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Rs 10 lakh scholarship for SC/ST students cleared

Rs 10 lakh scholarship for SC/ST students cleared
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NEW DELHI: For the first time in three years, the Delhi government has cleared scholarship of Rs 10 lakh students under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes categories.
After taking the charge of the SC/ST Welfare department, Delhi SC/ST Welfare
minister Rajendra Pal Gautam made the issue of scholarships a priority.
The SC/ST Welfare department has also started a special helpline to guide these students regarding the scholarship.
"We are ready with Rs 10 lakh scholarship and officials have worked really hard to clear these pending scholarships," said a senior official of the department.
The distribution of scholarship had been pending for nearly three years, and had also come to the notice of Delhi Dialogue Commission.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal personally looked into the case and had written to Chief Secretary M M Kutty about the issue on June 30.
"There are three categories of the scholarship. One is for students under Class X, one is for the Class XII level students and the last one is for college students," the official added.
According to the department, Gautam has focused more on scholarships for school children and over half of the scholarships are likely to be distributed to school students from SC/ST background.
"I think the overall development of students from minority families will happen through education and primary education is the most important aspect," Gautam had said.
The department has also formed a call centre, as per the CM's direction, which was personally looked into by Gautam.
"We have introduced a toll-free number where students who are looking for scholarships will be explained every aspect of it," said the official.
According to officials at the call centre, more than 100 students call each day to enquire about the scholarships.
"The main doubts are regarding the categories and what are things this scholarship is clearing," said officials.
Sources said that Gautam has set a target to clear nearly Rs 20 lakh worth of more such scholarships, which would a help a large number of students from the backward communities.
However, officials say this could take nearly two years. Many applications are being registered and the government scrutinises every applicant's demand before accepting.
"We are very specific about the scholarship and do not want to waste the money on some unqualified person," said an official.

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