Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Najma Heptulla today called on Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, at his residence here this afternoon.During their meeting, Mufti Sayeed urged the Union Minister to create awareness about the welfare programmes launched by her Ministry so that more and more people avail the entailed benefits. He also laid emphasis on educating masses about its merit-based scholarship and coaching scheme for pre-matric students, who belong to families whose annual income slab is less than Rs.1 lakh.Najma Heptullah told the Chief Minister that Centre is encouraging self-attestation of income certificates so that the students are able to obtain scholarships in a hassle-free manner. She said nearly 2/3rd of the total budget of the ministry is disbursed in the form of scholarships.
The Chief Minister also raised the issue of imparting quality education to girl child, keeping in mind the abysmally-low female literacy rate.The Union Minister said around 86 lakh students all over the country have so far benefited by the pre-matric scholarship scheme launched by the Minority Affairs Ministry. She said special emphasis will be laid on J&K so that students from the state get their due share.Mufti Sayeed also discussed the state government’s plan to patent and price-tag the handicraft products to boost their saleability and sought the Ministry’s help in skill development.The state government is planning GI (Geographical Indication) registration of its famed hand-made products so that genuine items are exported and sold in country and abroad.Najma Heptullah assured the Chief Minister of formulating schemes that support skill development and facilitate access to markets. She referred to Ustaad, a new scheme that has been envisaged to promote traditional skills, which can bring rare art like Kani Shawl making within in its ambit.