Govt sets target for Kanya Vidya Dhan beneficiaries: 54% minorities, SC/STs

In order to ensure that the Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme benefits girls from minorities and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the state government has fixed the number of beneficiaries from these communities in all districts.

Under the scheme, girls from poor families will be given financial assistance of Rs 30,000 on passing Class XII for pursuing higher education. However, the criteria adopted for fixing the targets are not clear. Also, the targets are not a uniform percentage of total beneficiaries.

For example, in Rampur, the home district of Minority Welfare Minister Azam Khan, 636 beneficiaries (44 per cent) of a total of 1,433 will be minorities. In Moradabad, they will be 38 per cent, in Bijnor and Muzaffarnagar 33 per cent, in Saharanpur 31 per cent, in Bareilly 30 per cent, Meerut 27 per cent and Lucknow 16 per cent.

However, of the 1.35 lakh girls who will benefit this year, 20,118 (14.8 per cent) will be minorities and 53,811 (39.7 per cent) SC and STs. Therefore, the beneficiaries from these two categories will account for around 54.5 per cent of the total.

Asked if this did not amount to more than 50 per cent reservation, which is prohibited by the government, Secondary Education Secretary Partha Sarthi Sensharma said, "The state government has fixed targets for beneficiaries from SC/STs and minorities, this has no connection with the cap of 50 per cent reservation applicable in jobs."

The targets have been fixed in an order issued on September 17, just three days before the deadline for receiving applications ended on Thursday. The district inspectors of schools (DIOS) have been assigned the task to receive the applications and shortlist the beneficiaries in ascending order of income of their families.

Although the figures from all districts are not available, sources said that in some of the districts the number of applicants from the minority communities may fall short of the target.

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