Thursday, September 28, 2017

Govt of India uses 16-yr-old data to provide students minority scholarship, RTE group suspects whopping 20% gap

By Our Representative
In a shocking revelation, the Government of India relies on more 16 year old data while calculating the number of minority students who should receive scholarship. A recent Government of India circular says that pre-matric and post-matric scholarship schemes for 2017-18 for the country's minorities is to be implemented by the Government of India is "as per the Census 2001".
A cent per cent centrally-funded scheme floated by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as part of 15 point programme to alleviate the plight of the minorities, the Narendra Modi government has continued with it, despite the fact that during his chief ministership he refused to implement it in Gujarat.
Calling it "minority appeasement", Modi had wondered why such a scholarship scheme wasn't being implemented for other sections, till the Gujarat High Court ordered him to begin putting it in place across Gujarat for the state's minorities. The UPA government, on the other hand, basing on information provided by the Sachar Committee, had insisted that minorities, especially Muslims, suffered from backwardness, and special efforts were needed to overcome it.
Based on the "merit-cum-means" criteria, those eligible included minority students from from Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Parsi and Jain communities of "government or private universities/ institutes/ colleges/ schools."
Taking strong exception to the use of old data to provide scholarship to minority students, Mujahid Nafees of the Shala Mitra Sangh, a right to education (RTE) platform in Gujarat, has said that the minority population in 2001 stood at 20,03,03,872, and increased to 24,17,30,321 in 2011, as per the census data.
A nearly 20% rise, Nafees wonders whether this may have become the basis for providing scholarship to a lesser percentage of minorities. "I have asked Union minorities minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to take note of utter indifference on the part of the administration while calculating those eligible for scholarship."
Providing state-wise and community-wise number of students eligible for scholarship, it provides the all-India number too -- 30 lakh are pre-matric, five lakh post-matric, and 60,000 "fresh cases". All of these, notably, are based on the 2001 Census.
The government providing old data for disbursement of scholarship has come amidst Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently taking up  the issue of “more than 5 lakh scholarships” to SC/ST and other minority groups not being disbursed, in some cases for over a year.
In a note to Chief Secretary MM Kutty, Kejriwal said the files in this regard were “never put to my minister” during the entire period from 2015 to 2017 and “the elected government was kept in the dark”. Kejriwal mentioned an inquiry by the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDC), ordered by him in the matter.
“(Its) report alleges that more than 5 lakh scholarships are yet to be disbursed in Delhi due to complete abdication of responsibilities, apathy, insensitivity & dereliction of duty by the seniormost officials” of the Delhi Government.
Meanwhile, official's in Delhi have said that, overall, the Government of India's pre-matric and post-matric scholarship schemes have seen a decline  as compared to last year due to the new registration system for students.
This has happened because, thy say, states have com up with "low registration" under the scholarship schemes, and students are opting for state-run scholarship scheme, and according to rule a student can apply only for one scheme.

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