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CM scheme for farmers' wards on track

Shastry V Mallady

Farmers' Social Security Scheme to benefit college students in six districts

MADURAI: The process of distributing education scholarships to students under the Chief Minister's Farmers' Social Security Scheme has taken off in Madurai region with colleges identifying beneficiary-students.

Students of 53 government/aided colleges in six southern districts (Madurai, Theni, Virudhunagar, Dindigul, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram) will benefit from the scheme.

Children of all registered farmers studying under-graduate and post-graduate courses (and not receiving any other scholarship) would benefit from the new annual scholarship scheme announced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on August 15.

With the Madurai region being allotted Rs.50 lakhs, the Joint Directorate of Collegiate Education has asked the colleges to take immediate steps to implement the scheme.

Particulars of students have to be submitted by colleges soon and after processing disbursement will commence in the first week of November.

The Joint Director of Collegiate Education, R. Syed Abdul Hameed, said the scheme would be a good opportunity for farmers' wards to pursue higher education, and the allotted amount for the region was "very good."

He said students of 42 aided and 11 government colleges would get the scholarship irrespective of the caste to which they belonged. Even forward castes are covered in the scheme.

Eligibility

Explaining the eligibility guidelines for receiving the scholarship, Mr. Hameed said only one child in a farmer's family would get the scholarship. The money would be disbursed for both day-scholars and hostellers. The amount fixed for bachelor degree is Rs.1,500 for boys and Rs.2,000 for girls. Boys staying in college hostels will receive Rs.1,750, and girls Rs.2,250 per year.

For post-graduate students, the scholarship for day-scholars is Rs.2,000 (boys) and Rs.2,500 (girls). PG students residing in hostels will get Rs.3,000 (boys) and Rs.3,500 (girls).

Mr. Hameed said students could opt for this scholarship or other scholarships already in vogue. The only condition was that a student should not be receiving any other government scholarship if he wanted to opt for this scheme.

College principals must send the proposals to the Joint Directorate of Collegiate Education and get the sanction order after the applications were processed. Colleges could use the scholarship towards tuition and other fees. Farmers can get registered through the village administrative officer concerned.

The general secretary of College Principals' Association, G. Thiruvasagam, while welcoming the new scholarship scheme, said colleges in rural areas would find the scheme very useful.

"The association is cooperating with the department by making the colleges furnish all particulars of eligible students," he said.

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