Instead, PM Modi chose to focus on his government's developmental initiatives, both nationally and in West Bengal.
National Scheduled Castes Alliance (NSCA) has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revise the income limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh for parents of Scheduled Caste (SC) students eligible for Post-Matric Scholarship and other welfare schemes for the community.
In a letter to the PM, NSCA president Paramjit Singh Kainth on Sunday said that the income ceiling for SC families has not been revised since 2013-14 for various government schemes including the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme. The static nature of the annual income cap for parents of SC students has emerged as a significant concern, he added.
Kainth said despite the customary review, scheduled every five years by a committee within the Union government’s finance department aimed at adjusting income thresholds for government schemes, the substantial issues affecting the lives and educational opportunities of Scheduled Caste students have remained unattended for nearly a decade.
“This has led to widespread disappointment among thousands of aspirational students pursuing higher education prospects, particularly those reliant on the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme,” he added.
The NSCA said there is an urgent need to raise the income limit from the existing Rs 2,50,000 to Rs 8,00,000 annually, aligning with the prevailing economic realities faced by the underprivileged SC families.
Kainth said the current socio-economic landscape demands an urgent revaluation of income eligibility criteria to ensure inclusivity and equal access to educational opportunities for all marginalised communities.
“The disparity between the income thresholds for various backward classes and the stagnation in revisions specifically for Scheduled Castes underline a systemic issue that requires immediate attention. The absence of a proportional adjustment to accommodate the economic realities faced by SC families significantly hampers their aspirations for quality education,” he said.
The NSCA chief urged the introduction of an income ceiling resolution in the upcoming winter session of Parliament, advocating for an inclusive discussion encompassing pivotal schemes such as the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme, aimed at addressing the specific needs of the SC community.
“Urgent action on these critical issues is essential to facilitate the welfare of lakhs of students in the upcoming fiscal year,” he added