The Gujarat government’s scheme to give fee support to students in the unreserved category has found more takers among girls than boys. Girl students have outnumbered boys by huge numbers, availing the state government’s “Mukhya-mantri Yuva Swavalamban Yojana (MYSY)”, which was launched by the then Chief Minister Anandiben Patel in September 2015, to pacify the Patidar reservation agitation, primarily to offer scholarships to “deserving” students from the unreserved category with Rs 4.5 lakh family annual income.
In the last two years, under general category across all courses in higher education, barring engineering, the percentage share of girl students candidates availing of the scholarship scheme has been higher than boys in the state, a comparative study of the figures during this period reveals.
For two consecutive academic sessions (2016-2017 and 2017-18), the number of girls availing of the scholarship scheme under four major categories – higher education, technical, medical and others – has been almost double than boys. In the last two years, under the category of higher education, the number of beneficiaries rose from 8,556 to 12,634. This led to a gap between the number of male and female candidates from 2,980 in 2016-17 to 4,370 in 2017-18.
In the academic session 2016-17 in nursing, out of 139 total students, 135 were girls and only four boys, analysing the data accessed by The Indian Express revealed.
The trend replicated in Ayurveda too: out of 1,333 total candidates, 886 were girls and 447 boys who availed of the scholarship across the state. In 2017-18, among 50 candidates who have availed of the scholarship, no male student has registered for nursing so far.
Confirming the trend, Principal Secretary (Higher and Technical Education) Anju Sharma said, “The number of women have been increasing over the years not only in one course but across various courses. This confirms that the scheme has given a good opportunity to girls who could not pursue higher education due to financial constraints. Though there are scholarship schemes under the Social Justice and Empowerment Department and the Tribal Department, but the MYSY under the Education Department has immensely benefited students from the general category.”
Against 1,355 girls who have availed of the scheme in medical colleges in 2016-17, there were only 930 boys in the general category. The total number of beneficiaries of this scheme across all categories too reflected this trend. As many as 1,896 girl students availed of MYSY scholarship in medical colleges against 1,608 boys.
Under the Rs 1,000 crore MYSY, announced on September 24, 2015, the government offers to give 50 per cent fee or a maximum of Rs 2 lakh per year to a student in self-financed and government medical colleges, dental, homeopathy, nursing and physiotherapy courses. In addition to this, the state government, in a Government Resolution (GR) dated July 19, 2017, notified that the remaining 50 per cent of medical fee to girls will be given under Kanya Kelavani Nidhi for tuition fee up to Rs 6 lakh.
In 2017-2018, 773 girls and 720 boys have been disbursed the MYSY scheme enrolled in medical colleges under the general category.
In 2017-18, a total of 35,364 candidates availed MYSY scholarships worth Rs 123 crore. Among this, 17,000 were disbursed to engineering students and 2,325 to medical students. The remaining were availed of by candidates under higher education and other courses.
In 2016-17, a total of 31,650 scholarships worth Rs 125 crore were disbursed. Among this, 14,000 were given to engineering students and 3,504 to medical students. The remaining were offered under other higher education courses.
From this academic session, the state government has made it mandatory to submit the Income Tax return, along with the income proof documents, to avail of this scheme as it has gone entirely online.
Apart from financial assistance in fee with a condition of minimum 80 percentile in Class X or XII, MYSY also offers assistance of books and equipment under one-time grant for all categories to medical and engineering students: Rs 10,000 for medical, Rs 5,000 for engineering and Rs 3,000 for diploma students, at the time of admissions. For other higher courses, like BSc, BA, BCom, Bed and graduation courses, 50 per cent fee or annual Rs 10,000, whichever lesser, is given to students in self-financed colleges every year.