 3,447
Karnataka 7,280 5,967
Kerala 12,854 7,263
Madhya Pradesh 4,042 3,552
Maharashtra 16,100 9,485
Manipur 857 175
Meghalaya 1,592 87
Mizoram 796 9
Nagaland 1,689 35
Orissa 1,566 709
Punjab 14,131 350
Rajasthan 5,259 4,419
Sikkim 184 9
Tamil Nadu 6,711 3,202
Tripura 420 236
Uttar Pradesh 29,496 28,394
Uttrakhand 1,164 936
West Bengal 19,451 18,690
Andman &
Nicobar Islands
96 26
Chandigarh 175 35
Dadra &
Nagar Haveli
18 9
Daman &
Diu
18 9
Delhi 2,161 1,496
Lakshadweep 53 53
Puducherry 114 53

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.

Merit-cum-means scholarship

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
scholarships
Allocated for
Muslims
Andhra Pradesh 867 737
Arunachal
Pradesh,
38 2
Assam 981 870
Bihar 1458 1448
Chattisgarh 99 43
Goa 49 10
Gujarat 523 485
Haryana 257 129
Himachal
Pradesh
30 13
Jammu and
Kashmir
753 717
Jharkhand 519 394
Karnataka 832 682
Kerala 1469 830
Madhya Pradesh 462 406
Maharashtra 1840 1084
Manipur 98 20
Meghalaya 182 10
Mizoram 91 1
Nagaland 193 4
Orissa 179 81
Punjab 1615 40
Rajasthan 601 505
Sikkim 21 1
Tamil Nadu 767 366
Tripura 48 27
Uttar Pradesh 3371 3245
Uttrakhand 133 107
West Bengal 2223 2136
Andman &
Nicobar Islands
11 3
Chandigarh 20 4
Dadra &
Nagar Haveli
2 1
Daman &
Diu
2 1
Delhi 247 171
Lakshadweep 6 6
Puducherry 13 6

Muslim organizations

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.

Link:

http://minorityaffairs.gov.in/newsite/schemes/schemes.asp

http://www.twocircles.net/2009may20/list_selected_candidates_minority_scholarships_2008_09_available_net.html : State-wise list of scholarship awardees

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