Scheme to fund SC/ST students' overseas study

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge formally announced the scheme, under which the government plans to fund at least 400 students annually at a cost of Rs 120 crore.

Meritorious SC/ST students heading overseas for higher education will now have their entire cost covered by the state government under a scheme called Prabuddha that was launched on Friday.

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge formally announced the scheme, under which the government plans to fund at least 400 students annually at a cost of Rs 120 crore.

SC/ST students who have cleared Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Scholastic Aptitude/Assessment Test (SAT) and other qualifying tests, are eligible to be covered under the Prabuddha scheme.

“In the existing scheme, students with 49-51% score were funded. Also, from 2001 to 2018, only 282 students were covered,” Kharge told DH.

Under the new scheme, students whose annual family income is below Rs 8 lakh will get 100% coverage, including tuition fee, travel and accommodation.

Those with a family income of Rs 8-15 lakh will get 50% coverage and those above Rs 15 lakh will get 33% coverage. “The government will also provide counselling for students,” Kharge said.

The scheme will also cover students who have been selected in foreign universities to study graduate programmes such as engineering, basic sciences, agricultural sciences, social sciences, commerce, economics, psychology, law, fine arts, and so on.

A similar scheme is in force for backward class students who get a one-time incentive of Rs 10 lakh for a one-year course and Rs 20 lakh for those studying a course beyond 18 months.

“Most students who have been funded to study abroad have chosen the USA. Steps will be taken to send students to other nations as well,” Parameshwara said during the launch of Prabuddha. “I myself studied abroad on a student scholarship,” he said.

Students who wish to avail benefit under the Prabuddha scheme will have to apply online. Applications will be open from December 15 at www.scholarshipwebsiteaddress.gov.in

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