New Delhi, Oct 15 :A meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment was held here today under the Chairmanship of Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment to discuss the Scholarship for Scheduled Schemes for SC Students. Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment was also present. Discussing the schemes in detail a power point presentation was made before the member highlighting the important features of scholarship schemes.
The Minister informed the Members about the steps taken by the Ministry regarding the scholarship Schemes. He said that the Department of SJ&E has six Scholarship Schemes for the SC students there include Post Matric Scholarship Scheme, Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC students of Studying in Classes IX and X, Upgradation of Merit,Top Class Education, National Overseas Scholarship Scheme, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship.
He said that the number of Top Class Institutions for scholarships has been increased from 205 to 207 and the Parental income ceiling for PMS –SC Scheme has been increased from Rs. 2.00 lakh to Rs. 2.50 lakh p.a. w.e.f. April, 1st 2014. Beside the National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for SC students has been revised increasing the slots from 30 to 60 and the parental income ceiling for the scholarship also from Rs. 3.00 lakh to Rs. 6.00 lakh p.a. The Minister said that New Scholarship Scheme called Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme for SC students of Classes IX and X was introduced in the XII Five Year Plan to minimize the instances of drop out amongst the Pre-matric SC students.
Participating in the discussion, the Members of the Consultative Committee suggested that some scholarship Schemes may be named after Dr. BR Ambedkar, SC Students in private institution also should be eligible for scholarships. Scholarship amount should be raised and linked to Consumer Price Index (CPI). There should be a scheme for providing coaching to SC students appearing for different competitive examinations.
Responding to the Members suggestions, the Minister for SJ&E said that the above proposals are already under consideration and explained briefly that SC students in all recognized Schools/Colleges including Private ones are eligible as per the scholarship Schemes of the Department, CPI is already linked to the Scholarships. There already exists a coaching Scheme for providing Grant in Aid to Government/Aided/ Private Institutions and NGOs for providing coaching to SC students for competitive exams like IAS, PCS, CAT, CET, CMT etc. The Ministry already has a foundation name after Dr. Ambedkar, the Ambedkar Foundation (DAF). However, the Members suggestions of naming of Scholarship Schemes after Dr. Ambedkar would be considered positively by the Department he said.
Prior the discussion on the Agenda for the Meeting, the Action Taken Report on the minutes of previous meeting of Consultative Committee in December, 2013 was discussed. The procedure for obtaining disability certificate is being simplified by provision of Unique Identity Code to the disabled population of the country. It was informed that a Bill to increase the number of disabilities from 3 to 19 is under process and establishment of regional centers at North East and Delhi is being considered.
Members of Parliament present in the meeting were: Shri Harish Chandra Meena, Smt. Sakuntala Laguri, Dr. Mamtaz Sanghamirtra, Shri Jaswant Singh Bhabhor, Shri Virender Kashyap, Shri Dileep Singh Bhuria, Shri Vinod Chavda, Shri Gadam Nagesh, Shri Ahamed Hassan, Shri Shambhoo Prasad Tundiya.