Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has revealed important statistics regarding scholarships and schemes for Scheduled Caste and Persons with Disabilities. In official answer to Rajya Sabha starred question number 22 and unstarred question number 306, officials of the Ministry has indicated allocation of 20 crore rupees scholarship budget for SC students to study abroad. Furthermore, it has been revealed that more than 42000 candidates belonging to PWD category have benefited from the scholarship schemes of the Government.
Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Sri Thaawarchand Gehlot answered to Rajya Sabha starred question number 22 by identifying scholarship schemes for SC candidates. He mentioned the National Overseas Scholarship for Scheduled Caste which is in place to assist candidates to study abroad. He also added that the number of slots per year has also increased to 100 from 2014-15. Earlier, the number of slots was 60 per year. Under the National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for SC students, everything including tuition fees, airfare, visa, insurance and other things are covered.
The Minister submitted the complete statistics of candidates benefited under the scheme in the previous few years as well as the allocation of funds for the scholarship schemes. As per the official reports, 63 candidates in total went abroad under this scheme in the financial year 2019-20. The total fund allocation to scholarship schemes for SC students was at 20 crore India Rupees in the year 2020.
Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment answer Rajya Sabha unstarred question number 306 in a similar manner. Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, the Minister of State indicated that from 2014-15 to 2019-20, the number of PwD candidates to have benefited under Government Scholarship Schemes for PwD is 42972.
The Minister also added that earlier, there were six scholarship schemes operating as stand-alone schemes with separate budgets. However, since April 1, 2018, all of the schemes have been brought together under the Umbrella Scholarship Scheme for Students with Disabilities. Under this revised scheme, the number of Pre and Post Matric scholarships has increased. The number of slots has also been increased by 5000 (20000 to 25000) in Pre-Matric scholarships and by 140 (160 to 300) in Top Class Education scholarships.
The revelation of such important statistics is important for the common public from the SC category and PWD category. It is now known about the significant budget increase for scholarship schemes for SC students during the last few years. The budget for SC students has gone up from 6.12 Crore rupees in 2015-16 to 20 crore rupees in 2019-20. The Ministry has also revealed the state-wise number of PwD candidates to have benefitted from government schemes during the last few years.