The entire expenditure incurred by dalit and backward class students on coaching for competitive examinations will now be borne by the Union government, according to the revised Scheme of Free Coaching for SC and OBC Students which has done away with the cap of Rs 20,000.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has revised the central sector scheme under which it will also empanel reputed coaching institutes to provide good quality coaching to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates. "The central sector scheme of Free Coaching for SC and OBC students has been revised in order to provide good quality coaching to SC and OBC candidates to enable them appear in competitive examinations and succeed in obtaining appropriate job in public or private sector.
"Earlier, the maximum ceiling of coaching fee paid to institution per candidate was Rs 20,000. Now we will fund the entire expenditure on coaching," said a senior official from the Ministry. Under the earlier procedure, Ministry would invite applications from institutions which offer coaching for competitive exams. The proposals were then considered by a committee, which would screen and shortlist them.
"Under the revised provisions, Centre would ask states and UTs to furnish proposals of at least 5 and not more than 10 coaching institutes with proven track record of success. The proposals for empanelment of coaching institutions will be considered by a Selection Committee and recommended for selection based on their past record of performance. "Reputed institutions having branches in more than one district in a state will be given preference over stand alone institutions," the official said. Besides, the monthly stipend of such aspirants has been increased from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 for local students and Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 for outstation candidates.
Students with disabilities would be eligible also for a special allowance of Rs 2,000 per month towards reader allowance, escort allowance, helper allowance etc. The grant-in-aid along with stipend will be released directly to the coaching institutes. Students belonging to SCs and OBCs categories having a total family income from all sources of Rs 6 lakh or less per annum will be eligible for benefits under the scheme. The courses for which the coaching is imparted include Group A and B examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), various Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs), Officers Grade examinations conducted by Banks, Insurance Companies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
It also includes premier entrance examinations in Engineering (IIT-JEE and AIEEE), medical (AIPMT), professional courses like Management (CAT) and Law (CLAT) along with eligibility tests like SAT, GRE, GMAT and TOEFL. The performance of the coaching institutes will be reviewed at the end of the 3rd year of empanelment based on the results of SC and OBC candidates provided coaching under the Scheme.