More than half the budget of the minority affairs ministry is spent on scholarships, Minority Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan said Tuesday. "More than half of the annual budget of the ministry is spent on scholarship and fellowship programmes," he said. "During 2012-13 and 2013-14 so far, the ministry has spent more than Rs.3,600 crore to award scholarships to more than 1.58 crore minority students," he added.
The minister was speaking after launching the Maulana Azad Sehat Scheme, a health scheme for minority institutions. Under it, a health card would be issued to every student of minority institutions financially aided by the Maulana Azad Education Foundation. Preventive health check-up camps would be organised twice a year through government or private hospitals or nursing homes.
Health care centres will also be set up in the educational institutions to provide daily medical facilities to the students. The minister also launched a project for orientation and development of faculties of minority institutions. The Nalanda Project will be run by Aligarh Muslim University for orientation and development of faculty. "The need for faculty development programmes in higher education is immense for several reasons, like increases in the complexity of higher education, demands from internal and external constituencies and the necessity to balance teaching, scholarship, service and personal responsibilities," the minister said.