Earlier, the pre-matric scholarship used to cover education for Class 1 to 8 also belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and minority communities.
The government, in a notice, justified its decision by underlining that the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 makes it obligatory for the government to provide free and compulsory elementary education (Classes 1 to 8) to each and every child.
“Accordingly, only students studying in Classes 9 and 10 are covered under the Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Likewise, from 2022-23, the coverage under the pre-matric scholarship scheme of the Ministry of Minority Affairs shall also be for Classes 9 and 10 only,” the notice said.
The Institute Nodal Officer (INO)/District Nodal Officer (DNO)/State Nodal Officer (SNO) have been asked to verify the applications only for Classes 9 and 10 under the Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme of the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
The decision has drawn a sharp reaction from political parties.
Congress MP Randeep Singh Surjewala said, for decades, children from SC/ST backgrounds have been getting scholarships from classes 1 to 8 but the government from 2022-23 has stopped scholarships, which is a “conspiracy” against the poor.
“The BJP has been continuously doing such things for the past 8 years whether it was cutting the budget of SC/ST/OBC and minorities or it was about atrocities against them or ending their welfare schemes and now this. We do not accept this. We will run a movement against it. Immediately take back this decision,” he said.
BSP leader Kunwar Danish Ali claimed that the government has found a new way to keep these poor children away from education by stopping the scholarship given to minority students (Class 1-8).
Yes, don’t forget that educated children take the country forward irrespective of the community they belong to,” Ali tweeted.