Published: 17th December 2021
During 2020, nearly 2 lakh ST students did not use their post-matric scholarships. Here is why
The data was revealed by Bishweshwar Tudu, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs in the Rajya Sabha, while answering a question by BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao
In the pandemic year, roughly 2 lakh fewer Scheduled Tribe students availed of the post-matric scholarships given by the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs. While 20,60,508 students availed the scholarship in 2019-20, in 2020-21, the number was 18,56,571.
The data was revealed by Bishweshwar Tudu, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs in the Rajya Sabha, while answering a question by BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao. The scholarship is given by the ministry annually to ST students who have completed matriculation or higher secondary or any higher examination recognised by a school board and whose family's annual income is below Rs 2.5 lakh. Under the scheme, the students can avail of a stipend of up to Rs 19,500, in addition to their fees.
Rajasthan has the maximum number of students who availed of the scholarship — 3,15,315, followed by Odisha with 1,55,309 students. However, 1,71,532 students from Odisha availed the scholarship last year. The trend is similar in most North-Eastern states. The dip is even starker in Tamil Nadu, where the number fell from 29,478 in 2019-20 to 21,593 in 2020-21.
During the 2021 budget, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated more than Rs 35,000 crore as the government is set to revamp Post-Matric scholarships to help 4 crore Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students. "We have revamped the post-matric scholarship scheme for the welfare of the Scheduled Caste students. I have also enhanced the central assistance in this regard," she said.