Under the "Udaan" scheme of CBSE, 143 out of 300 girls from the initial batch had cleared the JEE exam, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said on Friday.The HRD ministry's programme Udaan is a CBSE project launched in November 2014 to mitigate the gap between school education and engineering entrance examination."About a year-and-a-half back, I implored in a conversation with CBSE that less number of girls make it to the reputed institutes like IIT. So we started Udaan under which we ensured that girls who belong to low income families are given resources and support needed to face the competitive exams," said Irani."I'm glad to share today in one of our first batches out of 300 girls, 143 passed the JEE exam," the minister added while speaking at a programme at IIT Delhi.Irani was visiting the IIT Delhi Campus to inaugurate the new lecture hall complex. She also laid the foundation stone of the proposed Engineering Blocks and the Research Park.
The minister also inaugurated the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) Cell in the campus. UBA is an HRD ministry programme under which the government with help of IITs, NITs and other engineering institutes helps develop the rural areas by equipping them with technology.Referring to the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, the minister said this is the first such initiative, an active engagement which would bring society close through technology. The minister said when extended support like academic help, especially for the marginalised students, they also realise their dreams and its relevance beyond the ambit of academics and start thinking of how they could help towards the betterment of the society and community. "For the first time in the history of India, we have taken a decision of waiving off fees for any student who passed the JEE exam and belongs to a family whose annual income is less than Rs.1 lakh," said Irani.She added that the government had also waived off fees for specially abled students in order to assure that the government can encourage more students with special needs to become a part of the engineering fraternity.