The Modi government is also understood to be considering an increase in the number of scholarships.
New Delhi: Despite efforts by the Modi government, less than half of seats reserved for students from Jammu and Kashmir under the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship have been filled.
Sources stated that Prime Minister’s Office is understood to be unhappy that despite a provision for 5,000 seats being reserved for the students of strife-torn state, less than half, 2,240, could be filled in the 2016-17 academic year. The situation was even more alarming in academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16 when only 1,680 and 1,402 seats were filled respectively.
Incidentally, the past three years also saw a spurt in disturbance in the state. It is learnt that the PMO wants the Union human resource development ministry to ensure that all seats under the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme for Jammu and Kashmir are utilised for the benefit of deserving candidates.
The scheme has been put forth to reach out to the youth in extremist-affected and disturbed region. The Modi government is also understood to be considering an increase in the number of scholarships for state’s students. The scheme is expected to help ensure better understanding, national integration and generation of goodwill amongst the common people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The special scholarship scheme for Jammu and Kashmir was floated in 2011 with an aim to encourage the youth from the strife-torn state to pursue higher education in educational institutions in other parts of the country. Since the onset of scheme, sources stated, 13,014 students from the state have benefited from it so far.
The shortfall in filling the seats continues even after there is a provision of inter-changeability of slots, subject to shortfall in the number of general degree courses and in the process, allocating a higher number of students for certain professional courses.
The government initiatives to ensure that the benefits of the scheme is availed by all deserving students, including creation of ten supernumerary quota in Engineering Colleges, more number of students are taking admission in professional courses has also seemingly not helped in ensuring optimal utilisation of the quota, sources stated.