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  • 10 March, 2020

  • 7 Min Read

SC/ST Education-Social Inclusion

‘Fall in percentage of school education funds for SC, STs’

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Social Issue

What’s in News?

After several years of rising trends, the Centre has reduced the percentage allocation of funds for education of schoolchildren from SC and ST communities as well as for the north-eastern region in the coming year.

  • In its report on the demand for grants submitted to the Rajya Sabha, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development expressed its concern at these declines and urged higher allocations.
  • A parliamentary panel expressed concern that any shortage of funds for these marginalised communities could be critical, especially given that more than one in five SC and ST students drop out of school at the secondary level.
  • For at least three years, the amounts allocated to improve education for Dalits, Adivasis and those from the north-east have been on the rise in comparison to total allocations for the department. However, the percentage allotted to these communities dipped in 2020-21, although actual amounts still increased slightly.


  • A major concern is about the high rates of dropout among SC and ST communities.
    • The annual average dropout rate of SC students at the secondary school level is at 21.8%, according to the latest survey data from the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2017-18.
    • For ST students, it was 22.3%.

Scheme for SC/ST in education.

NGOs Scheme

Scheme of Grant in Aid to Voluntary Organisations working for Scheduled Castes


Pre-Matric Scholarship to the SC Students studying in classes IX & X

Pre-Matric Scholarships to the Children of those Engaged in occupations involving cleaning and prone to health hazards

Post-Matric Scholarship for SC students

Upggadation of Merit Of SC Students

Central Sector Scholarship of Top Class Education for SC Students

National Overseas scholarship

National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste Students



Free Coaching

Free Coaching Scheme for SC and OBC Students

Schemes for Economic Development

Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for the Scheduled Castes (SCs)

National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC)

National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC)

Special Central Assistance to Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCA to SCSP)

Scheme of Assistance to Scheduled Castes Development Corporations (SCDCs)

Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS)

Venture Capital Fund For Scheduled Castes

Schemes for Social Empowerment

Centrally Sponsored Scheme for implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)


The Finance Minister in his budget speech on the Union Budget 2005-06 made the following announcements –

“The key to empowering the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes is to provide top class education opportunities to meritorious students. The three on-going scholarship schemes for SC/ST students under the Central Plan – pre-Matric, post-Matric and merit-based – will continue.

To provide an added incentive, I propose a new window: a short list of institutes of excellence will be notified, and any SC/ST student who secures admission in one of those institutes will be awarded a larger scholarship that will meet the requirements for tuition fees, living expenses, books and a computer.”

The Scheme was approved in 2007 and was subsequently revised in January, 2012 and June 2016.

2. Objectives and Coverage

2.1 The Scheme aims at recognizing and promoting quality education amongst students belonging to SCs, by providing full financial support. The scheme will cover SC students for pursuing studies beyond 12th class.

2.2 The scheme will operate in all institutions notified by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

2.3 The SC students, who secure admission in the notified institutions, will be awarded scholarship to meet the requirements for (i) full tuition fee and non-refundable charges (there will be a ceiling of Rs. 2.00 lakhs per annum per student for private sector institutions and Rs.3.72 lakhs per annum per student for the private sector flying clubs for Commercial Pilot Training and Type Rating Courses), (ii) living expenses to the beneficiary @ Rs. 2220/- per month per student. However, the advance payment of living expenses, to be paid directly by the Central Government, through Direct Benefits Transfer mode would be restricted to 1 quarter only. (iii) books and stationery @ Rs. 3000/- per annum per student and (iv) a latest computer with accessories like UPS, Printer, Multi-media limited to Rs. 45000/- per student as one time assistance during the course. The Institute will procure computers and supply to the awardees. Alternatively, the Institute may also consider re-imbursement of expenses made by a student on Purchase of the computer. Limited Rs. 45,000/- provided, the computer and accessories are procured from a reputed manufacturer/supplier.

2.4 The scholarship, once awarded, will continue till the completion of the course, subject to satisfactory performance.

3. Eligibility

3.1 Those SC students who have secured admission in the notified institutions according to the norms prescribed by the respective institutions will be eligible for the scholarship under the scheme to the extent of the number of scholarships allocated to the institutes concerned. In case the number of students admitted exceeds the number of awards, then the scholarship will be restricted to the top ones in the inter-se merit list. The remaining students from SC category admitted in the institute in different courses shall be eligible for the Post-Matric Scholarship (PMS) administered by this Ministry as a centrally sponsored scheme, provided such students are otherwise eligible for the said scheme. In case, the institute finds that the number of eligible candidates in the 1st year are less than the number of scholarships allotted to it, the balance scholarships may be offered to students studying in 2nd, 3rd and 4th year, etc. one the basis of inter-se merit of previous year’s result giving priority to those with higher number of Years left to complete their respective course i.e. 1st Year students is to get priority over the 2nd year students and so on.

3.2 Thirty percent (30%) of slots allotted to the Institute shall be reserved for eligible SC girl students as per their inter-se merit. In absence of sufficient number of girl students, the slots may be transferred to eligible boy students as per their merit.

3.3 However, the 30% slots as mentioned above will not include those girl students who are selected on the basis of their performance in the overall merit list of SC students of the Institute.

3.4 The ceiling of total annual family income from all sources under the Scheme is Rs. 6.00 lakh and the general selection criteria among the eligible candidates of any institution must be the merit. However, if for the last available slot in an institution, there is more than one student with equal marks; preference may be given to the student with the lowest parental income.

3.5 The benefit of the Scheme will not be provided to more than 2 siblings in a family. The students will submit an affidavit to this effect in the Institute to certify that he/she is not the 3rd sibling of the family who is availing the benefit under the Scheme.

3.6 The ceiling of total annual family income from all sources under the Scheme is Rs. 6.00 lakh and the general selection criteria among the eligible candidates of any institution must be the merit. However, if for the last available slot in an institution, there is more than one student with equal marks; preference may be given to the student with the lowest parental income.

3.7 The scholarship will become payable immediately after a student has secured admission and has started attending the classes.

3.8 The scholarship will be terminated if the student fails to pass the final examination of each year or any terminal examination or semester examination prescribed. He will, however, remain eligible for the Post-Matric Scholarship.

Way forward:

  • “The Committee urges the Department to undertake a study of the social-cultural-financial reasons for the dropout of SC, ST and girls at all levels and with particular emphasis on dropout at secondary level and evolve strategies to remove the cause for the high dropout rates,” said the report.

The Department may also look into the feasibility of bringing back the students who drop out at secondary level and simultaneously providing them vocational training so that these students can look for job opportunities at the earliest possible and also continue their studies.

Source: TH/MoSJ

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