IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Scheduled Castes post-matric scholarship plan

24th December, 2020 Polity

Context: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved changes to the post-matric scholarship scheme for students from the Scheduled Castes, including a new funding pattern of 60-40 for the Centre and States.

  • The changes were aimed at enabling four crore students to access higher education over the next five years.
  • Switching from the existing “committed liability” formula, the new funding pattern would increase the Centre’s involvement in the scheme.

Poorest students

  • The changes approved by the Cabinet were aimed at enrolling the poorest students, ensuring timely payments and maintaining accountability.
  • An estimated 1.36 crores students who would otherwise drop out after Class 10 would be brought into the higher education system under the scheme in five years.
  • A campaign for enrolling students from the poorest households would be carried out.
  • States would be asked to carry out verification of the students’ eligibility and caste status and collect their Aadhaar and bank account details.
  • Transfer of financial assistance to the students under the scheme shall be on DBT [direct benefit transfer] mode, and preferably using the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System.
  • Starting from 2021-22, the Central share [60%] in the scheme would be released on DBT mode directly into the bank accounts of the students as per fixed time schedule, after ensuring that the State government concerned has released its share.
  • The community audits of the scheme would be conducted to make sure the benefits were reaching the students.