The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi an investment of Rs 59,048 crore for the ‘Post Matric Scholarship to students belonging to Scheduled Castes (PMS-SC)’. Of the total among, the Central government will spend 60 per cent — Rs 35,534 crore, and the balance would be spent by the state governments.
Starting from 2021-22, the Central share (60 per cent) in the scheme would be released on DBT mode directly into the bank accounts of the students as per a fixed time schedule, after ensuring that the concerned state government has released their share, the official statement claims. The states will undertake fool-proof verification of the eligibility, caste status, Aadhaar identification, and bank account details on the online portal.
“This replaces the existing ‘committed liability’ system and brings greater involvement of the Central government in this crucial scheme,” the official statement claims. The Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes allows students to pursue any post-matric course starting from class 11th and onwards, with the Govt meeting the cost of education.
A campaign will be launched to enroll the students, from the poorest households passing class 10, in the higher education courses of their choice. It is estimated that 1.36 crore students belonging to poor families will be benefited by the scheme in the next five years. These are the students who do not pursue education beyond class 10. In total, the aim is to reach 4 crore students in five years.
“The Central Govt is committed to give a big push and further impetus to this effort so that the GER (Higher Education) of SCs would reach up to the National standards within the five year period,” it added.
The monitoring mechanism will be further strengthened through the conduct of social audits, annual third-party evaluation, and half-yearly self-audited reports from each institution. The Central Assistance which was around Rs 1,100 crore annually during 2017-18 to 2019-20 would be increased more than 5 times to be around Rs 6,000 core annually during 2020-21 to 2025-26.