Chennai: Union Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Zubin Irani told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that the central government’s decision to withdraw the pre-matric scholarship scheme for minority students from classes 1 to 8 is based on valid and sound reasons.
Irani replied thus to the question of DMP MP.P. Wilson who wanted to know the Central Government’s response to the plea made by the Tamil Nadu Government last year to resume the pre-matric scholarship scheme for minority students from Class 1 to Class 8.
5 lakh poor students of Tamil Nadu have been affected by the withdrawal of the pre-matric student stipend scheme, which was given to minority community students from classes 1 to 8. In this background, the Tamil Nadu government had a minority submitted a request to the central government last year to re-implement the scholarship scheme.
Explaining this to MP Wilson in the Rajya Sabha, Minister Smriti Irani said that the participation of students from minority communities in primary and secondary education levels is equal to the national average. Also, students from classes 1 to 8 have already been covered under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE)-2009.
The RTE Act obliges governments to provide free and compulsory primary education (1 to 8). The Minister said that due to this, no child will have to pay fees and other expenses for education.
Smriti Irani replied that due to all these reasons, the central government has decided not to continue the pre-matric scholarship scheme for minority students from classes 1 to 8.