Education Budget 2023: Funds for merit-cum-means scholarship for minorities slashed by 87%

Budget 2023 Analysis: The pre-matric scholarship and higher education scholarship for minorities had their budgets drastically reduced.

Education Scheme for Madrasas and Minorities has seen a massive cut of 93% with Rs 10 crore allocated in Budget 2023-24. (Image Source: Shutterstock)Education Scheme for Madrasas and Minorities has seen a massive cut of 93% with Rs 10 crore allocated in Budget 2023-24. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Sheena Sachdeva | February 1, 2023 | 03:09 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The merit-cum means scholarship for professional and technical courses for students from minority communities has been cut by a massive 87%, with just Rs 44 crore allocated to it in the Union Budget 2023. In the current year’s budget, Rs 365 crore had been earmarked for the scholarship scheme.

Also Read | Education Budget 2023 Live Update

Further, the pre-matric scholarship for minorities under the ministry of minority affairs has seen a cut of Rs 992 crores in Union Budget 2023, with Rs 1,425 crore allocated in 2022-23. Last year, the eligibility criteria were revised to exclude children in classes below Class 9. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget speech focussed on inclusivity but did not mention inclusion of religious minorities.

Similarly, the Education Scheme for Madrasas and Minorities has seen a massive cut of 93% with Rs 10 crore allocated in Budget 2023-24.

The post-matric scholarship for minorities, however, has seen a significant increase – of 106% – from Rs 550 crore in the 2022-23 budget to Rs 1,065 crore.

Also Read | Higher Education Budget 2023 Highlights: Outlay rises by 8% to Rs 44, 094 Cr; IIMs face steep cut

Education Budget 2023: Cuts in scholarships

The table below shows significant cuts in two major scholarships for minority students. In November 2022, the eligibility criteria for pre-matric scholarship for minority students removed Classes 1 to 8, arguing that they are already covered under the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009, providing free and compulsory education for all children in the age group of six to 14 years. Now the scholarship only caters to students studying in Classes 9 and 10.

The revised estimate for the scholarship was 60% of the BE in 2022-23. Rs 1,425 crore was allocated in Budget 2022-23.


2019-20 (In Rs Cr)

2020-21 (In Rs Cr)

2021-22 (In Rs Cr)

2022-23 (In Rs Cr)

2023-24 (In Rs Cr)

Pre-Matric Scholarship for Minorities






Merit-cum-Means Scholarship for professional and technical courses (UG, PG)






Post-Matric Scholarship for Minorities






Education Scheme for Madrasas and Minorities




Minority education Budget 2023: Fellowship, coaching, madrasas

The Maulana Azad National Fellowship for Minority Students has seen a slight cut with Rs 96 crore allocated to the scheme in Union Budget 2023-23. Last year, the fellowship received Rs 99 crore. MAEF has received Rs 10 lakh. Last year, the foundation received Rs 1 lakh.

Also Read | Union Budget 2023: School education outlay rises by Rs 5,355 cr

Allocation to free coaching and allied schemes for minorities has had its budget docked to Rs 30 crore. In 2022-23, the budget allocated was Rs 79 crore which was revised down.

The education scheme for madrasas and minorities has seen a massive cut of Rs 150 crore, with just Rs 10 crore allocated in Union Budget 2023-24. The revised estimates also show an 81% decline.

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