Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday launched a post-matric scholarship scheme for students belonging to the Scheduled Castes category. The chief minister also laid foundation stones of projects worth Rs 50 crore at Amritsar’s Ram Tirath to mark Valmiki Jayanti. Participating in the Valmiki Jayanti celebrations virtually, the CM also inaugurated a new Ram Tirath ITI campus while giving the go-ahead for the establishment of a skill development centre to prepare Dalit students for competitive exams, according to a government statement.
Launching Dr BR Ambedkar Post-Matric SC Scholarship Scheme, the Punjab chief minister said it will ensure that poor students get free higher education, which the Centre unfairly deprived them of with abrupt withdrawal of Rs 800 crore aid to the state.
Stressing that the state government is committed to the welfare of the Scheduled Castes, Amarinder Singh said the scheme being launched without any financial contribution from the Centre will provide 100 per cent fee waiver to SC students.
The scheme, which is likely to benefit over three lakh poor SC students every year, will involve no upfront payment by them to government or private educational institutions.
The institutes will provide free education to SC students under the scheme against direct subsidy from the state government, the CM announced, adding that students will also get a monthly stipend to buy books and uniforms.
In addition to it, he announced an annual holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act in memory of great personality and said Amritsar's Guru Nanak Dev University will organise a seminar on Bhagwan Valmiki on the eve of his birth anniversary every year.
Giving details of Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal (Ram Tirath) projects, the chief minister said these include a panorama on Maharishi Valmiki (Rs 25-30 crore), facade lights (Rs 10.9 crore) and a filtration plant in the Sarovar (Rs 4.75 crore).