Asserting that educating tribal students is a top priority of the Jammu and Kashmir government, a senior official Saturday said the tribal affairs department has approved the highest-ever outlay of Rs 30 crore for granting them scholarship this fiscal.
Tribal Affairs Department Secretary Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said the scholarship this year would be provided to 42,000 more students above the previous year’s target. He said the annual budget of 2021-22 will benefit 6,561 post-matric students compared to 4,622 the previous year, 12,868 students in classes 9 and 10 compared to 2,506 in 2020-21, and 2,15,864 students in class 1 to 8 compared to 1,73,100 students the year before.
“Lt Governor Manoj Sinha-led administration has initiated steps for strengthening the support to the education of tribal students. Education of tribal students is the top priority of the government,” Choudhary said.
The Official said the department has received the highest ever scholarship outlay to support the students at post-graduate, graduate, post-matric and pre-matric levels. “This also includes many cases of the previous two years pending due to various reasons. The department has made an immediate release of Rs 6.22 crore to cover 4,622 students for 2020-21 scholarship,” Choudhary said.
He said the outlay of scholarship includes Rs 7,70 crore for 6,561 post-matric students, 3,86 crore for 12,868 pre-matric students of class 9 and 10, and Rs 18 crore for 2.15 lakh students studying in classes 1 to 8. The department has also cleared an amount of Rs 90.75 Lakh in favour of 964 students whose scholarship for the year 2019-20 was pending due to lack of required authentication, the official said.
In addition, he said the department has cleared an amount of Rs 7.61 crore in favour of 4,776 students for the year 2019-20 which was pending due to various other reasons. The Tribal Affairs Department would seek online application for its scholarship scheme meant for students in Class 1 to 8 which shall be submitted at the school level, he said.
“The multiple levels of form submission have been dispensened with in order to ensure ease for students. Further, the department is in process of notifying self-certification of income for classes 1 to 8 on its portal which will be notified soon,” he said. Choudhary said this would make a major shift in ease of service delivery to students.
“The forms will be retained at school level and not required to be submitted to the department through several levels which was a cumbersome and time-taking process. A process to track the scholarship supported students is also being initiated to organise and plan career counselling, skill development and placement support for such students to ensure best-desired outcomes,” he said.