After announcing cash assistance for farmers, the Odisha government is all set to extend annual financial assistance to the tune of ₹. 20,000 each for students belonging to the underprivileged section of society in graduation and post-graduation programmes.
The scheme is in addition to the existing scholarships being availed by students. Assistance is limited to the duration of the course and will be given each year till the completion of the course.
Access to higher studies
“The financial assistance scheme has been approved by the government. It is anticipated that the scheme will lead to the under privileged section of the society in gaining access to higher education, which they were deprived till now due to financial constraints,” said Bishnupada Sethi, State Higher Education Secretary.
Students, whose family income from all sources is not more than ₹.1 lakh per annum will be eligible for the assistance. All approved undergraduate and post graduate courses (non-technical and professional) offered by government universities of Odisha or colleges recognised by the State government will be covered under the scheme.
HIV or AIDS-affected families, parents suffering from non-curable diseases, landless or homeless families with no records of land – either homestead or agriculture – single mothers (with a dependent child) and women-headed families (in case of non-earning spouse) have been identified as underprivileged.
To be eligible, the student should be enrolled in an under graduate or post graduate course on regular mode in a recognized institution. Th principal or head of the institute will check, scrutinize and verify the eligibility of the student and the documents before finalization of his or her candidature at the district collector level.
Mr. Sethi said the scheme will make higher education inclusive and increase gross enrolment ratio.
It is noteworthy that ahead of the forthcoming general elections, the Naveen Patnaik government has recently announced ‘Kalia’ scheme under which farmers can avail financial assistance at the start of Kharif and Rabi seasons, leading to much excitement among farmers.