NEW DELHI: While the total budget for minorities remains exactly the same as last fiscal year, there is a cut in budgetary allocation for scholarships for minorities. This is significant as the Modi 2.0 government, in a major outreach, had promised to give scholarship to five crore students belonging to religious minorities soon after it assumed charge on May 30. In its previous tenure during the last five years, the government gave scholarships to nearly three crore students.
While there is a reduction in funds for scholarships of minorities, there is an increase in budget allocation for minority community candidates appearing in the UPSC exam. ]
The budget for providing free and subsidised coaching for minority candidates has been increased from Rs 8 crore last year to Rs 20 crore this year under the ‘Support for students clearing prelims conducted by UPSC, SSC, State Public Service Commission’s etc’ scheme.
ALSO READ: How will Budget 2019 help the aam aadmi?
Notably, when the government announced the abolition of the Haj subsidy last year, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had said it would use these funds to educate the Muslim community — a step he claimed was evidence of “Modi government’s efforts to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement”.
Funds allocated for educational empowerment of the community has been reduced to Rs 2,362 crore from Rs 2,453 crore last year. The grants for pre-matric and post-matric scholarships have been reduced from Rs 1,296 crore last year to Rs 1,220 crore this year, and from Rs 500 crore to Rs 496 crore this year, respectively.
The total budget allocated to the Union minority affairs ministry has remained Rs 4,599 crore as it was last year.
A senior ministry official, however, said that the cut in educational funds is only marginal and there has been an increase in other schemes meant for the betterment of minorities.
The budget for providing free and subsidised coaching for minority candidates has been increased from D8 crore last year to D20 crore this year under the ‘Support for students clearing prelims conducted by UPSC, SSC, State Public Service Commis-sion’s etc’ scheme