Thursday, July 25, 2024

Assam Cabinet approves monthly-stipend scheme for female students


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Guwahati, June 12: The Assam Cabinet on Wednesday approved a unique scheme of monthly stipends for female students from the higher secondary (HS) to the post-graduate level, with the twin objectives of eliminating the practice of early marriages among girls, and inspiring them to pursue higher education.

Announcing the state Cabinet’s approval of the “Assam Mukhya Mantri Nijut Moina Scheme”, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said monthly stipends for a period of 10 months per year would be provided by the state government to female students who enrol in higher education institutions.

Female students enrolled in higher secondary, degree first year and post-graduate first year of government and venture schools, colleges and universities, irrespective of their economic status, are eligible for the scheme.

“Female students who enrol themselves in classes 11 and 12 will get a monthly stipend of Rs 1000 for the entire period of higher secondary education. On the other hand, female students joining degree or graduation courses will receive a stipend of Rs 1250, while girls who enrol themselves for postgraduate courses will be given a monthly stipend of Rs 2500,” the chief minister informed.

The monthly stipend, Sarma said, would be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the students on the 11th of every month.

“Through this unique scheme, the state government aims to take the financial responsibility of higher education of girl students, which will certainly lessen the burden of economically disadvantaged and middle-class parents and guardians to a great extent,” he said.

Sarma anticipated that the scheme was likely to increase the enrolment ratio of girls in higher institutions.

Earlier, the state government had provided scooters under the Pragyan Bharati scheme to girl students securing first division in the higher secondary examinations.

“We had seen an increasing trend of girl students securing first division after the scheme was announced. Likewise, the ‘Nijut Moina’ scheme will also increase the gross enrolment ratio of female students in higher education,” the chief minister said.

He however said that the girl students who avail the benefit of scooters under the previous scheme, would not be a beneficiary of the ‘Nijut Moina’ scheme.

“But students can opt out of the previous scheme, and instead, claim the benefit of monthly stipend under the new scheme,” he added.

Distribution of forms for availing the new scheme will begin in July for colleges and in September for universities.

Sarma also informed that an annual outlay between Rs 300 and Rs 350 crore would be required for implementation of the scheme.

“However, the amount would escalate to Rs 1500 crore per year in due course of time as the number of students increases,” he said.

The chief minister further informed that “world-class” coaching facilities for students from economically-disadvantaged and middle-class families.

“Besides, we are investing Rs 800 crore to improve road connectivity in our tea gardens and also building 500 state-of-the-art schools,” Sarma said.


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