New Delhi: In a bid to arrest dropouts among poor but meritorious students in the secondary stage, Government today approved a scholarship scheme at an expense of over Rs 3,000 crore.
A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave its nod to implement the Centrally-sponsored National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship during the 11th Plan.
Each year, at least one lakh scholarships of Rs 6,000 per annum would be awarded to students at the Class IX level till Class XII, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said here.
“The objective of the scheme is to award scholarship to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to check their drop-out at Class VIII and to encourage them to continue in the secondary stage up to Class XII,” he said.
Only students, whose parental income from all sources is not more than Rs 1.5 lakh, would be eligible to avail the scholarship, meant for students studying in government, local body and government-aided schools only, he said.
A selection test would be held at the state level for students of Class VIII. This would be conducted along with the first stage selection test of the National Talent Search Examination conducted by the state governments under the guidance of NCERT.
Chidambaram said this scheme was announced in the 2007-08 budget and Rs 750 crore was allocated and another equal amount was allocated in this year’s budget.