DMK Lok Sabha MP Ravi Kumar on Monday asked the Union government to desist from its move to discontinue a scholarship scheme meant for the girl students of public-funded schools belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) .
A study by the government-run Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) has found little merit in the National Scheme for Incentives to Girls of Secondary Education (NSIGSE), making the ground for its discontinuation.
The Union budget had already cut the scheme’s allocation to Rs 1 crore from Rs 110 crore in the pervious year.
Kumar wrote a letter to education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal against the move to wind up the scheme.
The scheme provides a one-time scholarship of Rs 3,000 to Class IX girl students who are enrolled in government schools. The money can be withdrawn after the student turns 18, provided she has cleared Class X and is unmarried.
The scheme was launched to ensure that SC/ST girls finished school and were not married off before they turned 18.
“It is learnt that the IEG, which reviewed the implementation of the scheme in seven states, has submitted a report against the continuation of the scheme. It is a grave injustice to the SC/ST people. The dropout rate and early marriages are still rampant among the SC/STs. So the need is not discontinuation but more fund allocation. I earnestly request you to consider these facts and continue the scheme,” Kumar wrote.
Ambedkarite scholars have also opposed the discontinuation of the scheme at a time children belonging to the poor and deprived sections of the society need more scholarships in view of the Covid-induced losses.