Smriti Irani | Photo: ANI
New Delhi: The union government has decided to discontinue the Maulana Azad National Fellowship provided for research students from minority communities in India. Minority affairs minister Smriti Irani, in a written reply to a question raised by Thrissur member TN Prathapan in the Lok Sabha, said that “the Government has decided to discontinue the MANF Scheme from 2022-23.”
“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,” said the minister in a reply to the question “whether the Government has any proposal to stop any existing scholarships/fellowships for minority students and if so, the reasons therefor?”
It provides monthly stipends to students in the Muslim, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist, Christian, and Jain communities who are pursuing regular and full-time M.Phil or Ph.D. degrees. The stipend was on par with JRF.
Earlier, the government had also decided to end the pre-matric scholarship scheme for scheduled castes and tribes and OBCs from class 1-8. The reason given was that the government is obliged to provide free education up to class 8 and only class 9, 10 students would require assistance.