Desh Ki BaatForeign Affairs

Centre halted the Maulana Azad fellowship program for the minorities

The five-year Maulana Azad fellowship program provided by the centre in the form of Financial aid to minority communities has come to an end

The centre announced on Thursday to stop the Maulana Azad national fellowship (MANF) for students, a scholarship which was launched during the UPA regime as part of implementing the Sachar Committee recommendations.

Union minister Smriti Irani stated that it overlaps with other similar scholarships

Addressing the Lok Sabha, Union Minister Smriti Irani said, “The MANF scheme was implemented by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and as per the data provided by UGC. 6,722 candidates were selected under the scheme between 2014-15 and 2021-22 and fellowships to the tune of ₹ 738.85 crores were distributed during the same period.”

“Since the MANF scheme overlaps with various other fellowship schemes for higher education being implemented by the Government and minority students are already covered under such schemes, hence the government has decided to discontinue the MANF Scheme from 2022-23,” Irani said.

“while reacting on the development MP Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted:”

What is the Maulana Azad Fellowship Program?

The Maulana Azad scholarship is a 5-year fellowship-funded program that was launched in 2009 and formulated and funded by the Ministry of Minority Affairs. The scheme was open to Muslim, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist, Christian & Jain students pursuing higher studies. The scheme covers all universities and institutions recognised by the University Grants Commission. The degrees included regular and full-time M.Phil and PhD degrees in Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences and Engineering & Technology.

‘MP TN Prathan’ highlighted this issue once again in the Lok Sabha. On Friday, Prathapan brought up the subject in the Lok Sabha, calling the action anti-minority and claiming that it will prevent thousands of aspiring researchers from working on their projects.

All universities and institutes recognised by the University Grants Commission are covered by the fellowship (UGC). A student receives INR 31,000 per month for the first two years of the fellowship and INR 35,000 for the remaining two years. Thus, the scholarship and its contingency fund total over INR 2.2 million over the course of five years, which is a fortune for the majority of Indian households.

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