The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on Friday launched a scholarship scheme to enable Scheduled Castes (SC) students to study in CBSE-affiliated residential schools.
The Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA) was “formulated with the objective to provide quality education and opportunities for even the poorest Scheduled Caste students, as per the Constitutional mandate”, the Ministry said in a statement. The scheme was launched at an event in neighbouring Noida, where Union Social Justice Minister Virendra Kumar said the scholarships would be given to SC students from Class 9 to Class 12.
“The governmental efforts to spread educational facilities without discrimination have worked well in achieving near universal access. However, the objective of providing access to quality education that provides a level playing field is still far from reality,” the Minister said.
The SHRESTHA scholarships will be given to about 3,000 students every year. Students whose parents’ annual income is below ₹2.5 lakh are eligible. The scheme will cover the school fees and hostel charges till the students complete Class 12, after which the students may apply for benefits under other schemes of the department for higher education.