24 Feb : The Government is considering a raise in the rates of grant-in-aid for Scheduled Castes students living in government or NGO-run hostels, a decision that could benefit lakhs of such students.
A committee has been appointed to look into the aspect, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The rates have not been revised in the last 13 years. The panel will submit its report by March end, the minister said.
Raising the issue, Praveen Rashtrapal (Cong) pointed out that a Scheduled Caste student residing in a government hostel or hostels managed by NGOs and trusts are given a meagre Rs 25 a day and wondered how this amount can fulfil his needs.
He said that the rates fixed in 1998 had not seen any revision even though MPs and government servants have got hikes in their salary twice since then.
Acknowledging the problem, Wasnik said, “We feel there needs to be some improvement and, therefore, we have appointed the committee.”
He said since these schemes are sponsored by state governments, the Centre cannot take responsibility.
Wasnik said the limit for post-matric scholarship has been enhanced from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh and students will be given Rs 1200 annually instead of Rs 780 they received earlier.
He said there was no cap on the number of students getting pre-matric and post-matric scholarships.