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CHANDIGARH (Gurpreet):Under the Ashirwad Scheme, the Punjab Government has disbursed Rs. 39 crore to 19082 girls of economically weaker families at the time of their marriages. Giving information in this regard, the Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot said that during the year 2020 as many as 10873 girls belonging to Scheduled Castes had been given the benefit to the tune of Rs. 22 crore under Ashirwad Scheme while Rs. 17 crore was disbursed to 8209 girls from Backward Classes and economically weaker families at the time of their marriages.

The Minister pointed out that the Punjab Government under the dynamic leadership of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also notified its own new Dr. B.R. Ambedkar SC Post Matric Scholarship Scheme on October 27, 2020, which had been applicable from the academic session 2020-21. He said that the benefit of this scheme would be given to those candidates of Scheduled Castes, who passed matriculation from Punjab State and Chandigarh. Under this scheme the income limit (both of mother-father) had been enhanced from Rs. 2.50 lakh to Rs. 4 lakh. The ambit of benefit under the scheme had also been expanded to Central and State level institutes of higher education of Punjab and Chandigarh.

Mr. Dharamsot said that Rs. 309.21 crore had been received to clear the backlog of 2016-17 under the post-matric scholarship for SC Scheme discontinued by the Union Government. The distribution of the said amount was under progress, which would be accomplished soon. He also informed that the SC Land Development and Finance Corporation had given loans worth Rs. 5.59 crore to 417 beneficiaries along with subsidies under self employment schemes. Likewise, the Backward Classes Land Development and Finance Corporation provided Rs. 3.91 crore to 228 beneficiaries under self employment schemes.

The Minister said that the State Government was running three schemes in collaboration with the Union Government to extend benefit to students of minorities. These schemes are pre-matric scholarship scheme, post-matric scholarship scheme and merit-cum-means based scholarship, said the Minister adding that during 2020 benefit to the tune of Rs. 76.14 crore were extended to 4,68, 622 under pre-matric scholarship scheme while under post matric scholarship scheme 56664 students got benefit of Rs. 30.18 crore whereas under merit-cum-means based scholarship scheme as many as 2404 students received scholarships worth Rs. 6.45 crore throught DBT mode.

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