Monday, August 4, 2014

New scholarship instituted for differently-abled students

GANGTOK, 03 Aug: The State government has framed a new financial scheme for the benefit of differently-abled students in an effort to enable them to avail education and secure a meaningful livelihood. Students with disabilities can now avail scholarship from the government under this new scheme – the ‘Sikkim Grant of Scholarship to Students with Disabilities Scheme, 2014'.
The objective of this scheme, as informed, is to assist the differently-abled students to secure academic education and technical or professional training; this is further intended to enable them to earn livelihood and become useful members of society.
As per the new scheme, framed by the Social Welfare Department, all categories of the local underprivileged and differently-abled students who are pursuing education within or outside the state, but within the country, are eligible to avail the scholarship.
The primary mode of distribution of scholarship is through Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme but can be altered as per the decision of a competent authority. Apart from the financial benefit, the differently-abled students will also be entitled for free textbooks including special books, uniforms and other materials by the HRD Department.
As per the norms of the scholarship the claiming student should be in the age group of 5 years and above and should be suffering from not less than 40% disabilities. S/he is also required to be a regular student of a recognized institution.
Meanwhile, should a student claiming scholarship fail to pass the class or board examinations, whichever may be the case, in one sitting, s/he will not be entitled for the scholarship.
Students availing similar scholarships under other departments under the state government or Ministries will not be eligible either. In order to apply for the scholarships certain documents are required to be presented which include domicile documents and BPL certificate or Income certificate of parents. Students are also required to submit a ‘Life Certificate’ in February each year duly certified by the Head of the Institution. Claims for reimbursement or payment of scholarship are to be made by the student on the first of each month.
The Secretary, Social Welfare department is the designated authority for sanctioning of scholarships. He will be aided by a selection committee for the purpose of selection and recommendation of beneficiaries.
The three member selection committee comprises the Joint Secretary, Social Welfare Division; Social Welfare Officer and any other officer nominated by the Secretary and the Accounts Officer.

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