SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Goverment has initiated steps for strengthening the support to education of tribal students. In line with announcement made by Lieutenant Governor J&K Sh Manoj Sinha for effective steps aimed at welfare of tribal population in J&K, the Tribal Affairs Department has approved highest ever outlay of Rs 30 Cr scholarship for tribal students in the current financial year. This year scholarship will be provided to 42,000 more students above previous years target.
Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary informed that education of tribal students is a top priority of J&K Goverment and with keen interest of Lieutenant Governor Sh Manoj Sinha the department has received highest ever scholarship outlay of more than Rs. 30 Cr to support the students at Post-Graduate, Graduate, Post-Matric and Pre-matric level. This also includes many cases of previous two years pending due to various reasons. The department has made an immediate release of Rs 6.22 Cr to cover 4622 students for 2020-21 scholarship.
The outlay of scholarship includes Rs 770.91 Lakh for 6561 post-matric students, 386.40 Lakh for 12868 Pre-matric students of class IX and X, and Rs 1800.00 Lakh for 2.15 Lakh students studying in class 1 to 8th. The department has also cleared an amount of Rs 90.75 Lakh in favour of 964 students whose scholarship for the year 2019-20 was pending due to lack of required authentication. The department has also cleared an amount of Rs 761.50 Lakh in favour of 4776 students for the year 2019-20 which was pending due to various reasons. With inclusion of backlog clearance the department will be disbursing an amount of Rs 38 Cr.
Dr Shahid added that the scholarship plan was actively supported by Advisor Sh Farooq Khan and Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta sanctioned the budget enabling the department for release of funds. He also expressed gratitude to Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt of India Sh A K Jha for unparalleled support to J&K Tribal Affairs Department for clearing backlog of scholarship and new budget.
Director Tribal Affairs, Mushir Ahmed Mirza has initiated the scholarship disbursement through Direct Benefit Transfer in favour of students, with backlog of 2019-20 and 2020-21 as first priority. Financial Advisor and CAO Sadiq Ali formulated the budget estimates and facilitated timely clearances for release of funds. The Finance Department of J&K Govt ensured timely release of pending funds and also new budget for current year in a very short time.
The annual budget of 2021-22 will benefit 6561 students in post-matric compared to 4622 in previous year, 12,868 students in Class 9 and 10 compared to 2506 in 2020-21 and 2,15,864 students in class 1 to 8 compared to 1,73,100 students in 2020-21.
The Tribal Affairs Department will be seeking online application for its scholarship scheme meant for students in Class 1 to 8 which shall be submitted at School level. The multiple levels of form submission have been dispensed with in order to ensure ease for students. Further, the department is in process of notifying self-certification of income for class 1 to 8 on its portal which will be notified soon. This will make a major shift in ease of service delivery to students. The forms will be retained at school level and not required to submitted to department through several levels which was a cumbersome and time-taking process. A process to track the scholarship supported students is also being initiated to organise and plan career counselling, skill development and placement support for such students to ensure best desired outcomes.