Panel for revision of OBC scholarships
There has been no change in the rates of schemes of pre-matric and post-matric scholarships. The rates continue to be what they were in 90s. Saroj Nagi reports.india Updated: Apr 23, 2008 01:40 IST
In a time of pay commissions, pay hikes and growing inflation, there has been no change in the rates of schemes of pre-matric and post-matric scholarships for children of those who are engaged in occupations like scavengers, flayers and tanners or of OBC students. The rates continue to be what they were in 90s.
The existing scholarship rates for students whose parents are engaged in unclean occupation range from Rs 300 to Rs 375 per month for hostellers from class 1- 10 and from Rs 40 to Rs 75 per month for day scholars. There is also a small annual ad hoc grant.
The low scholarships reflect how the UPA’s commitment to inclusive growth is riddled with roadblocks, with none so glaring as it comes in the efforts of the Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE) Ministry to fulfill its objective of uplifting the SCs and STs.
Not surprising then, that the parliamentary standing committee looking into the SJE’s demands for grants has asked the Ministry to revise these scholarships. “In order to neutralise the effect of price rise, the revision of scholarships is necessary. The cost of construction has also gone up necessitating revision of cost norms for hostel scheme,’’ it said.
It also said that the reduction in allocation to the Ministry would affect the schemes meant for the SCs and STs and asked the government for additional funds. The Ministry had sought Rs 2,726 crores but was allocated only Rs 2,400 crore.
“Considering the ministry’s record of optimum utilisation of allocated funds which is 98.95 per cent of the outlay during 2007-08 and to enable them to fulfil their mandate of empowering vulnerable sections of our society, the committee hoped that the government would consider provisions of additional funds to the Ministry,” it said.
But it also rapped the Ministry for not having any data highlighting the number of beneficiaries who crossed the poverty line figure after availing the benefits of Special Central Assistance (SCA).