Daily Archive: August 3, 2017

Financial Assistance to Economically Backward Classes Children

For empowerment of Economically Backward Classes (EBCs), following two Schemes are being implemented from 2014-15 by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment:

  1. Dr Ambedkar Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Post-Matric Scholarship for Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) Students.
  2. Dr Ambedkar Central Sector Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies for the Students belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Economically Backward Classes (EBCs). 

Brief of the Schemes for Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) students 

Dr.Ambedkar Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Post-Matric Scholarship for Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) students

This is a centrally sponsored scheme being implemented through the State Government and Union Territories. The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to the EBC students studying at post-matriculation or post-secondary stage. The income ceiling of parents/guardians for eligibility is Rs.1.00 lakh per annum (including self-income, if employed).

The rates under different Post-Matric Courses range between Rs. 750 per month and Rs. 260 per month for hostellers. For the day scholars the range is Rs. 350 to Rs. 160.  Scholarship also include study tour charges @ Rs. 900 per annum (subject to actual expenditure), Thesis typing and printing charges @ Rs. 1000 (maximum), Book allowance for correspondence course @ Rs. 900 per annum and Reader charges for blind students in the range between Rs. 90 p.m. to Rs. 175 p.m.  

Dr.AmbedkarCentral Sector Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies for the Students belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) :

The objective of the scheme is to award interest subsidy to meritorious OBC and EBC students so as to provide them better opportunities for higher education abroad and enhance their employability.

To be eligible under the scheme, a student should come under the income ceiling of Rs. 3.00 lakh per annum for OBCs and Rs. 1.00 lakh for EBCs. 50 % of the outlay every year is earmarked for Girl students.

The students should have secured admission in the approved courses at Masters, M.Phil. or Ph.D. levels abroad. He/she should have availed loan from a scheduled bank under the Education Loan Scheme of the Indian Banks Association (IBA) for the purpose.

Under the scheme, interest payable by the students availing the education loans of the IBA for the period of moratorium (i.e. course period, plus one year or six months after getting job, whichever is earlier) as prescribed under the Education Loan Scheme of the IBA, shall be borne by the Government of India. After the period of moratorium is over, the interest on the outstanding loan amount shall be paid by the student, in accordance with the existing Educational Loan Scheme as may be amended from time to time. The candidate will bear the Principal instalments and interest beyond moratorium period.

This information was given by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

Quality of higher education

(a) : To ensure quality education to be imparted in All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE) approved institutions, AICTE has set norms and standards to regulate the technical education by way of grant of approval for conducting courses and renewal of the same. In consonance with the provision of the University Grant Commission(UGC) (Establishment of and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities) Regulations, 2003, the UGC has already conducted on the spot inspection of 159 out of 278 Private Universities to assess whether the Private Universities are fulfilling the minimum criteria in terms of programmes, faculty, infrastructural facilities, financial viability, etc., as laid down from time to time by the UGC and other concerned statutory bodies/councils. Copy of the UGC visiting committee report is sent to the concerned Private University to submit compliance in respect of the suggestions given by the UGC Committee. The report of the visiting committee alongwith the compliance submitted by the University is placed before a Committee of the Members of the Commission for consideration. The recommendations of this Committee are placed before the Commission to take final decision in the matter. As such, UGC is taking all the necessary steps to ensure quality of education in Universities.

(b) : There is not a single Indian educational institution in the top 20 world class institutions, as per various world rankings. To increase investments in the infrastructure of higher educational institutions, the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) has been set up with an initial capital base of Rs. 300 crores. The HEFA has been incorporated as a Section 8 Company under the Company Act, 2013 and would mobilize debt/Bond funds from the market to finance improvement in infrastructure and research facilities in the higher educational institutions. The loans would be serviced through the internal accruals of the institutions.

This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

Quality of education in rural areas

(a) & (b) : PRATHAM, a non-governmental organization conducted the annual achievement surveys released in the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER). It is a household survey, limited to rural areas of the country. The Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development was not associated with this ASER – 2016 survey.

