December 14, 2022
Md Nadimul Haque made a Special Mention to request the government to withdraw its decision to discontinue the Maulana Azad National Fellowship
Sir, I rise today to request the Government to withdraw its decision to discontinue the Maulana Azad National Fellowship. The Fellowship provided financial assistance to 6,722 students from six notified minority communities pursuing regular and full-time doctorate programmes between 2014-15 and 2021-22. The Union Minister stated that the scheme overlaps with various other fellowship schemes and minority students are already covered under such schemes. However, the point to note is that only the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for SC/STs, the National Fellowship for OBCs, and the National Fellowship for Persons with Disabilities are available to minority communities as of today. Now, if the MANF overlaps with them, my concern is, how are the above schemes covering all the six notified minority communities are under its ambit, and if at all the Government is considering increasing the seats under them. Moreover, the Government has restricted the Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme to students of Class IX and X, which earlier covered classes from one to ten. In contrast, I would like to mention that the Government of West Bengal operates the Aikyashree Scholarship which runs for West Bengal minority students end-to-end from Class I to Ph.D. level. By discontinuing the MANF, the number of scholarships offered to minority students will decrease and the students will be discouraged to pursue higher education because of reduced opportunities, adding to the already high dropout rates in schools and the grim number of students in universities. Hence, I urge upon the Government to stop this injustice and bring back the Fellowship. Thank you, Sir.