In news–Recently, the Union government has approved the continuation of the Central Sector National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMSS) over the 15th Finance Commission cycle for a period of five years i.e. from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
About the scheme–
- The objective of the scheme is to award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop-out at class VIII and encourage them to continue their education at secondary stage.
- Under this scheme, one lakh fresh scholarships of Rs.12,000/- per annum (Rs.1000/- per month) per student are awarded to selected students of class IX every year and their continuation/renewal in classes X to XII for study in State Government, Government-aided and Local body schools.
- Students are selected for award of scholarships through an examination conducted by the State/ UT Governments.
- The scheme is boarded on the National Scholarship Portal (NSP).
- The NSP was developed by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) for streamlining and fast tracking the release of Scholarships across Ministries / Departments with efficiency, transparency and reliability.
- Scholarships are disbursed directly into the bank accounts of students by electronic transfer through the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) following DBT mode.
- 100% funds under the scheme are provided by the Central Government.
- Eligibility criteria:
- The students shall have a minimum of 55% marks or equivalent grade in Class VII examination for appearing in the selection test for award of scholarship (Relaxable by 5% for SC/ST).
- The students should be studying as regular students in government, local body and government-aided schools.
- The students studying in “Kendriya Vidalayas and “Jawahar Vavodaya Vidlayas” are not entitled to get scholarship under this scheme.
- Similarly, those students studying in Residential Schools run by the State Government Institutions, where facilities like boarding, lodging and education are provided and students studying in private schools are also not eligible for the scholarship under this scheme.
- The scholarship at the Secondary and higher Secondary stage or equivalent Classes IX to XII is payable for a maximum period of four years for studies in India only.
- The scheme will be continued with financial outlay of Rs. 1827.00 crore with minor modifications in eligibility criteria such as increasing income ceiling from Rs.1.5 lakh per annum to Rs.3.5 lakh per annum and revising the renewal criteria under the scheme.
- This is a continuing scheme and since launch of the scheme in 2008-09, 22.06 lakh scholarships have been sanctioned till 2020-21 involving an expenditure of Rs. 1783.03 crore.