(c) & (d) : The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 lays down the duties of the appropriate Government and the local authority to ensure that good quality elementary education conforming to norms and standards is provided, curriculum and courses of study are prescribed in a timely manner, and teachers are trained. In order to focus on quality education, the Central RTE Rules have been amended on 20th February, 2017 to include reference on class-wise, subject-wise Learning Outcomes. The Learning Outcomes for each class in Languages (Hindi, English and Urdu), Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Science and Social Science up to the elementary stage have, accordingly, been finalized and shared with all States and UTs. These would serve as a guideline for States and UTs to ensure that all children acquire appropriate learning level.

Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Sarva Shiskha Abhiyan (SSA), the State Governments and UT Administrations are supported on several interventions to improve teaching standards, including regular in-service teachers’ training, induction training for newly recruited teachers, training of all untrained teachers to acquire professional qualifications through Open Distance Learning (ODL) mode, recruitment of additional teachers for improving pupil-teacher ratios, academic support for teachers through block and cluster resource centres, continuous and comprehensive evaluation system to equip the teacher to measure pupil performance and provide remedial action wherever required, and teacher and school grants for development of appropriate teaching-learning materials, etc.

This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Shri Upendra Kushwaha today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

Inclusion of castes in Scheduled Caste List

Scheduled Castes are specified under the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution of India. Government has laid down Modalities for deciding claims for inclusion in, exclusion from and other modifications in the list of Scheduled Castes. As per the extant modalities only such proposals of the State Governments/ Union territory Administrations, which have been agreed to both by the Registrar General of India and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, are processed further for amending legislation as stipulated in clause (2) of Article 341 of the Constitution of India. The criteria for inclusion of a caste in the list of Scheduled Castes is extreme social, educational and economic backwardness arising out of traditional practice of untouchability. During the last three years and current year proposal of Are Katika, Katika caste has been received from the State of Telengana. No proposal has been received from the State of Andhra Pradesh in the aforesaid period.

This information was given by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Vijay Sampla in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

Global #Crudeoil price of Indian Basket was US$ 50.83 per bbl on 02.08.2017

The international crude oil price of Indian Basket as computed/published today by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was US$ 50.83 per barrel (bbl) on 02.08.2017. This was lower than the price of US$ 51.24 per bbl on previous publishing day of 01.08.2017.

In rupee terms, the price of Indian Basket decreased to Rs. 3256.36 per bbl on 02.08.2017 as compared to Rs. 3282.97 per bbl on 01.08.2017. Rupee closed unchanged at Rs. 64.07 per US$ on 02.08.2017 as compared to 01.08.2017. The table below gives details in this regard:

Particulars Unit Price on August 02, 2017 Previous trading day i.e. (01.08.2017)
Crude Oil (Indian Basket) ($/bbl) 50.83               (51.24)
(Rs/bbl) 3256.36           (3282.97)
Exchange Rate (Rs/$) 64.07               (64.07)


IRCTC Extends ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ Feature To Tatkal Tickets; Avail This Feature In 3 Steps

In May this year, IRCTC launched a much-needed feature called ‘Book Now, Pay Later’, for general reservations. Under this scheme, passengers can book their tickets and get them delivered instantly, but can make the payment within 14 days.

In fact, the passengers can club several ticket bookings, and then pay them together after two weeks.

This same scheme has now been extended to Tatkal passengers, who needed it most; but the payment options have been limited, and requirement of Aadhaar/PAN Card has been made mandatory.

Along with that, IRCTC will also allow doorstep delivery of tickets, when the booking has been paid via cash, credit card or debit card.

Around 1.3 lakh Tatkal tickets are booked daily, and this will surely provide a huge relief to them.

Normally, Tatkal quota tickets are exhausted within minutes of the opening hours (10 AM for AC tickets and 12 PM for non-AC tickets).

Several times it has been seen that the amount is deducted from the bank account, but the ticket is not booked, due to heavy traffic and related technical issues.

This problem can be solved now with book now and pay later scheme. Passengers can now lock their seats, and confirm the booking, while the payment can be made later.

IRCTC payment provider Anduril Technologies would be executing this scheme, based on the payment history and other factors of the passenger.

Anurag Bajpai, CEO said, “Pay on delivery for Tatkal tickets is going to be a huge benefit to for millions of train travellers who need to book under the Tatkal quota.

Aadhaar Card or PAN card is must for availing this offer.

This feature has been rolled out across 600 towns, covering 4500 pin codes.