Govt. giving special emphasis on assistance to economically disadvantaged groups: PM

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Mumbai, Jan 6 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Thursday said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government has taken several measures to increase funding for scholarships and awards for deserving students with special emphasis on students belonging to the economically disadvantaged groups.

Speaking on the occasion of annual Infosys award ceremony here, Dr. Singh said: "We recognize that encouraging and rewarding productive academic pursuits is a special responsibility of the government too. We also acknowledge that in a society like ours we must make available a greater number of merit-cum-means scholarships and scholarships for the socially and economically disadvantaged groups."

"That is why our government has taken several measures to increase funding for scholarships and awards for deserving students. We have placed special emphasis on assistance to students belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Minorities and to the girl child," he added.

Dr. Singh said such scholarships create a wider knowledge base.

"It is on the foundation of that wide knowledge base, that we must then erect the pyramid of excellence which our country badly needs. We do believe that it is the responsibility of government to create that wider talent base. That is why we were very keen that we recognize the Right to Education as a Fundamental Right," said Dr. Singh.

"If there is one initiative that our Government has taken in these six and a half years in office that I consider really special, it is the enactment of Right to Education Act that has now been enshrined in our statue book," he added.

Further congratulating the winners, Dr. Singh said: "I congratulate each of the awardees for their highly impressive achievements and individual contribution to the cause of knowledge. It is a particularly uplifting moment for me to be in your company."

"You are an extraordinarily talented lot. Your accomplishments speak for themselves. I wish you well in your work in years to come. May God bless you with even higher attainments in years to come. And may you continue to be a source of inspiration to others," he added. (ANI)

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