SKOCH Award Nominee
Category: Education – State Department
Sub-Category: subEducation – State Department
Project: Aikyashree Scholarship
Start Date: 2019-06-21
Organisation: Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education Department
Respondent: Mr Shakil Ahmed, Special Secretary to the Government of West Bengal
Educational Inclusion of Minority Students
‘Aikyashree’ Scholarship Scheme was conceived and launched by the Government of West Bengal in the year 2019-20, to address the growing aspiration for education in the minority communities of the state especially, poor and meritorious students.
The NSP scheme covered only 16 lakh students because of the inter-state quota for each state. Thus, leaving a huge gap between the number of applications and sanctioned scholarships. There was a need for coverage of all eligible minority students under scholarships to prevent the dropout of students from the educational institutions.
A portal ‘Aikyashree’ is developed for making applications, verifying, and sanctioning the scholarship. Within the portal, a window is provided wherein the applicants can put up their grievances and get them resolved. Also, training and outreach programs are organized for different stakeholders e.g., institutions, student groups, panchayat functionaries, district, and block-level officials.
Around 118.59 lakhs of scholarships amounting to Rs 2172 crores were disbursed in just three years. All the minority students who were eligible for the Aikyashree scholarship are covered under the scheme. The scholarship amount has helped the students to continue their studies, especially for professional and higher education courses, reducing the school dropout rates.
Making the project popular against other existing scholarship schemes for minorities was an issue.
The portal is designed and developed in such a way that more than 3 lakh students can file applications in a day without any hindrance. The portal has integrated and updated the payment process through the IFMS system of the Finance department.
The department plans to integrate the Aikyashree portal with the Banglarsiksha portal to utilize the database of the students of all educational institutions in West Bengal.
The project has created a ripple effect, the knowledge and employability of the students are being enhanced, thus leading to the socio-economic development of the minorities
For more information, please contact:
Mr Shakil Ahmed, Special Secretary to the Government of West Bengal at firstname.lastname@example.org
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