The Education Minister, Punjab, Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema today announced the launching of a special drive to ensure that the benefits of the Union Government initiated schemes for welfare of minorities are passed down to the students at the ground level. The minister gave a clarion call to launch a mass campaign in this direction in his meeting with the representatives of NGOs International Sikh Confederation and Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle who are active for welfare of minorities.In the meeting here at the Punjab Civil Secretariat, Dr. Cheema lauded the efforts being made by the NGOs and assured them of the assistance by Education department in helping the students of minority communities eligible for scholarship schemes, to apply online. He said that primary schools have been connected with the high and senior secondary schools through mapping in order to be of helping hand to primary school students in applying online.
The Education Minister further said that a meeting would soon be convened in this regard by him with all the District Education Officers (DEOs) in which they would be directed to take personal interest in ensuring 100 percent eligible students being benefitted from the scheme. He directed the department to complete the 100 percent online applying target by 15th August. The department would on its part spread awareness through SMS and website.The Officer on Special Duty (OSD) (Scholarships) Mrs. Nalini Sharma apprised the minister that under the scheme 3,53,577 students of Punjab were enrolled in 2013-14 while 5,29, 166 were enrolled in 2014-15 and in 2015-16 a total of 6,46, 194 students were enrolled. Now, the department plans to further increase the number.
The scheme is for the minority community students which include Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Jain, Buddhist and Parsi. Under the pre-matric scheme students studying in Ist to 5th standard in government schools are getting Rs. 1000 per year, students from 6th to 10th standard are getting Rs. 1700 per year on average and the private school students are given Rs. 5700 as scholarships per year. Under the post-matric scholarship scheme, a student gets Rs. 9300 as scholarship on per year basis while the students of vocational subjects get Rs. 10000 scholarship every year. Only those students are eligible for the scheme, whose family income is Rs. 2 Lakh annually.
Prominent among othere who were present in the meeting included Mr. G. Vajralingam, Prinicpal Secretary School Education, Mr. Balbir Singh Dhol, DPI (SE), Mr. Kulwant Singh Sandhu, In charge of Minority Scholarship scheme (Welfare Department), S Inderpal Singh, Chief Collaborator, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle Ludhiana, S. Iqbal Singh, Deputy Director General, S. Ajit Singh, Lt. Gen. Kartar Singh and Col. J.S. Multani from International Sikh Confederation, Principal Harjit Kaur Sidhu, Deputy Director (Education), SGPC, S. Nirmal Singh, S. Charnjit Singh (New Delhi), S. Manpreet Singh.