KOZHIKODE: From 38 three years ago, the number of students applying for OBC overseas scholarships in the state has grown exponentially to 231 in 2020-21. Applicants from the SC/ST category too have seen a quantitative jump during the period.
The scholarships are provided by the state backward classes development department (SBCDD). Each OBC student is given Rs 10 lakh for PG courses in 600 universities that are named in the Times Higher Education ranking list.
While full scholarship is given to those studying in universities that come within the 200th rank, half of the expense (up to a maximum of Rs 10 lakh) is given to those studying in varsities falling between 201 and 600 ranks. For availing of scholarships, applicant’s annual income should not exceed Rs 6 lakh.
nfortunately, the amount of scholarship allotted by the government remains the same over the years. So far, Rs 1.10 crore has been disbursed among 21 students applied in 2020-21.
“Global exposure, social media impact and high ambition are the driving forces behind the rise in number of students applying for the scholarships,” said SBCDD Deputy Director (directorate) G Sidhardhan.
‘More girls opt to go out for higher studies’
“There has been a visible change. More girls are opting to go out for higher studies. Till now, parents were bit hesitant to send their wards abroad. More guidance centres, relatives abroad and information about global excellence of education push our students to foreign universities,” said Farook College Principal K M Naseer.
The increase in the number has resulted in allegations that authorities put income over merit to pick students. Students allege that government orders have been bypassed by the department through annual notification, thereby preferring poor students studying in low-ranking universities over academically brilliant ones at high-ranking varsities.
According to the SC development department, there were 55 applicants in 2019-20. This has grown to 90 this year. While 22 were approved last year, 68 got the nod in 2020-21. Data shows 10 students belonging to ST communities have availed of the scholarships. Unlike OBC students, SC/ST students get a maximum Rs 25 lakh as scholarships. Among ST students, a majority belong to Kurichiya, Kuruma, Malayaraya tribes.