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Bihar CM asks Education dept to resume SC/ST scholarship in a month

The CM's direction comes a day after The Indian Express's report “Bihar denies SC/ST scholarship for three years, says 'technical issues' with portal".

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
Updated: August 11, 2021 7:12:55 am
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday directed the state Education department to resume post-matric scholarship in SC/ST scheme as soon as possible.

The government has not received any application for the Centre’s flagship welfare scheme for the last three years, and has not qualified to get the share for last six years.

The CM’s direction comes a day after The Indian Express‘s report “Bihar denies SC/ST scholarship for three years, says ‘technical issues’ with portal“.

The scheme, successfully implemented in other states, works on 75:25 per cent Centre-state fund share. The Bihar government has been also accused by several students for not allowing them to avail full benefits of the scheme by putting a cap on fees — Rs 2,000 to Rs 90,000 — for Class 12 to postgrdauate-level education, technical and professional courses.

Additional Chief Secretary (Education) Sanjay Kumar told The Indian Express: “We had written to the National Informatics Centre, Delhi, on the National Scholarship Portal 2.0 not working. Like several states which have their own portal, we have requested for our own portal. We hope to develop the portal soon and start inviting applications for the scholarship scheme for 2019-20 and 2020-21 together.”

He said the scheme was run by the SC/ST department until 2017-18 and was subsequently transferred to the Education department.

In a state where people from Schedules Castes communities make 16% of the population and those from Scheduled Tribges 1%, an estimated 5 lakh students are eligible for this scholarship every year. But most SC/ST students in Bihar have been denied this for six years now.

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