A parliamentary panel has rapped the Minority Affairs Ministry over scholarships disbursement to students, saying that the denial of scholarships under various schemes to over 42 lakh students in 2017-18 puts a "big question mark" on its objective of empowering minorities, particularly Muslims.
The standing committee on social justice and empowerment said that the income ceiling of parents and rates of the pre-matric, post matric and merit-cum-means scholarship schemes of the Minority Affairs Ministry should be enhanced expeditiously.
The panel, headed by Kanti Lal Bhuria, said that in view of the fact that 85 lakh students belonging to minority communities are denied scholarships under pre-matric scholarship scheme every year, it had in its original report recommended that the scheme should be demand driven.
The ministry in their action taken reply stated that 1,01,18,373 applications were considered for disbursement of scholarships, of which only 59,03,695 scholarships were disbursed under these three scholarship schemes in 2017-18, the report said.
The ministry has submitted that these schemes are under revision and rates of scholarships and income ceiling of parents have also been proposed for revision, the panel said.
"Taking note of the fact that despite of repeated recommendations of the committee in their earlier reports for making these schemes demand driven, the ministry has merely stated that the schemes are under revision without mentioning the details of the proposed revised schemes.
"The committee find that 42,14,678 students were also denied for scholarships under these schemes in 2017-18 which puts a big question mark on the very objective of the ministry, viz to empower the minority communities, particularly Muslims," it said.
The panel said that it recommends that the revision of scholarship schemes should not only be finalised expeditiously, but these schemes be made demand driven.
The committee said that it wants that as and when the revised schemes are approved the details of the same may be furnished to it.
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