Delhi,26 June:The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today gave its approval for implementation of the centrally sponsored scheme for “Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education” with a total incurring expenditure of Rs.1500 crore during the 11th Five year Plan.
The Scheme will cover (i) all SC/ST girls who pass class VIII and (ii) girls, who pass class VIII examination from Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalayas (irrespective of whether they belong to Scheduled Castes or Tribes) and enrol for class IX in State/UT Government, Government aided or local body schools in the academic year 2008-09 onwards. Married girls will be excluded from the scheme. Girl children studying in private unaided schools will be excluded since a majority of such schools charge high fees and therefore, parents of such girl students will not require the financial assistance that is being offered under this scheme. Students enrolled in schools run by Central Government will also be excluded from this scheme.
To be eligible for the benefit under the scheme the girl should be unmarried and should be below 16 years of age (as on 31st March) on joining class IX. In addition, the Scheme is made applicable to the girls, who pass class VIII examination from Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalayas irrespective of whether they belong to SCs or STs.
1% of the total incentive amount each year will be spent on administration, monitoring and evaluation.
There would be no restriction based on income criteria for grant of incentive to girls, because SC/St girls and girls passing out from KGBVs and studying in Government, government-aided and local body schools would generally be from disadvantaged section of the society.
States/UT Governments, Schools controlled and managed by State Governments, Local Bodies and Aided Private Schools and Panchayati Raj Institutions will be the implementing partners. The amount of incentive will be released to the State/UT Governments for depositing, the same in favour of the eligible girls.
A sum of Rs.3000 (Rupees Three thousand only) would eb deposited under term deposit / fixed deposit in a public sector bank or in a post office in the name of every eligible girl child. The term / period of the deposit will be counted from the date of deposit to the date on which the girl child attains the age of 18 years. No premature withdrawal will be allowed. On attaining 18 years of age and production of (i) 10th class pass certificate and (ii) a certificate from the Principal / Head of the school that the girl beneficiary has continued her study for at least two years after enrolment in Class IX the implementing agency will authorize the bank to transfer the matured amount in the interest bearing account to the savings’ account in the name of the girl beneficiary.
The Scheme will be rigorously evaluated after two years through appropriate independent agencies in order to further improve the same in future.
The implementation of the Scheme would help in promoting enrolment of girls belonging to the SC/ST communities in secondary schools and to reduce drop out of SC/ST girls at secondary and higher secondary stages.
The Scheme would be made operative from 2008-09.