Mumbai: In a significant move towards promoting inclusive education and bridging the socio-economic gap, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment under the Government of India has unveiled a comprehensive scholarship program for students hailing from Scheduled Castes (SC) and other marginalised communities. The scholarships are designed to support students pursuing school education and higher education, empowering them to overcome financial obstacles and attain academic excellence.
Under the Pre-Matric Scholarships Scheme for SCs & Others for the Year 2023-24, a staggering 26 lakh students from SC and other disadvantaged backgrounds are set to benefit. The scholarship initiative encompasses two distinct components, each catering to specific eligibility criteria.
This component focuses on students belonging to the SC category, whose parents or guardians have an annual income not exceeding Rs 2.50 lakhs. This provision aims to ensure that those who are economically underprivileged are given the opportunity to excel in their academic pursuits.
Under this category, the scholarships are extended to students whose parents or guardians are engaged in occupations involving cleaning and are exposed to health hazards. Notably, there are no income limit criteria for this component, emphasizing the need to support students facing unique challenges due to the nature of their family's occupation.
The scope of the scholarship covers students studying in classes 9 and 10 in recognized schools. Applications for the scholarship are meticulously accepted and verified by the State Government or Union Territory, ensuring the program's integrity. Additionally, the initiative strives to extend its benefits to the poorest households by accommodating students studying in classes 1 to 10 as well.
Students selected for the scholarship program are entitled to academic allowances ranging from Rs 3,500 to Rs 7,000 per annum, with an additional 10% allowance for Divyang (specially abled) students. This financial support aims to alleviate the burden of educational expenses, enabling students to focus on their studies without the constraints of economic stress. To facilitate a streamlined application process, eligible students are required to apply through their respective State Scholarship Portals, providing necessary details such as a valid mobile number, Aadhaar number (UID), Aadhaar-seeded bank account, income certificate, and caste certificate.
Detailed scheme guidelines and eligibility criteria can be accessed on the official website of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment: [http://socialjustice.gov.in/schemes/23](http://socialjustice.gov.in/schemes/23).
In a parallel initiative, the Ministry has announced scholarships for a staggering 69 lakh students from the Scheduled Caste community under the Post-Matric Scholarships Scheme for SC students for the years 2023-24. This endeavour seeks to facilitate higher education opportunities for deserving students by covering compulsory non-refundable fees, including tuition fees. Students pursuing recognised courses in colleges and schools from class 11 onwards are eligible to apply.
Similar to the pre-matric scholarships, the initiative offers academic allowances ranging from Rs 2,500 to Rs 13,500 per annum, along with a 10% extra allowance for Divyang students. As with the previous program, eligible students are encouraged to apply through their respective State Scholarship Portals, with prerequisites including a valid mobile number, Aadhaar number (UID), Aadhaar-seeded bank account, income certificate, and caste certificate.
For more detailed information on this scholarship opportunity, interested individuals can visit the official website of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment: [http://socialjustice.gov.in/schemes/25](http://socialjustice.gov.in/schemes/25).
These initiatives underscore the Indian government's commitment to advancing educational equality and providing students from marginalized communities with the means to unlock their potential and contribute meaningfully to society. As the nation strives for holistic development, such programs play a pivotal role in building a brighter future for all its citizens.
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