There has been a decline in the number of students availing the Prime Minister’s fellowship meant from students from Jammu and Kashmir, sources said.
Sources said that in 2015-16, a total of 1045 new students from Jammu and Kashmir availed the fellowship whereas in 2014-15 approximately 1254 students had benefitted from the scheme. In 2013-14 the figure stood at 3868 and in 2012-13 3644. All the figures are regarding fresh fellowship. It is learnt that a number of students left courses midway and there fellowship was not renewed.
The drop-outs are a concern for the HRD ministry which is closely monitoring the situation.
The special scholarship scheme for J&K was launched in 2011 to provide opportunities to students for pursuing higher education outside the state. Officials said that 5000 fresh scholarships every year for general, engineering and medical studies is provided by the government. “There has been a decline in the number of students opting for the scheme and we are analysing the reasons behind it. The current system is very transparent and allows students to apply online so the number will increase considerably next year,” said a senior HRD official.
Since the operation of the scheme, an amount of Rs 282 crore has been disbursed towards fresh and renewal scholarship. HRD minister Prakash Javadekar has held consultations with senior officials in the ministry and directed that best institutions should be offered to the students so that they gain and continue their studies and the scheme is successful.
“There are many more students who had registered but were not given the fellowship amount. The scheme was introduced after the 2010 unrest to provide employment avenues for the youth which can only happen after they get good education. But the scheme is in shambles and needs to be reviewed,” said Malik Imtiyaz, chairman of the People’s Forum that created awareness regarding the scheme.