Changes in PMS-SC
- 24 Dec 2020
- 4 min read
Why in News
Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved changes in the Post Matric Scholarship to students belonging to Scheduled Castes (PMS-SC).
- Government is committed to give a big push and further impetus to this effort so that the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education of SCs would reach up to the national standards within the 5 year period.
- GER is the number of students enrolled in a given level of education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the official school-age population corresponding to the same level of education.
- The current GER in higher education is 26.3%.
- The Central Assistance which was around Rs. 1100 crore annually during 2017-18 to 2019-20 would be increased more than 5 times to be around Rs. 6000 crore annually during 2020-21 to 2025-26.
- Post Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Castes:
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and implemented through State Government and UT administration.
- It provides financial assistance to the SC students studying at post matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.
- These scholarships are available for studies in India only and are awarded by the government of the State/Union Territory to which the applicant actually belongs i.e. permanently settled.
- The focus of the scheme is on enrolling the poorest students, timely payments, comprehensive accountability, continuous monitoring and total transparency.
- Income Ceiling: Scholarships are paid to the students whose parents/guardians’ income from all sources does not exceed Rs. 2,50,000 per annum.
- New Changes:
- Enrolment Campaign:
- Launching a campaign to enrol the students from the poorest households passing the 10th standard, in the higher education courses of their choice.
- It is estimated that 1.36 crore poorest students are currently not continuing their education beyond 10th standard, who would be brought into the higher education system in the next 5 years.
- Secure Online Platform:
- An online platform with robust cybersecurity measures that would assure transparency, accountability, efficiency, and timely delivery of the assistance without any delays.
- States will undertake fool-proof verification of the eligibility, caste status, Aadhar identification and bank account details on the online portal.
- Direct Benefit Transfer:
- Unlike earlier, when funding was passed through state governments, financial assistance will be transferred by the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode and preferably using the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System.
- Students will receive the Centre’s share as soon as the state transfers its share as per fixed time schedule.
- New Funding Pattern:
- The Cabinet has approved a total investment of Rs. 59,048 crore with a new funding pattern of 60-40 for the Centre and States.
- Starting from 2021-22, the Central share would be released after ensuring that the concerned State Government has released their share.
- This replaces the existing committed liability system and brings greater involvement of the Central government in this crucial scheme.
- Committed liabilities are payments anticipated during a financial year for contracts concluded in previous years.
- Strong Monitoring Mechanisms:
- The scheme will be further strengthened through the conduct of social audits, annual third party evaluation, and half-yearly self-audited reports from each institution.
- Enrolment Campaign: