Girl child sop finds few takers
The University Grants Commission's single girl child scholarship scheme hasn't found too many takers in states with low sex ratio. But it is a huge hit in states with higher sex ratio.india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 19:38 IST
The University Grants Commission's single girl child scholarship scheme hasn't found too many takers in states with low sex ratio. But it is a huge hit in states with higher sex ratio.
In the final list of awardees declared by UGC on Wednesday, Kerala - where women outnumbered men according to the 2001 Census - bagged the maximum number of scholarships (about 30 per cent of the total 1,613 students selected). The other southern states weren't far behind. Commission officials said Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka also bagged a handsome number of scholarships. All states have very good sex ratios with very low incidence of female feticide.
Apart from the south, the scheme got a good response in West Bengal and Maharashtra. But UGC secretary M.C. Sharma said this was more due to the high literacy rate in these states than the sex ratio link. "As the scheme is for college or university-going students, the response would have been good in states with extremely good literacy rate," he said. Apart from a healthy sex ratio, Kerala has an absolute literacy rate. Tamil Nadu, along with West Bengal, has a literacy rate of 90%.
But officials are worried about the poor response in states with low sex ration and poverty. "The response wasn't very good," an official said, adding that it might be because higher education institutions here failed to publicise the scheme.
Haryana, which has the lowest sex ratio in the country, recorded the least number (25) of girl students who qualified for scholarships. Delhi, also with a poor sex ratio, didn't fare too well either. Only around 30 girls from a city of over 1.5 crore people got scholarships. The response was poor in Bihar, Jharkhand and Rajasthan too.
Under the scheme, students are awarded scholarships for full-time courses. The eligibility criteria: you have to be a single girl child and get admission in a recognised institution. Each recipient is granted Rs 2,000 per month for a period of two years, according to Sharma.