SRINAGAR — The Tribal Affairs Department has notified enhancement in scholarships for tribal students pursuing higher studies in government and recognised private institutions including universities, colleges and schools.

In the first-ever revision of scholarship amount since 2011-2012, the department has notified more than 100 per cent to 125 per cent hike in each segment and also increased the number of courses to more than 350 from existing less than 50 courses. This is a major boost to ensure quality education for tribal students.

In a significant move, the Tribal Affairs Department aiming to boost support for the education of tribal students has increased the scholarship in Group A courses from existing Rs 30,000/annum from 2011-12 to Rs 72,000/annum including Rs 12,000 allowances.

The scholarship for Group B courses stagnated at Rs 20,000/annum from 2011-12 has now been enhanced to Rs 53,200/annum including Rs 82,00 as allowances. In Group C courses, the scholarship has been enhanced from Rs 18,000 to Rs 41,700 and in Group D courses, it has been enhanced from Rs 12,000 to Rs 28,700 including allowances.

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Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary informed that in view of the increased cost of quality education, the revision of scholarship for ST students was overdue since last more than 10 years and the government has enhanced the scholarship amount to fund the tuition and other expenses in higher education, starting Class XI to Post-Graduate courses.

He added that in view of the persistent demand of students over the years and in wake of emerging fields of studies, the department has also added more than 300 new courses covering management, soft skills, robotics, data analytics, blockchain, artificial intelligence, aviation, coding and so on, to be covered under scholarship scheme.

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The scholarship will now be revised every two years based on various parameters including the cost of living, fee structure, expenses on books, stationery and other allied material. The scholarship will be disbursed through an online portal which is notified to be live from July 20, 2022 for fresh applications and students have been advised to ensure accurate information of various components of the scholarship is filled in through respective institutions before the cut-off date of August 31, 2022.

Pertinently, the department awarded the highest-ever Rs 31 crore scholarship earlier this year and also covered backlog cases of previous years. The scholarship for students enrolled in seasonal centres has also been enhanced and a proposal is under consideration for the enhancement of pre-matric scholarship as well. The department has enhanced the scholarship budget to Rs 50 crore for the financial year 2022-23.

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