Financial Assistance to Needy Students for Education

A> Education Loan Scheme

The AAP Delhi Government, through its Higher Education and Skill Development Guarantee  Scheme, aims at providing financial support from the banking system, with reasonable and affordable terms and conditions, to meritorious students for pursuing higher education and for pursuing recognized degree or diploma level courses or skill development courses.

Meritorious students who have done their class X and class XII from Delhi are eligible under this scheme. This flagship scheme launched in Sep 2015 enables students to avail education loans of up to Rs. 10 lakh. These bank loans are provided guarantee by the Government, in case of default. Students are not required to furnish any collateral or margin money and the scheme is universal in nature regardless of the student’s background.

B> Merit Cum Means Linked Financial Assistance Scheme

This scholarship scheme that was launched in July 2017 is a fee waiver scheme for needy students who pursue higher studies in any of the state universities of Delhi.

Under the Merit cum Means Linked Financial Assistance Scheme, Delhi students with a minimum of 60% marks in a qualifying exam are eligible for scholarships:

  • 100% scholarship if family is a beneficiary of the National Food Security Scheme
  • 50% if family income between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh
  • 25% if family income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh

3,760 students were provided financial assistance during 2020-2021 through this scheme, as against 2,429 in 2018-2019.  (Source: Status Reports of Outcome Budgets Pg.7, 2019-2020, Pg.9, 2020-2021).

On Oct 4, 2021, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia handed over cheques for Rs 48.14 crore to 6,820 students pursuing higher education under the Delhi government’s “Merit-cum-Means” financial assistance scheme.

(Source: Tweet by Manish Sisodia)

The Delhi government gave 

  • Rs 14.16 crore to 2,429 students in 2018-19 
  • Rs 24 crore to 3,760 students in 2020-21
  • Rs 48.14 crore to 6,820 students in 2021-22 under the scheme.
  • As of Oct 2021, over 13,000 students have received benefits amounting to Rs 87 crore under the scheme.

C> Merit Scholarship

A Merit Scholarship is offered to students scoring above 80%.

(Source: Pg.30, DDC Performance Reports, 2015-2019)

D> Overseas Scholarship Scheme for Dalit students

On 31st Aug 2019, the Delhi Cabinet approved a scholarship scheme to fund higher studies of 100 Dalit students overseas each year

More details are in “Social Security and Welfare” section.

E> Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana – Free Coaching Scheme 

The AAP Govt of Delhi has introduced a free coaching scheme named “Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana”. This is to provide free coaching classes for all competitive exams like UPSC, SSC, bank and railway recruitment, JEE and NEET for the students of SC, ST, OBC and EWS category. 

More details are available in “Social Security and Welfare” section.

F> Book Bank

In Oct 2018, Delhi government took steps to set up ‘Book Banks’ in schools, keeping in mind the paper wastage in education, and to benefit its underprivileged children.

Old usable textbooks from students of all classes are collected by the schools. Books are provided to the less privileged children through the School Management Committees (SMCs).

Mid-day Meals for students (up until Covid-19 pandemic) 

The Mid Day Meal Scheme provided in schools covered more than 1,200 government schools, aided schools and STCs (Special Training Centres).

Distribution of Dry Ration kits by AAP Delhi Govt in Dec 2020, during Covid-19

As the schools shut down due to the pandemic, the Delhi government school students were not getting the mid-day meal. Most of these students come from families of lower economic strata.

To provide the midday meal the Delhi government came up with a scheme equivalent to the mid-day meal. 

The Kejriwal government provided dry ration kits to students of classes Nursery to class 10 enrolled in all government, government-aided, and MCD schools. By this scheme, the Delhi government provided dry ration to more than eight lakh students.

The dry ration kit comprised 10.425 kg of wheat and rice each, 7.713 kg of pulses and 2 litres of oil. The Akshaya Patra non-profit organisation also distributed an additional kit comprising stationery, soap, sanitary napkins, biscuits and other items. The kits cost the government Rs 4.09 per day for a primary students and Rs 6.14 per day for an upper primary student, as per DoE.

7.87 lakh students of primary and upper primary classes of govt schools benefitted under the Midday Meal Scheme during 2020-2021.  (Source: Pg.8, Status Report of Outcome Budget 2020-2021).

Admissions through EWS & DG categories into unaided schools

Admissions of EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) and DG (Disadvantaged Groups) students into Private Unaided Recognized schools of Delhi through online application and lottery is undertaken by the AAP Delhi Government. 

35,275 EWS students were admitted in Private Delhi schools under RTE Act (Right to Education Act) in 2020-2021. (Source: Pg.8, Status Report of Outcome Budget 2020-2021).

(Source: Pg. 40, DDC Performance Report, 2015-2019)

Streamlined Right to Education (RTE) Admission Process 

A tabularized data of how Delhi schools’ admission process through the RTE act has improved during Post-2015 (AAP Govt.) compared to Pre-2015 (Congress Govt.)

CriteriaPre-2015 (Congress Govt.)Post-2015 (AAP Govt.)
Admission ProcessDecentralized offline at school levelCentralized online
CorruptionRecommendations from politicians, bureaucrats and  businesses, and bribes commonEliminated human interference completely. All  admissions through computerized lottery.
Parents’  Experience1) Had to go to different schools to submit admission forms
2) Multiple days of wage loss for visit multiple schools,  stand in queues and submitting forms
3) Required documents/certificates at time of application.
1) Single admission form where parents can choose as  many schools as he/she wants
2) No wage loss as filling form is now 20 minutes process
3) Required documents only at the time of admission
Accountability &  Use of TechnologyGovernment had little idea about the number of admissions,  the identity and details of the children.Strong and robust MIS ensures all schools are geo – tagged, unique IDs assigned to all children admitted  under this provision, details captured and tracked
TransparencyLittle or no information in public domainAll information published on its website

(Source: Pg 24, DDC Performance Report, 2015-2019)

Special Training Centres for out-of-school children

Delhi Govt. set up 761 Special Training Centers (STCs) for mainstreaming of Out-of-School children to appropriate classes in regular school and, as of March 2020, 29,234 number of children have been enrolled at STCs.  (Source: Pg.6, Status report of Outcome Budget 2019-2020)

Individual Education Plans prepared for Children With Special Needs

In 2018-2019, Individual Education Plans (IEPs) in respect of all the students (11736 students) belonging to Children With Special Needs (CWSN) in government schools were prepared and implemented for individual attention. (Source: Pg.6, Status report of Outcome Budget, 2018-19)

Music Bus

India’s first Mobile Music Classroom & Recording Studio was launched on 18 September, 2021 in a School of Specialised Excellence. 

As part of the Music Bus project, a bus equipped with an in-built studio and other facilities reaches out to government school students across the city, and children from economically weaker sections, to encourage them to learn audio production, graphic designing and filmmaking.

The bus has a studio and imparts training in Audio and film production as well as graphic designing to school students, thereby helping them pursue their passion.The bus aims to reach 5000 children.

Controlling Fee Hikes in Private Schools

After coming to power in 2015, the AAP Delhi Government has not allowed any arbitrary hike in school fees of private schools. They have often forced schools to return the fees to the parents. 
When warnings to private schools have had no effect, the AAP Govt has even gone to the extent of cancelling the recognition of such schools, e.g. Bal Bharti School in Pitampura.

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OT Editor