New Delhi: The cash amount of post-matric
scholarships meant for students belonging to scheduled castes
will be raised by 70 per cent, the Government said on Saturday.
"Rate of post-matric scholarship will be raised by about
70 per cent. Steps have been initiated in this direction,"
Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik
said at a conference organised by the LIC`s SC, ST and
Buddhist Employees and Officers Association here.
Union Minister for State for Women and Child Development
Krishna Tirath and several MPs also attended the programme.
The government has taken a decision to revise and
increase the cash amount of post-matric scholarships keeping
in consumer price index in mind, Wasnik said.
He underlined that the scheme, which was started in 1944,
was revised in 2003 only. "Since there is a big difference in
consumer price index now, we decided to revise it," he said.
The budget allocation on the scheme, which was Rs 750
crore last year, will now be Rs 1,750 crore, he added.
The post-matric scholarships, a 100 per cent centrally
sponsored scheme, enable a considerable number of SC students
to obtain post-matric and higher level of education resulting
in their overall educational and economic development.
The value of scholarship includes maintenance allowance,
additional allowance for disabled students, reimbursement of
compulsory non-refundable fees, study tour charges, charges
for thesis typing or printing, book allowance for students
pursuing correspondence courses and book bank facility for
specified courses for complete duration of the course.
According to ministry, the scheme presently covers over
30 lakh scheduled caste students.
On cases of atrocities against Dalits, Wasnik said that
over 35,000 cases are registered every year.
"This (atrocity) is still continuing. Pendency of cases
and low rate of convictions are matters of concern," he added.
He said that government is trying its best to see that
the law to prevent atrocities against Dalits is implemented
properly. The Centre is monitoring the situation, he said.
On the issue of reservation to SCs and STs in private
sector, Wasnik said the India Inc and Chamber of Commerce had
assured of "affirmative" action on this issue (instead of
agreeing to provide quota). "We are trying to ascertain the
progress made (by India Inc and others) in this regard."
Addressing the conference, Tirath appealed to members of
SC and ST communities to provide proper education to their
children and asked the students to do their best to do well in
She said efforts should be made by SC and ST students to
focus on their education to the extent that they could be at
the same level of that of students from other categories.
She appealed the members of SC and ST communities to
remain united so that they can firmly demand their rights.
"If you place your demands with facts, it becomes duty of
the government to fulfil them," she added.