AICTE announces 250% increase in number of scholarships for women pursuing engineering courses 

New Delhi: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has taken a benevolent step to double the number of women scholarships this year. This step has been taken by the authority to empower and encourage women candidates to pursue technical undergraduate degrees.

The council is responsible for the regulation of technical education in India. The scholarship ‘Pragati’ has been under practice for years now.

It was designed to encourage women from economically-weak families to enter technical education. In this scheme, families with an annual income of INR 8 lakh or less are eligible to apply for this scholarship.

The scholarship offered to avid students is INR 50,000 annually. This helps the candidates to cover the college fee and other related expenses to study technical courses.

This scholarship is only provided to the female students who are pursuing pharmacy, polytechnic, engineering, and architecture courses in the institutions approved by AICTE.

Previously, the council offered scholarships to 4000 candidates. This year, it has increased the number to 10,000 starting from the session 2020-21.

In fact, it has also stated any woman student from the northeast states and J&K will be eligible to apply for monetary aids as per the scholarship scheme. The funds will be managed by the AICTE authority.

Anil Sahasrabudhe, AICTE Chairman, said that this is an attempt to urge the women aspirants in the country who want to pursue an engineering course. This is why the council has chosen to increase the number of scholarships 2.5 times.

It will surely impact the current educational infrastructure where women will participate more with the help of this aid from the government. This line of technical education generally witnesses less participation from the female candidates when compared to males.

As per the survey conducted by the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) in the year 2018-19, a staggering 28% was the count of female aspirants in the bachelor of technology courses. In fact, the number of 28.86% in bachelor of engineering courses compared to 71.14% men.

The same survey revealed that 41.67% of candidates in the MBA courses were women and the rest were men. The council has decided to bring in the authorities of the universities and institutions to find such candidates and aid in availing them of the scholarship scheme.

The council is thus conducting webinars with students and institutions to send a clear message. In fact, it is also including the schools and students of class X and XII to encourage female students. It is urging to take engineering and technical courses and seek financial aid if needed.

AICTE also provides financial aid in terms of scholarship to differently-abled students and postgraduates. As per the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) provides financial aids to students from Ladakh and J&K for non-technical courses also.

This fully-funded scholarship was introduced in 2011-12. As per the chairman, PMSSS has witnessed a huge increase in the enthusiasm among underprivileged students for the past few years.

He said that over 22,000 students registered and 18,000 applications were received. The council will offer scholarships to 5000 chosen candidates to study in different colleges in India.

As per the data from the council, the total number of submitted applications is 18,852 for the 2020-21 session. It was 14,417 last year and 14,403 the year before.

The prime objective of conducting PMSSS is to provide a brilliant structure to the J&K students for pursuing such courses. The aid coming directly from the central educational council will be very helpful. This might not have been possible for the state government to provide such aids.

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