The Delhi government has taken a decision to reimburse fees of meritorious students who are eligible to avail Jai Bhim Chief Minister Pratibha Vikas Yojana, even if they get directly enrolled into well-known coaching institutes, which are not empanelled with it, Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said on Tuesday. About 15,000 students have enrolled themselves under the scheme, and Physics classes for them at government-empanelled coaching institutes will begin soon, he told reporters.
The social welfare minister also reiterated that the scheme which had been halted due to COVID-19 pandemic has been made open for students of all categories, and not just belonging to SC, ST or OBC categories as envisioned earlier. The announcement comes ahead of the Delhi civic bodies elections due next year. The decision to start this scheme was taken a few years ago.
Under this scheme, meritorious students belonging to SC, ST, OBC and EWS categories, will receive free coaching from private institutes, for preparing for competitive exams. Gautam said 46 coaching institutes are empanelled with the Delhi government under the scheme.
However, certain big institutes, including well-known names in the field, did not participate in this scheme. “They did not come, even after we had requested,” the minister said. ”Hence, we made another provision. Now even if a student takes direct admission at an institute, which is not one of the empanelled ones, we will reimburse their fees,” he said.
A student, belonging to a family whose combined annual income is Rs 8 lakh or below, is eligible to apply for the Jai Bhim Chief Minister Pratibha Vikas Yojana, Gautam added. “The Delhi government works for the welfare of the people, and poverty will not be a roadblock for talent, as through this scheme, able students can achieve their dreams of qualifying for engineering, medical, law and civil services examinations to become what they aspire to,” he said.
Gautam said initially only 5,000 students were to be covered under the scheme, but it was later expanded to 15,000. ”And, I am happy to inform that about 15,000 students have enrolled under the scheme. The coaching institutes have slowly reopened, and admission process is going on, and in the next 10-15 days, classes should begin,” he said.
Gautam said another problem that was identified was that even after provision of financial assistance, it is possible that students may end up spending Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 on commuting between home and a coaching institute, which may be located far away. “Will they be able to attend a class if they do not have money? To tackle this problem, we decided to provide a stipend of Rs 2,500 per month, so that the person is able to pay for travel fares and spend the remaining money on the books and stationery,” he added.
The other eligibility criteria is that students should have passed classes 10 and 12 from schools in Delhi, and fulfil eligibility criteria for the specific competitive examination, the social welfare department later said in a statement. A list of empanelled coaching institutes along with the number of seats allotted, is available on the website of the social welfare department of the city government, it said.
Applications of the students, who apply directly at non-empanelled institutes, once received will be scrutinised by the department and all eligible students will be allowed to avail coaching from non-empanelled institutes of their choice, subject to availability of seats, the statement added.