Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot on Tuesday said 2,29,30,654 students have been benefitted from the Central government’s Post-Matric Scholarship to SC Students (PMS-SC) scheme between 2014 and 2018.
“The Central government’s flagship scheme PMS-SC covers approximately 60 lakh students per year. Between 2014 and 2018, an amount of INR 10,388 crores has been utilized”, the union minister said.
Addressing a press conference on ‘Four year’s achievement of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’, the minister said that the Union Cabinet has approved clearance of accumulated arrears of INR 8737 crores to the States/UTs as part of the PMS-SC scheme.
“In 2018-2019, INR 3000 crores has been allocated for this purpose. Rate of Pre-Matric Scholarship for SC students studying in Class IX and X, Pre-Matric Scholarship for SC Students and Pre-Matric Scholarship to the Children of those engaged in occupations involving cleaning and prone to health hazards has been enhanced by 50 % from 2017-2018”, he added.
Talking about the National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste, the minister said over 8000 scholars were covered under the scheme at a total cost of INR 770.80 crore between April 2014 and March 2018.
“In 2018-19, over 2000 scholars will receive Fellowships for M.Phil /Ph.D. The parental income limit for all merit-based scholarship schemes have been raised to INR 6 lakh per annum from 2017-2018”, he added.
The minister informed that the overall allocations for the welfare of OBC in 2018-19 has been increased by 41.03% from INR 1237.30 crore in 2017-18 to INR 1747.00 crore in 2018-19.
“New scheme Venture Capital Fund for OBCs on similar lines as Venture Capital Fund for SCs to be launched with an initial corpus of INR 200 crore”, he added.
The union minister further informed that his ministry is implementing 25 schemes in Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.
“Between 2016-17 and 2017-18, assistance to 1.45 and 1.66 crore beneficiaries respectively were released in DBT mode by the implementing agencies,” he said, adding, “Aadhaar seeding in the beneficiary database has reached to 66%.”
“Allocation under Allocation for Welfare of Scheduled Castes (AWSC) has increased from INR 30850.88 crore in 2015-16 to INR 56618.50 crore, an increase of 83.52%”, he added.
The minister also said that there is an increase of 12.19% in the Budget of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the year 2018-19 as compared to year 2017-18.
“The Budget in the year 2017-18 was INR 6908.00 crore which has been increased to INR 7750.00 crore in the year 2018-19”, he stated.