New Delhi, May 9 : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today gave its approval to implement the centrally sponsored National means-cum-merit- Scholarship during the 11th Five Year Plan and to incur an expenditure of Rs.3004.04 crore during the 11th Five Year Plan.
The objective of the scheme is to award scholarship to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop-out at class VIII and to encourage them to continue in the secondary stage up to class XII.
Each year at least 1,00,000 scholarships of Rs.6,000 per annum would be awarded to students at the beginning of class 9 and would be continued till class 12. Only students whose parental income from all sources is not more than Rs.1,50,000 will be eligible to avail of the scholarship. Further the scholarship is meant for student studying in government, local body and Government aided schools.
To select the candidates, a selection test would be held at the State level for the students of class 8. This will be conducted along with the first stage selection test of the National Talent Search Examination conducted by the State Governments under guidance of NCERT.
To fund this scheme, a corpus of Rs.750 crore will be created with SBI in 2008-09 and a like amount would be added to the fund every year the next 3 years. The yield from the fund will be used for the Scholarship Scheme.
The requirement of funds for creation of corpus during the XI Five Year Plan would be Rs.3000 crore. The expenditure on scholarships during the 11th Five Year Plan would be Rs.600 crore.
This would help in reducing of the drop outs in the secondary stage of meritorious students belonging to poorer section of the society.