Ministry for Social Justice & Empowerment released an amount of Rs 39,84,75 000 (Rupees-Thirty nine crore eighty four lakh seventy five thousand only) to the State Government of Bihar, towards central assistance for the current financial year 2011-2012,under the centrally sponsored scheme of Post-Matric Scholarships to student belonging to Scheduled Castes.
The Post Matric Scholarship for SC Students Scheme is a single largest intervention by Government of India for educational development of scheduled caste students. It is a flagship Scheme of the Ministry, in operation since 1944, which provides financial assistance to Scheduled Caste students studying at post matriculation level in the country. There is no upper limit on the number of scholarships and all the SC students fulfilling the eligibility criteria are covered under the Scheme. About 48 lakh students are anticipated to be covered during 2011-12.During X FY Plan, an amount of Rs. 1826.91 Crore was released to cover 113.82 lakh beneficiaries. It has increased sharply in XI FY Plan and Rs.6780.52 crore has been released so far to cover 196.16 lakh beneficiaries.
In order to streamline the delivery system of the Scheme and fulfilling the objective of improving enrollment and retention of SC students all the State Governments and Administrators of UTs have been advised by Ministry to ensure timely and regular disbursement of scholarship to the beneficiary students, payment through bank/post-office accounts, start online processing of scholarship and designate Grievance Redressal Officers (GROs) at the State and District levels to redress students’ scholarship-related grievances. The Scheme is implemented through State Governments and Union Territory Administrations which receive 100 percent Central assistance from the Government of India for the total expenditure under the scheme, over and above their respective Committed Liability. The North Eastern states have been exempted from the burden of committed liability.
The Scheme has been revised by the Government on 31-12-2010 w.e.f. 1.7.2010 and the revision includes increase in parental income ceiling from Rs. 1.00 lakh p.a. to Rs. 2.00 lakh p.a.; regrouping of courses; and rates of maintenance and other allowances.
Rates of maintenance and other allowances have been increased by 60 percent with respect to pre-revised rates. Presently, 23 State Governments have already implemented revised Scheme. Others are under process to implement the revised Scheme.