The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved major in Post Matric Scholarship to students belonging to Scheduled Castes (PMS-SC) scheme
- It may benefit more than 4 Crore SC students in the next 5 years so that they can successfully complete their higher education.
- The Cabinet has approved a total investment of Rs. 59,048 Cr of which the Central Government would spend Rs. 35,534 Cr (60%) and the balance would be spent by the State Govts.
- This replaces the existing ‘committed liability’ system and brings greater involvement of the Central Govt in this crucial scheme.
About the Post Matric Scholarship to students belonging to Scheduled Castes (PMS-SC) scheme
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme
- Under the scheme, the government provides financial assistance to students from Scheduled Castes, whose household incomes are less than Rs 2.5 lakh annually
- The Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes allows students to pursue any post matric course starting from class 11th and onwards, with the Govt meeting the cost of education.
- It is implemented through State Government and UT administration.
- The Scheme provides financial assistance to the Scheduled Caste students studying at post matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.
- These scholarships are available for studies in India only and are awarded by the government of the State/Union Territory to which the applicant actually belongs i.e. permanently settled.
Details of the scheme
The focus of the scheme would be on enrolling the poorest students, timely payments, comprehensive accountability, continuous monitoring and total transparency.
- A campaign will be launched to enroll the students, from the poorest households passing the 10th standard, in the higher education courses of their choice.
- It is estimated that 1.36 Cr such poorest students, who are currently not continuing their education beyond 10th standards would be brought into the higher education system in the next 5 years.
- The scheme will be run on an online platform with robust cyber security measures that would assure transparency, accountability, efficiency, and timely delivery of the assistance without any delays.
- The States will undertake fool-proof verification of the eligibility, caste status, Aadhar identification and bank account details on the online portal.
- Transfer of financial assistance to the students under the scheme shall be on DBT mode, and preferably using the Aadhar Enabled Payment System(earlier, the funding was passed through state governments).
- 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 concerned State Government has released their share.
- Monitoring mechanisms will be further strengthened through conduct of social audits, annual third party evaluation, and half-yearly self-audited reports from each institution.