Ministry of Tribal Affairs: Increase Funding & Double the Seats for Overseas Scholarships

Ministry of Tribal Affairs: Increase Funding & Double the Seats for Overseas Scholarships

September 15, 2022
Petition to
Hon'ble Minister, Ministry of Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda
Signatures: 2,211Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Imagine getting into the global university of your dreams and then having to give up your seat because of a lack of finances. While those from privileged backgrounds with the right networks might turn to crowdfunding, for many hardworking others, this turns out to be the end of their story

I am a Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and a Professor at an Indian University. Many of my students not only dream of but also secure a seat in prestigious foreign universities each year; a feat achieved by tribal students after surpassing many societal and structural barriers. A majority of them are forced to give up on their dreams and back down, only because the very system that is supposed to help them thrive is failing them

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MOTA) set up The National Overseas Scholarship for Scheduled Tribes (NOS-ST), to enable tribal students to study abroad-an opportunity that every young person in the country must have regardless of their social or financial status. Sadly not only does this scheme fail to provide that opportunity, but it also represents how little we are investing in empowering our country's youth, especially those from marginalized communities. 

The scholarship scheme is engulfed in a myriad of issues

- The Ministry awards only 20 scholarships each year. A number, highly disproportionate to the tribal population in India, and way below demand. Shockingly, in many years, even these 20 scholarships have not been fully utilized. The high rejection rate is alarming.

-The budget allocated to this scheme is highly insufficient, which too has mostly remained underutilized for most years. Only a dismal amount of 2 crores is allocated to inadequately cover the expenses of the scheme.

-The flawed family income limit (6 lakhs p.a) denies many deserving candidates the opportunity even apply for the scholarship. It is wrongly assumed that a family income above 6L will suffice for a student who wants to study abroad. 

-The panel in charge of the selection is not diverse enough. Interviewers from upper castes dominate the committee, raising questions about discrimination.

These problems, among many others, point to a simple truth - This scheme urgently needs a rehaul. Students from tribal communities are already working against all odds to reach where they aspire to be. They cannot yet again, be defeated by the system in a country whose President is a trial woman.

Sign this petition and ask the President of India and the MOTA to,

- Increase the budgetary allocation for this scholarship

- Double the number of scholarships being offered

- Instate a 50% reservation for women in the selection panel as well as the  scholarships awarded each year to ensure gender equality.

-Increase the income limit for tribal students to apply

-Include more ST candidates from different tribes in the screening committee

-Make the application process transparent and discrimination-free. 

Sign and share this petition so that all young people in this country receive the support that they deserve to make our country proud. Let the authorities know that citizens are collectively demanding and expecting change to happen.

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Signatures: 2,211Next Goal: 2,500
Support now