The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved changes to the centrally sponsored Post-Matric Scholarship Plan to benefit more than four crore of Scheduled Caste students over the next five years and approved a total investment of more than Rs 59,000 crore for this purpose.
Of the total investment of 59,048 million rupees approved by the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 60 percent, amounting to 35,534 rupees, would be spent by Centra and the rest by the state government. “This replaces the existing system of ‘committed responsibility’ and brings greater central government involvement in this crucial scheme. The focus of the scheme would be on enrolling the poorest students, punctual payments, comprehensive responsibility, continuous monitoring and total transparency, ”said an official statement.
“Today’s cabinet decision on the post-matrix scholarship will guarantee greater educational access to young people who belong to SC communities. Ensuring affordable, high-quality education for our young people is an important focus area for our government, ”the prime minister said in a tweet.
The Post-Matriculation Scholarship Program for Scheduled Breeds allows students to follow any class 11 course, and the government bears the cost of education.
“A campaign will be launched to enroll students, from the poorest households who pass the tenth standard, in the higher education courses of their choice. It is estimated that 1.36 million rupees of the poorest students, who currently do not continue their education beyond the tenth level, would enter the higher education system in the next 5 years, “the statement said.
“The scheme will run on an online platform with strong cyber security measures that would ensure transparency, accountability, efficiency, and timely delivery of assistance without delay. The states will carry out a foolproof verification of eligibility, caste status, Aadhaar ID and bank account details on the online portal, ”he added.
The Cabinet also approved a further strengthening of the monitoring mechanism by conducting social audits, an annual third-party evaluation, and semi-annual self-audited reports for each institution. “Central assistance, which was around 1,100 crore rupees annually during 2017-18 to 2019-20, would increase more than fivefold to around 6,000 basic rupees annually during 2020-21 to 2025-26,” he said.