Modi Govt under Fire for Discontinuing Minority Scholarship for Classes I to VIII

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The decision of the government is being seen as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government’s anti-Muslim agenda

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – The Central government has faced flak after it has discontinued the scholarship of minority students from class I to VIII citing free and compulsory education given under the Right to Education Act (RTE) 2009.

A notice put up on the National Scholarship Portal stated that only class IX and X will be covered under the pre-matric scholarship programme of minority students.

“The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 makes it obligatory for the Government to provide free and compulsory elementary education (classes I to VIII) to each and every child. Accordingly, only students studying in classes IX and X are covered under the Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Likewise from 2022-23, the coverage under the Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme of the Ministry of Minority Affairs shall also be for classes IX and X only,” the notice stated. “The Institute Nodal Officer (INO)/District Nodal Officer (DNO)/State Nodal Officer (SNO) may accordingly verify applications only for classes IX and X under the Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme of the Ministry of Minority Affairs,” reads the notice.

The notice asked The Institute Nodal Officer (INO)/District Nodal Officer (DNO)/State Nodal Officer (SNO) to verify applications only for classes IX and X under the Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme of the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

The decision of the government is being seen as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government’s anti-Muslim agenda.

Talking to Clarion India on the government’s move, prominent Muslim leader Qasim Rasool Ilyas said the government had been targeting the minority community in different ways. The decision to stop the scholarship is part of its policy.

“The government has targeted Muslims physically and economically. Now, it is targeting the community educationally. If you look at the incidents, no action is being taken against those who spread hatred and call for genocide. Now, education is at their target,” noated Ilyas.

He pointed out the double standards adopted by the BJP with regard to Muslims. On the one hand, they talked and made tall claims about the Pasamanada (weaker) sections of the community while on the other, withdrew the scholarship. The fact of the matter is that it’s backward students who benefit from such scholarships, said Ilyas.

“The scholarship is not alms. The scholarship was given on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee report to empower the poor sections of Muslims. Narendra Modi ji should understand that the dream of becoming Vishwguru and a 5 trillion economy cannot be fulfilled unless every child gets educated. If you marginalise one section of the society, it will harm the country, and not benefit it,” warned Ilyas.

Meanwhile, Congress slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for stopping the pre-matric scholarship of minorities, Dalits and Adivasis. Addressing PM Modi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge asked the government how much it will earn by stopping the scholarship.

“@narendramodi ji, your Govt has shut down Pre-Matric Scholarship meant for SC,ST, OBC & Minority students of Class 1 to Class 8. What is the point of depriving scholarships to the poor students? How much will your Govt earn or save by snatching this money from poor students?,” said Kharge.

Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala described the decision as “shocking, stunning and shameful”.

“BJP-Modi Govt delivers a “fatal blow” on the aspirations & dreams of children of SC-ST-OBC-Minorities to pursue basic education between Classes 1 to 8 by denying them Pre-Matric scholarship completely,” tweeted Surjewala.

Surjewala further said, “From shutting down SC-ST Sub-plan, attacking reservation, slashing budgets for SC-ST-OBC-Minorities to horrific crime & atrocities, BJP-Modi Govt manifest new ways to hound-persecute-deny justice to them.PM has to withdraw the draconian order denying Pre-Matric scholarship”.

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