Former Planning Commission member writes letter to PM Modi, opposes alterations in Overseas Scholarship Schemes

Bhalchandra Mungekar, a former member of the Planning Commission, sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing the exclusion of courses related to Indian heritage, culture, and history from overseas scholarships.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 09:33 AM IST
article-image
Former Planning Commission member writes letter to PM Modi, opposes alterations in Overseas Scholarship Schemes |

Bhalchandra Mungekar, a former member of the Planning Commission, sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing the exclusion of courses related to Indian heritage, culture, and history for award of overseas scholarships for students from Scheduled Castes.

"The Social Justice Ministry's (SJM) circular disallowing students from pursuing the studies on India-related topics is highly unacademic as it would kill their natural interest and talents," Mr Mungekar, also former Rajya Sabha member, said in the letter to the Prime Minister.

The ministry had told Parliament last month that topics or courses concerning Indian Culture, Heritage, History and Social Studies will not be considered for award of scholarships from 2022-23 onwards.

The National Overseas Scholarships for students from Scheduled Castes (SC), notified, de-notified tribes and agricultural labour communities, offer 125 slots every year for pursuing higher studies in top universities abroad.

"I legitimately feel that many students would not apply and that would defeat the purpose of the scheme," Mr Mungekar said. "I therefore, sincerely request you to personally intervene in the matter and ensure that this most regressive conditions is removed forthwith," he said.

Mr Mungekar said he had handled all the scholarship schemes for these students, first as Vice-Chancellor of University of Mumbai and then as a member of the Planning Commission.

"The students have always been free to choose the topics for their studies. I am fully aware that they mainly choose India-related topics; and also within them, those relating to poverty, socio-economic inequalities, discrimination, review of central and state governments schemes for their socio-economic upliftment, among others," he said.

Mr Mungekar noted that in recent years, there is a growing trend towards studying medicine, engineering, administration, management, and other natural sciences. He also demanded the PM Modi to increase the number of overseas scholarships to at least 200.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Austrade in talks with India's top edu-cos, institutions exploring new partnerships

Austrade in talks with India's top edu-cos, institutions exploring new partnerships

CUET PG Results 2022: All you need to know

CUET PG Results 2022: All you need to know

CUET PG Results 2022: Exam scores not normalised unlike UG entrance

CUET PG Results 2022: Exam scores not normalised unlike UG entrance

Acoustic bands and BPlans emerge in IIM Indore fest

Acoustic bands and BPlans emerge in IIM Indore fest

Mumbai: Orchids-The International School dives into Quebec culture with ' La Francophone Nomade'

Mumbai: Orchids-The International School dives into Quebec culture with ' La Francophone Nomade'