A government commission has hereby advised to introduce a new scholarship scheme for students belonging to SC/ST (Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes) category, to support them pursue higher education abroad, which shall be free of cost.
A standing committee of the national monitoring committee on education development of SC's and ST's, in its first report to the Human Resource Development Ministry, said: The benefits of the advised scheme should be made available to all the students belonging to the two communities, regardless of their family income per annum.
The report said, the number of scholarships should be awarded under the proposed scheme, inadequate with the total number of Indian students studying abroad.
The report added that the amount offered under the advised scholarship scheme should be revised periodically to cover the entire cost. It includes all fees and other mandatory payments, all maintenance expense and travel costs.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is already offering a scholarship to support overseas higher education for students belonging to SC, ST, denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes.
The committee also seeks to support children of landless agricultural labourers and traditional artisans.
Further, the committee advised the HRD Ministry to formulate its scheme for the SC/ST students on the basis of one being implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Moreover, the committee has advised the HRD Ministry to increase the number of scholarships periodically, under the proposed scheme, instead of fixed amount per annum.