Consultative Committee Meeting of Social Justice & Empowerment Ministry Deliberates on Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC and OBC Students
A meeting of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment was held yesterday under the chairmanship of Kumari Selja, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment and Shri Porika Balram Naik, Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment to discuss the centrally sponsored schemes of Post-Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Castes Students and Post-Matric Scholarship for Other Backward Classes Students.

Discussing the Schemes in detail, a power-point presentation highlighted the important features and explained that the number of beneficiaries under the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SCs had been increasing over the years. During the 11th Plan the number of beneficiaries has gone up from 31.58 lakh to 46 lakh.

It also further said that the total expenditure under the scheme including the committed liability of the States which increased from Rs. 2158.70 crore in 2007-2008 to Rs. 3994.96 crore in 2011-12. The Percentage national average of the female beneficiaries under the Scheme for the year 2011-2 was 38.31.

The Members were also informed that the annual parental income ceiling has been enhanced from Rs. 2.00 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh with effect from 1.4.2013.

The second presentation on Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for Other Backward Classes Students highlighted that scholarships are awarded through the State Government/UT Administration to which the applicant belongs for studying in recognized institutions. Here financial support is provided to OBC students studying at post-matric/post-secondary levels including Ph. D. degrees.

In the year 2012-13, against the demand of Rs. 2281 crore, the Ministry released funds to the tune of Rs. 666.86 crore to 26 States and UTs. This is expected to benefit about 20 lakh students. The budget allocation for this year is Rs. 900 crore.

Participating in the discussion, the Members of the Committee stressed upon the need to further strengthen delivery and monitoring mechanism of the Scheme, so that no deserving candidate is left out from the ambit of Scholarship. They also stressed on implementation of the Direct Benefits Transfer Scheme.

The Members who attended the Meeting were from Lok Sabha – Shri Rudra Madhab Ray, BJD, Odisha; Shri Thangso Baite,INC, Manipur.

Ms. Stuti Kacker Secretary, Department of Disability Affairs, Shri Anoop Kumar Srivastava, Additional Secretary and other senior officials of the Ministry were also present.