NEW DELHI: Close to Mayawati’s ‘Dalit resurgence laboratory’ of Uttar Pradesh, but outside the media spotlight, another revolution in social inclusion is taking place, albeit quietly. In its endeavour to provide ‘inclusive’ social development, the Delhi government has been promoting scholarships on a large scale, for students from scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST), minorities and other backward classes (OBC).
“This year we have tripled the budget for monetary support, as both grant and loan, to backward students. During 2010-11, Delhi government had approved a revised budget of Rs 8,760 lakh, out of which an expenditure of Rs 8,054 lakh was incurred upto March 31, 2011. Now the budget has been tripled in 2011-12 to Rs 250 crore, out of which, an expenditure of Rs 65.43 crore has been incurred upto October 31, 2011,” said Raj Kumar Chauhan, Delhi’s minister for SC/ST welfare.
The ministry has been providing assistance of Rs 450-750 for purchase of stationery to students belonging to backward communities in Class VI to XII, with a family income of upto Rs 2 lakh per annum. A total of 1.16 lakh students benefitted from this scheme in 2010-11. In 2011-12, the budget for financial assistance for purchase of stationery is pegged at Rs 38.05 crore, which will benefit a at least 4.08 lakh students. Out of this amount, Rs 18.50 crore has already been transferred to the Directorate of Education upto October 31, 2011, for disbursals to students.
Chauhan said that the ministry is also providing scholarship to students from backward communities studying between Class Vi-XII. The amount ranges from `600 to `2,040 per annum. From this year this will be raised to `1,000 per annum, and will include all students between Classes I-VIII from the backward communities. In 2010-11, a total of 69,500 students benefitted from this scheme. In 2011-12, this number went up to 2.90 lakh.
“The scholarship money is handed over to the parents of the students. Hence, it is my earnest request to the parents, that the grant should be used only for academic purposes, and not misused,” said Chauhan. Delhi’s ministry of SC/ST welfare is also providing scholarship to backward community students in colleges and professional institutions. The amount ranges from Rs 420 to Rs1,860 per month. 4,500 students benefitted under this scheme in 2010-11 and 2011-12
Chauhan said that 75 per cent of tuition and other compulsory fees of students from backward communities, who are studying in public schools, and have family income of up to `2 lakh per annum, is being reimbursed. In case families whose income is only `60,000 per annum, the entire fee is reimbursed. A total of 6,000 such students have benefitted from this scheme in 2010-11 and 2011-12.