Hindustantimes wants to start sending you push notifications. Click allow to subscribe

Congress may assure scholarship package for caste groups in election manifesto

By, New Delhi
Mar 05, 2024 08:40 AM IST

The manifesto panel led by former Union minister P Chidambaram met here on Monday but could only review about 10 of the 50 pages of the draft manifesto that was shown to the members through a Power Point presentation.

​The Congress is set to offer a package of scholarships for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBC), substantially higher than the current government schemes, and also promise a bigger scope of quality education for these social groups in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, party insiders said on Monday.

The Congress manifesto would be largely based on the thrust areas of party leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, functionaries said. (ANI)

The manifesto panel led by former Union minister P Chidambaram met here on Monday but could only review about 10 of the 50 pages of the draft manifesto that was shown to the members through a Power Point presentation.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

“We couldn’t finish reviewing the entire draft. We didn’t get any hard or soft copy of the draft. We are going to meet again on Tuesday and hopefully send the final draft to the Congress Working Committee by this week,” said a member of the panel.

Another member who was present in the meeting on Monday said that a number of packages for the SCs, STs and OBCs is likely to be announced along with the commitment to conduct a caste census if the Congress comes to power.

“One of our focus areas would be the education of SC, ST and OBCs. We will promise enhanced scope of quality education for SCs, STs, and OBCs. It would be a step ahead of the current reservation in educational institutes and further open the gates of higher education,” said a Congress leader.

To achieve this goal, the Congress is expected to offer a slew of scholarships from school level to PhD students. “We would definitely announce a higher corpus and it will cover school education to even research fellows or PhD students,” added a leader.

To be sure, the central government already runs a host of scholarship programmes for the SCs, STs and backward castes. Among the ongoing programmes, there is the Scheme For Residential Education For Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA), National Fellowship for OBC Students (NF-OBC), National Overseas Scholarship, Dr Ambedkar Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loan for Overseas Studies for OBCs & EBCs, Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes & Others, Post-Matric Scholarship for SC Students and National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste Students.

There is also the Pre-Matric Scholarship for OBC Students and Scholarships for Higher Education for Young Achievers Scheme (SHREYAS) (OBC & Others). Apart from this exhaustive list, several state governments have their own scholarships for underprivileged students.

At least two leaders added that the manifesto would be largely based on the thrust areas of party leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra (BJNY) and the party is set to announce a caste census to ascertain the share of population of various caste groups. The party will also promise raising the upper limits of the existing quotas for SCs, STs and OBCs, if deemed necessary going by the census findings.

The 50-page draft manifesto has been primarily written by Chidambaram and Praveen Chakravarty, who heads the party’s Professionals’ Congress and data analytics cell.

The Congress announced the formation of a 16-member manifesto committee in December. Former Chhattisgarh deputy chief minister TS Singh Deo was appointed as its convener. Other members include Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, former Union minister Anand Sharma, communications chief Jairam Ramesh, Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor, former Manipur deputy chief minister G Gaikhangam, and Assam MP Gaurav Gogoi.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok sabha election Live, Odisha election 2024 Live , Election 2024 Date, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Topics
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
OPEN APP