Policy Matters

End of the scholarship scheme for poor students, by Finance Ministry

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For the reasons of decrease in the bank interest rates, the government has decided to cancel the national means-cum-merit scholarship scheme that was meant to provide financial aid to 1 lakh gifted children whose parents' annual income was below INR 1.5 lakh. Funds of INR 1000 crore under the scholarship scheme were designed on the lines of the American model of scholarships, but now has been shut down.

The money from the scholarship fund had been provided quarter-annually to full time students of Class 9 from government, government-aided or local body schools. The students received the scholarship till the time they passed out of school after Class 12. According to the plans by the ministry, the idea for setting up the fund was to add INR 750 crore to the corpus fund for three consecutive financial years and increase the amount to INR 3000 crore. However, this had been unsuccessful as only INR 250 crore had been added tothe fund in 2009, making the total amount to INR 1000 crore.

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