Since 2014, the government has allocated a substantial budget of INR 2,300 Crore to support the education of SC (Scheduled Caste) and OBC (Other Backward Class) students. This initiative is part of the Scholarships for Higher Education for Young Achievers Scheme (SHREYAS).

This topic of “SHREYAS” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

What is SHREYAS?

SHREYAS – Scholarships for Higher Education for Young Achievers Scheme

SHREYAS, which stands for Scholarships for Higher Education for Young Achievers Scheme, is a scholarship program designed to promote quality education among SC and OBC students. It is a central sector scheme consisting of several components under its umbrella.

Components of SHREYAS

Under SHREYAS, there are four central sector sub-schemes:

  1. Top Class Education for SCs:
    • Aim: Recognizing and promoting quality education for SC students, providing full financial support for pursuing studies beyond 12th class, subject to performance.
    • Eligibility: Family income ceiling set at 8 lakhs per annum.
    • Institutions: 266 higher education institutes, including government and private institutes like IIMs, IITs, NITs, IIITs, AIIMS, etc.
    • Scholarships: Number capped at 21,500 with detailed allocation from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
    • Provisions: Full tuition fee coverage, non-refundable charges, and academic allowance.
    • Financial Data (2014-15 to 2022-23): INR 398.43 Crore allocated, benefiting 21,988 students.
  2. Free Coaching Scheme for SCs and OBCs:
    • Objective: Providing quality coaching for SCs and OBCs to prepare for competitive and entrance exams.
    • Eligibility: Family income ceiling set at 8 lakhs per annum.
    • Slot Allocation: 3500 slots annually with a 70:30 SC:OBC ratio and 30% slots reserved for females in each category.
    • Financial Data (2014-15 to 2022-23): INR 109.77 Crore allocated, benefiting 19,995 students.
  3. National Overseas Scheme for SCs:
    • Purpose: Offering financial assistance to SCs and specific categories for pursuing courses abroad.
    • Criteria: Family income, age, marks, foreign institute rank, etc.
    • Provisions: Coverage of tuition fees, maintenance, visa fees, air passage, etc.
    • Financial Data (2014-15 to 2022-23): INR 197.14 Crore allocated, benefiting 950 students.
  4. National Fellowship for SCs:
    • Aim: Providing fellowships for SC students pursuing M.Phil/Ph.D. in Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
    • Scheme Provisions: New slots per year based on NET-JRF and UGC-CSIR criteria.

How is SHREYAS Sponsored and Implemented?

SHREYAS is sponsored and implemented by multiple government ministries, including the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, and Ministry of Labour & Employment. This collaborative effort aims to empower SC and OBC students by providing them with access to quality higher education and coaching, both domestically and abroad.

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