Pre-matric scholarship for minority students to only those in class 9 & 10 from 2022-23

NEW DELHI: The pre-matric scholarship scheme for eligible minority community students which was provided to them from class 1 to 10th will be provided only to those in class 9 and 10 from the ongoing academic year 2022-23.
In the notice on the National Scholarship Portal the government among reasons for the change cites provisions of the Right to Education Act 2009 that require the government to provide free and compulsory education till class 8 to each and every child.
It also cites that the pre-matric scholarship given by the ministry of social justice and empowerment and tribal affairs to SC and ST students respectively covers eligible students only in class 9 and 10 under the pre-matric scholarship schemes.
The pre-matric scholarship for minorty community students – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians (Parsis) covers eligible students studying in a government or private school including such residential government institutes and eligible private institutes selected and notified in a transparent manner by the state government and UT administration concerned. It is learnt that students of only those madrasas holding recognition for providing formal mainstream education are covered by the scheme and that number is cited to be small.
The notice available on the NSP portal states that “the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 makes it obligatory for the Government to provide free and compulsory elementary education (classes I to VIII) to each and every child. Accordingly, only students studying in classes 9 and 10 are covered under the pre-matric scholarship scheme of ministry of social justice and empowerment and ministry of tribal affairs.” “Likewise from 2022-23, the coverage under the pre matric scholarship scheme of MoMA shall also be for classes 9 and 10 only,” it is stated.
TOI reached out to the ministry of minority affairs on Tuesday for a reaction but till the time of going to press a response was awaited.
It is learnt that while the pre-matric scholarships for SC and ST were always applicable to children from classes 9 and 10, for OBCs it was from 1 to 10th. However, this too was revised and made applicable to only 9 and 10 by the ministry of social justice and empowerment.
However, there are concerns being raised about the long-term implications of this revision as the scholarship for the minority community students from class 1 to 10 was initiated with the objective to encourage parents from minority communities to send their children to school, lighten their financial burden and sustain efforts to support their children to complete school education.
The Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for the welfare of minorities was announced in June, 2006 wherein it was provided that a pre-matric scholarship scheme for meritorious students from minority communities would be implemented for classes 1 to 10.