Published: 20th July 2022
Odisha: As many as 14,474 students with disabilities received scholarships worth Rs 28.36 crore
The Minister said 14,474 PwD students were provided scholarships of more than Rs 28.36 crore from 2014-15 to 2021-22
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on Tuesday, July 19, informed the Lok Sabha that 14,474 differently-abled students of Odisha have been covered under scholarship schemes in the last eight years.
Responding to queries from BJP MP Basanta Panda, Minister of State for Social Justice Pratima Bhoumik said the Ministry does not compile information relating to students with disabilities.
However, as per Census 2011, there were 12,44,402 persons with disabilities (PwDs) in Odisha. Under the scholarship schemes for students with disabilities, students with benchmark disabilities (40 per cent or more) are eligible for scholarships.
She said 14,474 PwD students were provided scholarships of more than Rs 28.36 crore from 2014-15 to 2021-22. The number of students with disabilities getting scholarships has increased from 16 during 2014-15 to 2,699 during 2021-22.
She said six scholarship schemes: Pre-matric, post-matric, top class education, national fellowship, national overseas and free coaching were implemented as standalone schemes having separate budgets till 2017-18.
However, all the six scholarship schemes have been merged into an umbrella scheme titled Scholarship for Students with Disabilities from April 1, 2018 and have been registered on the PFMS portal with a unique code for direct benefit transfer.
The merger/unification of the schemes with effect from 2018-19 has been done to remove the demand-supply imbalance caused by budget allocation and streamline the implementation process. In the umbrella scheme, if there is a surplus fund available in one segment that can be utilised in the other segment.
Under the revised scheme, the amount of pre-matric and post-matric scholarships has increased. The number of slots in pre-matric slots has been increased to 928, post-matric to 789 and top-class education to 14.
Under National Overseas Scholarship, the applications can be submitted throughout the year, the Minister said.