Important scholarships for the underprivileged girl child in India

Important scholarships for the underprivileged girl child in India
A student wearing a protective mask writes notes from an online lecture on a mobile phone, inside a digital mobile education library, initiated to provide mobile phones to chidren who have no access to them for their education classes amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India, October 16, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Did you know that the Central government has introduced several projects for underprivileged girl children in our country? Here are some of the prominent ones.

1) Balika Samridhi Yojana 

Introduced in 1997 by the Indian Government under the policies for Women and Child Development to facilitate the girl child, it remains a key initiative to support the birth and education of the girl child. This scheme is for those below the poverty line. A sum of Rs 500 is deposited in the name of a newborn girl child under a small saving scheme. They also get a yearly scholarship once they are enrolled in school and it can be withdrawn once they reach the age of 18. All the benefits of this scheme are provided to only two girl children from every family irrespective of the number of children in the family.

2) Indira Gandhi scholarship

Indira Gandhi Single Girl Child Scholarship is a UGC scholarship scheme to help the girl child pursue higher education, especially if she happens to be the only child of her parents. Under this single girl child scholarship, the selected candidates are offered financial assistance of INR 36,200 per annum. In order to be eligible for this UGC scholarship, the applicants must be girls studying in universities/colleges/institutions recognised by UGC, State/Central Government or are institutes of national importance.

3) CBSE Udaan Scheme

Merit scholarship for single girl child. Those who have acquired first class in board exams will be granted INR 6000 per annum. This scheme is an initiative by CBSE to enable underprivileged girl students to make the journey from school to post-school professional education especially in Science and Mathematics, easier. As part of this initiative, CBSE will support 1000 disadvantaged girls per year and provide them with free online resources in Class 11 and Class 12.

4) Vivekananda Fellowship

Supporting higher education for social sciences for single girl child. Swami Vivekananda supported women empowerment and this scheme called Swami Vivekananda Fellowship for Single Girl Child for research in Social Sciences was set up based on his ideas of promoting girls’ education as well as to compensate the cost of higher education. It includes the provision of doing a PhD in Social Sciences from a certified University. The fellowship is for 5 years (25k monthly for the first two years and 28 k for the rest). Age limit is 40.

5) Pragathi Scholarship

Two girls from a family with an annual income of not more than 8 lakh per year can apply for this scholarship. The selection of the candidate will be made on merit based on qualifying examination to peruse the respective Technical Degree/Diploma course from any of the AICTE approved institutions. Students are eligible to get an amount of Rs 30k to purchase books and other study materials. 

6) Incentive Scheme 

Under this scheme, girls belonging to SC/ST and those who have passed their 8th grade are eligible to receive a fixed deposit of Rs.3000 from the government. They can withdraw the amount when they are 15 or 18 years old. Kasturba Balika Residential schools have been allotted for girls belonging to Schedule caste, OBC, minority caste and those under the below poverty line. These students are eligible for incentives.

7) Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship

Earlier known as the "Maulana Azad National Scholarship" Scheme, it was started by the Foundation in the academic year 2003-04. The main purpose was to provide financial assistance to meritorious girl students belonging to national minorities, who cannot continue their education due to lack of financial support. The Scholarship Scheme of the foundation is immensely popular, and its sanctioning quota is increasing year by year. The scheme is only accessible to girl students from the 9th grade to 12th grade. They should have secured at least 50% marks in their previous academic year and will be given an annual income of Rs. 6000. Also, their family annual income shouldn’t be more than 2 lakhs. 

8) Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

A scheme designed to make the country more empowering for women. According to this scheme, each district will be allotted a certain amount of money to make schools safer and hygienic for girls.

9) Midday Meal Scheme

  A meal programme that ensures nutritious food 300 days a year for girls who are not able to attend schools. This is a scheme undertaken by the State governments. 

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