Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Friday approved the cent per cent centrally-sponsored scheme of post-matriculation scholarships for students belonging to minority communities. It will involve an expenditure of Rs. 1,530 crore during the 11th Plan.

To be launched this fiscal itself, the scheme will be implemented by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs, which is monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the Sachar Committee report.

Criteria

A total of 15 lakh scholarships will be given during the Plan period from 2007-2012. They will be awarded to those fulfilling the merit-cum-means criteria and studying in any registered educational institution.

They include schools, colleges, universities, Industrial Training Institutes and Industrial Trade Centres affiliated to the National Council for Vocational Training.

Of the 15 lakh scholarships, 30 per cent had been reserved for women. And, all students coming from families with an annual income below Rs. 2 lakh will be eligible, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said, while announcing the CCEA decision. The cut-off mark for the matriculation level was set at 50 per cent.

This is the third such scheme announced this year for the educational uplift of minorities.