Published: 15th December 2022
MANF Scholarship: Government clarifies on cut-off date after scrapping scholarship
The scholarship was provided to MPhil and PhD students from minority communities; it was scrapped last week by the Centre because it overlapped with other schemes
Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman has now announced that students who applied for Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) before March 31, 2022, will be eligible to receive their scholarship amount until the end of their tenure.
This was announced in response to a question in the Lok Sabha and comes a week after the Minister of Minority Affairs, Smriti Irani revealed that the scholarship was going to be discontinued. The reason cited by Irani for scrapping MANF was that it "overlapped" with other scholarship schemes.
In the Lok Sabha today, December 15, a discussion was held on the matter, and members of the opposition demanded that the scholarship be restored. Finance Minister Sitharaman then clarified that the students who applied for MANF before March 31 will continue to avail of its benefits until the end of their tenure.
The MANF was introduced in 2009 as per recommendations of the Sachar Committee that was set up to study the socio-economic conditions of Muslims in the country. It provides scholarships to MPhil and PhD students from minority communities such as Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and Parsis. As per the data provided by Irani, 6,722 candidates were selected under the [MANF] scheme between 2014-15 and 2021-22 and fellowships to the tune of ₹738.85 crores were distributed during the same period.