The Union Human Resource Development (MHRD) ministry’s scholarship for meritorious students to help them continue their higher education does not seem to be very popular in Karnataka.
Under the Central scheme, 4,237 students from the state are eligible for scholarships, but just 2,000 have applied this time. Following the poor response, the Pre-university Education Department has extended the last date for submission of applications to October 26.
Students can submit the applications to principals of their colleges by October 21 and the same should reach the department by October 26. But officials say that even after extending the date, the response has not been good.
The official notification issued for the second time says lack of publicity about the scheme was the reason for the poor response. Last year too, the response was tepid. Only after the department extended the last date, the number of applicants rose to 5200.
According to principals, the reason for this is lack of communication from the department. Dr Prakash, principal of Seshadripuram First Grade College, said, “The problem is lack of communication from the department to colleges. We want our students to get the benefit of the scheme, and `10,000 is not a small amount.”
The PUE Department is the nodal authority to scrutinise the applications and forward them to the MHRD. The forwarded applications are vetted and approved by the ministry for grant of scholarships.
Every year, the ministry releases scholarships of `10,000 each to undergraduate and `20,000 each to post-graduate students. According to the department, there are at least 17,000 eligible students in the state.
“Even we are surprised by the number of applications we received. We just received 2,000 and that is the reason we have extended the date,” said an official in charge of scholarship schemes at the department.
Under the scheme, selected students will get the benefits for five years till the completion of their PG course. MHRD will renew the scholarships every year provided the student secures a minimum of 60 per cent in the respective examinations.
First-time applicants need to have secured over 80 per cent in the PU II final exams. Thereafter, the students need to score 60 per cent and above to continue receiving the scholarship. They also need to have 75 per cent attendance every year.