UGC plans to review schemes for minorities

UGC plans to review schemes for minorities

The Commission wants to look into the constraints that have still kept SC, ST, minorities and also women from pursuing higher studies despite several educational development schemes meant for them.

It has set up four separate committees to identify the problem areas and suggest remedial measures to enhance the effectiveness of its schemes.

“Each committee will undertake a complete review of educational schemes meant for SCs, STs, minorities and women, and find out the factors that have been acting as constraints in their proper implementation,” sources in the UGC told Deccan Herald.

These committees will suggest steps and suitable measures that can be adopted to improve the situation in the 12th Five Year Plan, sources added.

The committees — headed by Professors B Hanumaiah, Mrinal Miri, Najeeb Jung and Chandra Krishnamurthi — are expected to submit their reports by the end of this month.
According to the Human Resource Development Ministry, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education for all categories in 2007-08 was 13.58 while the corresponding percentage for SCs and STs were 11.62 and 9.86 per cent respectively.

The GER for Muslims between the age group of 18-24 shows that only 6.84 per cent enrolled in 2004-05, which was far lower than the participation of students from other religious groups who applied for higher studies.

According to latest figures, though the participation of women has significantly increased over a period of time, they still account for about 41 per cent of the total enrolment.

New Schemes

The UGC has so far launched nearly 20 schemes for promoting education among these groups.

They include PG scholarships for SCs, STs and minorities; and special cells in universities, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships and remedial coaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for SCs and STs.

The Commission has also introduced a number of schemes for women, such as study centres in universities, post-doctoral fellowships and Indira Gandhi Scholarships to help single girl children pursue higher studies.

“The statistics, however, reveal that the measures taken so far to enhance participation of SC, ST, minority and women in higher education are still not that effective and more needs to be done to improve the GER,” a ministry official said.

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