Over 5,500 tribal students got higher-education fellowships in last 3 years
The Centre has awarded fellowships to over 5,500 Scheduled Tribe students under a scheme in the last three years, the Parliament has been informed. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has decided to implement the ‘National Fellowship and Scholarship for Higher Education of ST students’ — under which 750 fellowships and scholarships are awarded to meritorious tribal students every year — on its own from 2017-18. Earlier, the University Grants Commission was responsible for its implementation.
The government spent Rs 31.38 crore on the scheme in 2015-16 and awarded fellowships to 1,408 tribal students, according to the data provided by Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Jasvantsinh Bhabor in the Rajya Sabha. It spent Rs 73.12 crore in 2016-17 and awarded fellowships to 2,197 beneficiaries. In 2017-18, as many as 2,078 Scheduled Tribe students were given fellowships and Rs 70.22 crore was spent on the scheme. A total of 5,683 tribal students benefited from the scheme in the last three years, according to the data.
The minister said there was “no state or university-wise allocation/ceiling on the number of slots under the scheme”. “Earlier, the ministry was implementing the scheme through (the) UGC. However, it has been decided that the ministry itself will implement the scheme from 2017-18 onwards.
“For this purpose, a dedicated portal has been designed by the ministry for online applications to ensure that (the) fellowship amount is released to students in time directly into their account,” the minister said.