New 1000 Crore Rupees Package is Only Repackaged Gujarat Mukhya Mantri Shri Scholarship Yojana
After the scholarship scheme for quota-based castes was announced by CM Anandiben Patel in July 2015 budget, there was an uprising among non-quota castes and Patidars. In a desperate attempt to pacify the enraged people, CM proposed a separate package worth Rupees 1000 crores for these people. The package received extreme hype but eventually it turned out that this new package was nothing more than a repackaged version of the Mukhya Mantri Shri Scholarship Yojana.
Here is a quick list of some of the features of Mukhya Mantri Shri Scholarship Yojana that have been blatantly copied into the hyped 1000-crore package:
- Students who take admission in medical colleges that are self-financed will enjoy up to INR 200,000 or 50% of course fee as scholarship from the state government in a given year.
- Students who are opting for separate professional courses as well as engineering will also enjoy up to INR 50,000 or 50% of course fee as scholarship from state government in a given year.
- Students opting for courses in diploma engineering will enjoy state government sponsorship of up to INR 25,000 of the total course fee in a given year.
This new scholarship scheme shares a striking similarity with the Mukhya Mantri Shri Scholarship Yojana that was launched by CM. In both the schemes, only those students will be eligible who belong to families that have yearly income of 4.5 lakh rupees or less. Interestingly, this basic qualification criterion is terms as ‘fresh’ income standard. CM Anandiben Patel made in very clear during the announcement that students who come from families that own and operate four-wheelers will not be eligible for the package. In other words, what CM said is that she doesn’t want the people from rich segment of the economy to reap benefits of the package that has been exclusively designed for poor segment of the state.
This new 1000-crore package goes by the name Swavalambi Yojana and aims for extending government sponsorships to a larger pool of students compared to the Scholarship Yojana. The key differentiators between the two schemes are briefly mentioned below:
- Any student who has scored above 90 percentiles in either science or general stream is eligible for Swavalamban Yojana subject to yearly income limit. The Scholarship scheme on the other hand was designed only and only for students from science stream who have scored in top 4 percentiles. For general stream, the Scholarship scheme has even more stringent conditions. Students with top 1 percentile scores will be eligible for the scheme.
- The Swavalamban Scheme also includes new features which are not present in the Mukhya Mantri Shri Scholarship Yojana. These features include increased age limit for applicants of government jobs, government aid for purchasing books, grants of government aid for hostel accommodations and inclusion of diploma engineering.
Experts however opine that though the new package aims towards covering 90% of all students in the state, the reality is that only 7000 students will be actually benefiting from the scheme as that’s hardly the number of students who eventually move into medical and engineering fields when they cross the Class XII barrier.
Just in case you are not aware of the previous Scholarship Scheme, the resolution for the scheme was issued by the government on 23rd of July, 2014 and it was formally announced on 28th of July, 2014 by Bhupendrasinh Chudasma – the state education minister. The government also launched a website for this scheme.
According to official reports, the Scholarship Scheme was not really a big success as only 600 students applied for the scheme in total. Out of these 600, 100 belonged to Ahmedabad city with the remaining 500 came in from the rest of the state.