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PIB Summaries 02 January 2024

  1. Scheme for Residential Education For Students in High schools in Targeted Areas
  2. Maulana Azad National Fellowship


Context:

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment recently highlighted the Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA).

Relevance:

GS II- Welfare schemes

About SHRESHTA

The government has approved a new scheme named SHRESHTA (Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas) for the purpose of providing seats for the meritorious SC boys and girls in the best private residential schools in the country.

National Entrance Test for SHRESHTA

  • Under this, each year a specified number of meritorious SC students (Approx 3000) in States / UTs are selected through a transparent mechanism of a National Entrance Test for SHRESHTA (NETS) , conducted by the National Testing Agency ( NTA ) .
  • Selected students are admitted in the Best Private Residential Schools, affiliated by CBSE, in classes 9th and 11th for completion of education till 12th standard.
  • Thereafter, the students may be connected to Post Metric Scholarship Scheme or Top – Class Education Scheme of the
  • Ministry to continue their further studies with adequate financial aid from the Government of India.

Selection of Schools:

  • For selection of Schools , the Ministry through a committee with the representative of Ministry of Education and CBSE and Finance Division of the Department , has selected the best performing private residential schools affiliated with the CBSE , based on certain parameters such as
    • Schools is in existence for at least for last 5 years
    • Boards results of the schools were more than 75 % in Class 10 and 12 for the last 3 years
    • the Schools have adequate infrastructure for admitting additional at SC students in classes 9th and 11th .

Quality of Education:

  • For ensuring the quality of students in the scheme , the Department has decided to seek the students based on All India Entrance Examination from the National Testing Agency ( NTA ) , which conducts all major exams including JEE / NEET and selection of employee for the Government through SSC and others . 
  • The Ministry intends to provide level playing field to the poor and meritorious SC students, by providing facilities for providing High Quality Education in the CBSE based Private Schools having Residential Facility ( Hostel ) from class 9th to 12th .
  • Entire cost of school fee and hostel fee including food charges shall be borne by the Government of India. The Students under the Scheme may select any school across the country for their academics.
Objectives of the Scheme:
  • To enhance the reach of the development initiative of the government.
  • To fill the gap in service-deprived Scheduled Castes (SCs) dominant areas in the sector of education by collaborating with voluntary organizations.
  • To provide an environment for socio-economic upliftment and overall development of the Scheduled Castes (SCs).
  • To provide access to high-quality education to bright Scheduled Caste (SC) students so that they can explore future opportunities.


Context:

Researchers and doctoral students from about 30 universities across the country have written separate letters to Union Minority Affairs Minister to increase the scholarships under Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF).

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Maulana Azad National Fellowship Overview:

Objective:

  • The primary goal of the Maulana Azad Fellowship Scheme (MANF) is to offer five-year fellowships in the form of financial assistance.

Eligible Minority Communities:

  • The fellowship targets students from six specified minority communities recognized by the Central Government: Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Muslim, Parsi, and Sikh.
  • Designed to support their pursuit of M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees.

Inclusive Educational Institutions:

  • The scheme encompasses all Universities/Institutions acknowledged by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • Inclusive of Central/State Universities, Deemed Universities, Institutions fully funded by the State/Central Government empowered to grant degrees, and Institutions of National Importance as identified by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Scope of Fellowship:

  • The fellowship is tailored for minority community students engaged in regular and full-time research studies leading to the conferment of M.Phil/Ph.D. degrees, limited to institutions within India.

Employability Enhancement:

  • Aims to enhance employability for fellowship recipients, making them eligible for positions requiring M.Phil and Ph.D. qualifications, including Assistant Professors in various academic institutions.

Implementing Agency:

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) serves as the pivotal agency responsible for the implementation of this fellowship.

February 2024
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