Srinagar, Dec 24: In a big push for education, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved Ra 59,000 crore Post Matric Scholarship for more than four crore Scheduled Caste (SC) in the next five years. The cabinet approved a total investment of Ra 59,048 crore.
The central government will spend 60% of the programme which is estimated at Rs 35,534. The rest wll be provided by the state government. “This replaces the existing ‘committed liability’ system and brings greater involvement of the Central Govt in this crucial scheme,” the Union Cabinet said in a statement.
The Post Matric Scholarship scheme for Scheduled Caste students allows students to pursue any post matric course starting from class 11 and onwards, with the government providing the cost of education. “The focus of the scheme would be on enrolling the poorest students, timely payments, comprehensive accountability, continuous monitoring and total transparency,” the cabinet mentioned in the statement.
A campaign will be launched to enroll the students, from the poorest households passing the 10th standard, in the higher education courses of their choice. It is estimated that 1.36 crore such poorest students, who are currently not continuing their education beyond 10th standards would be brought into the higher education system in the next 5 years.
The scheme will be run on an online platform with robust cyber security measures that would assure transparency, accountability, efficiency, and timely delivery of the assistance without any delays, the statement mentioned.
The states will verify the eligibility, caste status, Aadhar identification and bank account details of the applicants on the online portal.
Transfer of financial assistance to the students under the scheme shall be on DBT mode, and preferably using the Aadhar enabled payment system, the statement said. Starting from 2021-22, the central share (60%) in the scheme would be released on DBT mode directly into the bank accounts of the students as per fixed time schedule, after ensuring that the concerned state government has released their share.
Monitoring mechanism will be further strengthened through conduct of social audits, annual third party evaluation, and half-yearly self-audited reports from each institution, it added.
The central Assistance which was around Rs 1,100 crore annually during 2017-18 to 2019-20 would be increased more than five times to be around Rs 6,000 core annually during 2020-21 to 2025-26.