A "pre-matric scholarship scheme” has been announced for Class IX and X students from the SC and ST categories in the Union Budget on Monday.
The scheme will benefit nearly 6 lakh students in the state — 4 lakh are SC students and the rest are ST. The scheme will cover 40 lakh students across the country.
Though the Union finance minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, has not disclosed the scholarship amount during his Budget speech, school education department sources said it could be `500 per month.
The state government feels this scheme will be a shot in the arm to check the high school drop out level among SC and ST students; as per officials estimates, out of 100 students who enrol in Class I, less than 30 continue till Class X, pointing to a 70 per cent drop out rate.
The higher education department also are upbeat about the huge allocation, Rs 52,057 crore, announced for it in the Union Budget — a 24 per cent increase compared with the amount last year.
Officials of this wing expect to get `10 crore for each of the 10 new universities established over the last six years.