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Press Trust of India|Dec 1, 2022
NEW DELHI: The number of students with disabilities getting scholarships has increased from 16 during 2014-15 to 2,699 during 2021-22 in Odisha, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment told Lok Sabha today.
According to the ministry’s written reply in the lower house of the Parliament, six scholarship schemes – Pre-matric, Post-matric, Top Class Education, National Fellowship, National Overseas and Free Coaching were implemented as separate schemes having separate budgets until 2017-18. From April 1, 2018, all the six scholarship schemes have been merged into an umbrella scheme titled “Scholarship for Students with Disabilities” and have been registered on PFMS portal with a unique code for direct benefit transfer.
Under the revised scheme, the amount of Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarship has increased. Further, the number of slots in Pre-Matric scholarship has increased from 20,000 to 25,000 and in the case of the Top Class Education Scholarship scheme, the slots have increased from 160 to 300. In Odisha, the number of slots allocated to Pre-Matric Scholarship is 928, Post-Matric is 789, and that to Top Class Education is 14, the MoS said in her written reply.
“The merger/unification of the schemes with effect from 2018-19 has been done to remove the demand-supply imbalance caused by budget allocation and streamline the implementation process. In the umbrella scheme, if there is surplus funds available in one segment that can be utilized in the other segment,” said MoS for Social Justice and Empowerment Sushri Pratima Bhoumik.
Citing census 2011 data, the minister informed that there are 12,44,402 Persons with Disabilities in Odisha. Under the Scholarship schemes for students with disabilities, students with benchmark disability (disability of 40% or more) are eligible for scholarship. Further, MoS Bhoumik listed down the steps taken by the Government for comprehensive development of persons with disabilities.
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