Students from the Schedule Cast/Schedule Tribe (SC/ST) communities will now get access to the world’s best universities through the Prabuddha scheme. The scheme was launched recently by the Karnataka government.
What are the key aspects of the scheme?
Administered by the Department of Social Welfare, the Prabuddha scheme will allow students from SC, ST and other vulnerable communities to pursue their undergraduate, post graduate and PhD programmes in international universities at little or no cost.
The Prabuddha scheme will cover the student’s course fees, living expenditure and airfare to the country in which the student is pursuing their studies. Moreover, there will be a 33 per cent reservation for scholarships catering to women candidates and a four per cent reservation for differently abled students every year.
The scheme will cover up to:
1. 100 per cent of education expenses for students 1 whose annual family income is less than Rs 8 lakhs
2. 50 per cent of the expenses of students, whose family income is more than Rs 8 lakhs but less than Rs 15 lakhs
3. 33 per cent of the expenses of students, whose annual income exceeds Rs 15 lakhs.
What did the authorities say?
Dr. G Parameshwara, Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister said, “This is a pioneering move. Often access to education is limited because of the lack of funds and social pressures. With this scheme, we are removing at least one of the barriers to education for SC/ST students and are enabling the dreams of so many of our worthy as well as meritorious students. We hope that more students from across the state benefit from this scheme and contribute towards improving their own lives, the communities they come from, and our state too.”
The Department of Social Welfare has taken care to ensure the equitable distribution of scholarship funds and that sufficient checks and balances are introduced to ensure the scheme would be fair to all applicants. A student will be eligible to apply for the scheme only once, whether UG, PG or PhD. No more than two students from one family can apply for the scholarship.
Talking about the scholarship, Priyank Kharge, Karnataka Minister of Social Welfare said, “Dr B R Ambedkar dreamt of an enlightened India, Prabhuddha Bharatha. The Karnataka government strongly believes in enabling students to broaden their horizons for the betterment of the society. We will give them an opportunity to flourish in a global environment. We hope that these students will come back and contribute to the society as well as the State of Karnataka. Our vision is to ensure that aspiring students don’t go through the same struggle that Babasaheb Ambedkar faced while he studied abroad.”