New Delhi: In a move aimed at increasing the reach of philately, the Ministry of Communications launched a pan India scholarship programme for schoolchildren.
According to Communication Minister Manoj Sinha, under the scholarship programme, which is christened as Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana, 920 schoolchildren would be awarded Rs 500 per month for a year by the Department of Post.
"Under the scheme of SPARSH (scholarship for the promotion of aptitude & research in stamps as a hobby), it is proposed to award annual scholarships to children of standard VI to IX having good academic record and also pursuing Philately as a hobby through a competitive selection process in all postal circles," Sinha said.
"Students with 60 per cent marks or equivalent grade/grade point in their academics would be eligible for the scholarship. There will be 5 per cent relaxation for SC/ST students," the minister said.
While talking to reporters after the launch, Sinha said, "Every postal circle will select a maximum of 40 scholarships representing 10 students each from standard VI, VII, VIII & IX. The amount of scholarship will be Rs 6,000 per annum."
The minister further clarified that to avail the scholarship, a child must be a student of a recognised school and the concerned school should have a Philately Club and the candidate should be a member of the Club.
Talking to Millennium Post, Postal Secretary AN Nand said, "The scholarship scheme would help in motivating schoolchildren to select Philately as their premier hobby. The scholarship scheme is also open for students of those schools where Philately Club is not being established as in this case the student having his own philately deposit account will be considered."
Philately is the hobby of collection and study of postage stamps. It also entails the collection, appreciation and research activities on stamps and other related philatelic products.