Union Budget 2021: Rs 35, 219 crore outlay for post-matric scholarships

Union Budget: Other scholarship schemes have seen small increases in budget and the post-matric scheme for OBCs is facing a Rs 115 crore cut.

Union Budget 2021: Rs 35, 219 crore outlay for post-matric scholarships (Picture Source: Press Information Bureau)
R. Radhika | Feb 1, 2021 - 3:31 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The union finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced a budget outlay of Rs 35, 219 crores for the post-matric scholarship scheme for four crore Scheduled Caste students till 2025- 26 on Monday.

In the financial year 2020-21, the central government had set aside Rs 2987.33 for the post-matric scholarship scheme for SC students.

In her union budget speech 2021, Sitharaman pointed out that the post-matric scheme has been instrumental in the upliftment of school students from the historically backward community. "We have revamped the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme, for the welfare of Scheduled Castes. I have also enhanced the central assistance in this regard. We are allotting ` 35,219 crores for 6 years till 2025-2026, to benefit 4 crores SC students," Sitharaman said.

Disbursed by the ministry of social justice and empowerment, this centrally-sponsored scholarship scheme is the single largest intervention by the Government of India for “educational empowerment” of SC students in the country.

Disbursed by the ministry of social justice and empowerment, this centrally-sponsored scholarship scheme is the single largest intervention by the Government of India for “educational empowerment” of SC students in the country.

In line with this announcement, the budget outlay for the post-matric scholarship for Scheduled Caste is Rs 3,415.62 crores for the upcoming year.

The budget showed an increase of 428.62 crores from the previous year’s budget of Rs 29873.33. However, other education schemes targeting historically backward communities did not see any significant change in the budget outlay.

Centrally sponsored scheme - Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Schemes

2019-20 (In Rs Cr)

2020-21 (In Rs Cr)

2021-22 (In Rs Cr)

Post-Matric Scholarship (SC)

2926.82

2987.33

3415.62

National Fellowship for SCs

360

300

300.00

Pre-Matric Scholarship (SC)

355

700

725.00

Post-Matric Scholarship (OBC)

1360

1415

1300.00

Pre-Matric Scholarship (OBC)

220

250

250.00


The post-matric scholarship for Other Backward Castes (OBC), in fact, saw a drop of Rs 115 crores. The union budget 2021 has set aside Rs 1,300 crore as opposed to this year’s Rs 1,415 crore.

Further, the budget for pre-matric scholarship scheme for SC saw a marginal increase of Rs 25 crore from the previous budget. The scholarship scheme meant for studies up to Class 10 for SC students has been alloted Rs 725. With no change, the budget for OBC students for the same scheme is Rs 250 crore.

Apart from these schemes, the National Fellowship for SC students offered by the ministry of social justice and empowerment saw no changes as well. The scheme meant for students pursuing higher education leading to PhD degrees in Sciences, Humanities and Social Science streams has been alloted Rs 300 crores.

Budget 2021: Merit-cum-Means Scholarship

A major scholarship scheme under the ministry of minority affairs, merit-cum-means scholarship also saw a decline from Rs 400 crore in the previous budget to Rs 325 for the upcoming financial year.

However, the finance ministry has increased the budget for the pre-matric scholarship for minority communities slightly to Rs 1,378 crore from this year’s Rs 1,330 crores. The post-matric scholarship for minorities has been slashed to Rs 486 crores this year. The scheme caters to the students belonging to six notified minority communities including Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Parsis.

Centrally sponsored schemes - Ministry of Minority Affairs

Schemes

2019-20 (In Rs Cr)

2020-21 (In Rs Cr)

2021-22 (In Rs Cr)

Pre-Matric Scholarship for Minorities

1220.30

1330.00

1378.00

Post-Matric Scholarship for Minorities

496.01

535.00

468.00

Merit-cum-Means Scholarship for professional and technical courses (undergraduate and post-graduate)

366.43

400.00

325.00


Union Budget 2021 highlights: Other scholarships schemes

The budget for pre-matric and post-matric scholarship for Scheduled Tribe students also witnessed a marginal increase. While there was no change in the pre-matric scholarship from the previous year’s outlay, the post-matric saw an increase of only Rs 93 crore this year.

In addition, the minister also announced the plan to build 750 new Eklavya Model Residential Schools in the upcoming financial year. The EMR schools, under the ministry of tribal affairs, are aimed to promote “high-level education” among Scheduled Tribe students living in remote areas. The unit cost of each Eklavya school has been raised from the existing Rs 20 crore to Rs 38 crore and for the ones in hilly areas, it has been raised to Rs 48 crore. However, the outlay for this has increased by only Rs 105 crore.

Centrally sponsored Schemes - Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Schemes

2019-20 (In Rs Cr)

2020-21 (In Rs Cr)

2021-22 (In Rs Cr)

Pre-Matric Scholarship

340.00

400.00

400.00

Post-Matric Scholarship

1613.50

1900.00

1993.00

Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS)

0.31

1313.23

1418

Central Scholarships

102.00

102.00

153.00


There are currently 566 EMRS out of which 285 are functional. As many as 73,391 ST students are currently enrolled in these schools.

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