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Assam’s ‘Pragyan Bharati Scheme’Offers Free Higher Education to Underprivileged Students

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Assam’s ‘Pragyan Bharati Scheme’Offers Free Higher Education to Underprivileged Students


Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in a big initiative to make it more inclusive and further the cause of higher education, announced free admission for close to 95,000 poor students from underprivileged sections from Class 11 onwards till post graduation in all colleges and universities across Assam. The move is aimed at Empowering Students from deprived sections through the Pragyan Bharati Scheme to provide them with a pathway toward free education.Scheme Overview Under the ‘Pragyan Bharati Scheme’, Rs 68.44 crore has been discharged among 349 colleges and universities in Assam with the goal of free admission for higher secondary, undergraduate and post-graduate courses offered in arts, science and commerce streams in its institutions. The scheme, from Class 11 up to post-graduation, provides for education to all students without any financial barriers.

Eligibility Criteria and Financial Assistance Earlier, only those students whose parents’ annual income was up to Rs 2 lakh were entitled to get free admission. This year, the limit has been increased to Rs 4 lakh. Hence, more children from middleclass families are now eligible for this scheme. At the same time, colleges have also started accepting ration cards as a proof of family earnings instead of income certificates .Impact and Previous Beneficiaries. In all, 22,30,257 students benefited under the ‘Pragyan Bharati Scheme’ since its inception, and the cumulative amount disbursed is Rs 826.36 crore till last academic year itself. If we were to consider this in absolute terms, it would reveal that the government is very serious about providing access to higher education for underprivileged students.

Conclusion:Pragyan Bharati Scheme’ is the brainchild initiative by Assam to provide free higher education to underprivileged students. This is discretionary for those students who can chase academic pursuits and have no financial barrier in their academic pursuits, lent greater inclusiveness towards education. With the recent grant of the fund made and eligibility criteria expanded, almost 95,000 students get the pathway for free education in Assam.

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