The Gujarat government under Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has scrapped all scholarships for undergraduate students existing since 1965, to introduce a single “Chief Minister’s Scholarship”.
The new scholarship will also cover children of MLAs, MPs and ministers, who did not qualify for the earlier scholarships.
The ‘Chief Minister’s Scholarship’ that will replace the existing scholarships, including those funded by the state as well as the Central government for undergraduate students in Gujarat, is applicable from the 2014-15 academic session.
The new scholarship was launched by Patel’s predecessor and now PM Narendra Modi on March 3, 2014 to which Patel and her team have made amendments releasing a fresh circular on July 23.
The Patel government also removed students in premier institutes outside Gujarat from the list of eligibility.
These institutes include the National Institute of Design (NID), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), National Defence Academy (NDA), Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Film and TV Institute, Pune. The resolution of March 3 had specifically mentioned and covered these students, while the new resolution has no mention of this category.
While there is no change in the amount of financial benefits, the earlier provision of scholarship on education loan has been amended to scholarship on annual tuition fee.
Under this scheme, students whose parents’ annual income is upto Rs 4.5 lakh and have Gujarat domicile and cleared Class XII from Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) or other recognised board from Gujarat, and featuring in the top four percentile (above 96 percentile score) in Science stream and top one percentile (above 99 percentile score) in general stream can apply.
Earlier, eligible students who had taken an annual loan for tuition fee were re-imbursed 50 per cent of the loan amount or Rs 50,000, whichever is lower. This has been now replaced with 50 per cent of the annual tuition fee or Rs 50,000 for students pursuing graduation from self-financed institutes. While, for medical students, the reimbursement is upto Rs 2 lakh or 50 per cent of the annual tuition fee, whichever is lower. This would be directly deposited in students’ bank accounts.
Along with this, the revised resolution includes 500 scholarships reserved for female students with 75 per cent and above marks in Class XII from 50 talukas with female literacy rate below 50 per cent, irrespective of the family income bracket of Rs 4.5 lakh per annum. Further categorisation as per streams has been done for these 500 scholarships -150 for girls who complete Class XII with Medical stream, 50 for non-Medical students and 300 for general stream.
For children of martyrs or those who died of any other cause in service, wards of military, paramilitary forces and the state police personnel the annual income bracket will not be considered but the Class XII result which should be 75 per cent and above.
Similarly, for Scheduled Tribe (ST), Scheduled Caste (SC), Socially and Educationally backward (SEBC) and Physically Handicapped (PH) students the number of scholarships would be equal to the per cent reserved during admission under these categories with a relaxation of 5 per in the Class XII percentile.
This scholarship will also cover students under SC and ST categories but those who are above Rs 2.5 lakh annual income and thus not eligible for the postmatric scholarship scheme of the Central government.