Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Scholarship scheme for minorities

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday approved a centrally-sponsored scheme of merit-cum-means based scholarship for students from minority communities. It will be launched in the current financial year and target 20,000 scholarships a year.

Union Minister and Cabinet spokesperson P. Chidambaram said the scheme would be applicable to students from minority communities who pursued professional and technical courses at undergraduate and post-graduates levels in recognised institutes.

Students of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Institutes of Management, Indian Institutes of Technology, National Institutes of Technology and other premier institutions would get full reimbursement of the course fee, while those studying in other recognised institutions would get their course fee reimbursed up to Rs. 20,000 a year. In addition, all students would get a maintenance allowance — Rs. 10,000 a year for hostellers and Rs. 5,000 for day scholars.

The scheme also provides for 30 per cent reservation for girl students. It will target students from the poorer sections of society. It will be open only to students whose parents or guardians have an annual income of not more than Rs. 2.5 lakh from all sources.

The CCEA also gave its approval for incurring a recurring expenditure of Rs. 761.69 crore in the 11th Five Year Plan for the scheme. Out of the 20,000 scholarships, the bulk would go to the Muslim community (15,585 scholarships), followed by 2,540 for Christians, 2,028 for Sikhs, 840 for Buddhists and seven for Parsis.

It will be implemented by the State Governments and Union Territories. They would be allocated scholarships in accordance with the proportion of their minority population. Uttar Pradesh would get the maximum number of scholarships at 3,371, followed by West Bengal (2,223), Maharashtra (1,840), Punjab (1,615), Kerala (1,469), and Bihar (1,458).

Tamil Nadu has been allocated 767 scholarships, while Andhra Pradesh will have 867, Karnataka 832, Pondicherry 13, Delhi 247, Haryana 257, Jammu and Kashmir 753, Himachal Pradesh 30, Uttaranchal 133, Madhya Pradesh 462, Rajasthan 601, Gujarat 523 and Assam 981.

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