The Union Government of India recently decided to change the funding pattern of the Post Matric Scholarship scheme dedicated towards aiding Scheduled Caste (SC) students. Furthermore, the government has adopted a 60:40 ratio shared between the Centre, the States/Union Territories with respect to the average demand for the scheme for a period of three years. In the case of northeastern states, the centre shall adopt 90 per cent of the average demand. These three years begin from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
The primary aim of the revised scheme is to create an impact on the poorest households of the SC category to be recognised by the state governments and governments of UTs. The revised scheme also suggested that the total yearly assistance given to students would be entirely non-refundable. The monetary aid shall cover the tuition fee of the course and the academic allowance according to the dates fixed by the course organiser, the issued statement implies.
Rattan Lal Kataria, the Minister is State for Social Justice and Empowerment issued a reply in the Lok Sabha on February 2, 2021, i.e., Tuesday in the form of a letter. In his letter, he stated that starting from the academic year 2021-22, the Central share in the scheme shall be released through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode directly into the student’s bank. The intention behind adopting DBT mode is to reduce fraudulent activity.
The revised scheme is based on the principles of timely delivery, accountability in a comprehensive manner, consistent monitoring and complete transparency. It shall come into play through an online platform with strong cybersecurity measures. By doing so, the central government is attempting at reducing the chances of fund frauds, the minister further implied.
The state governments and UT administrations shall undertake awareness drives about the post-matric scholarship scheme being introduced. This awareness drive shall take place through notice boards of Gram Panchayats, school committee discussions, parent-teacher meetings and other public measures. These drives shall also be instrumental in preventing the misuse of funds.
In the last few years, the post matrix scholarship scheme was not efficient enough to provide timely funds to students coming from scheduled castes. Due to this, their education was affected as they could not fund for the same in their own. Many a time, the funds never reached the students and were misused for other purposes. The central government aims to reduce these discrepancies in the system by introducing these reforms.