ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will formally launch Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) much ambitious scholarship programme for deserving undergraduate students on Monday (today) by distributing scholarships among over 50,000 students.
The scholarships will be given under the Ehsaas Graduate Programme which will provide a total of over 200,000 scholarships to students in the country in four years.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the programme is a historic shift in the government’s scholarship policy as in the past, scholarships used to be given only to those students who were doing masters or PhDs, but this programme of the PTI government has targeted the students who are under graduate. The need and merit-based scholarships will cover tuition fee and would given stipend to students.
Among beneficiaries of this scholarship scheme, half are girls hailing from the low-income group and two per cent scholarships have been reserved for students with special needs.
PM to launch scheme for undergraduates today
Around 50,000 students shortlisted from all public sector universities across the country during the year 2019-20 would be awarded scholarships under the government’s anti-poverty Ehsaas Programme.
The objective of Ehsaas scholarships programme is to ensure that no eligible student is deprived of higher education because of financial need as students with family income of less than Rs45,000 and doing graduation in 119 public sector universities recognised by HEC are eligible to apply under the programme.
After the announcement of the programme a couple of months ago, the Higher Education Commissions (HEC) had received 132,192 applications of undergraduate students, including 49,841 girls for academic year 2019-20 in the first phase of the project.
Subsequently, the universities scholarship award committees made provisional decisions based on applications and documents received and recommended them for ratification by the programme steering committee.
The provisional decisions were confirmed after formal ratification as well as the follow-up scrutiny, including income verification, verification of supporting documents, and personal interviews by the scholarship award committee.
The 2019-20 scholarships will be renewed automatically until the date of graduation of the recipients, provided they maintain a high GPA score. New applications will be invited in June 2020 from students who will be applying for admissions to universities for graduation.
The project is being overseen by the Ehsaas Scholarships Steering Committee, co-chaired by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar and HEC chairman.
As part of this shared initiative, a joint monitoring and evaluation framework has been set up to ensure that the programme is running in a transparent, equitable and accountable manner. The monitoring and evaluation system reports directly to the Ehsaas Scholarship Steering Committee.
In a statement, Dr Sania Nishtar said that Pakistan had one of the youngest populations in the world and the government could not afford to waste the demographic dividend that was a key to building a strong and sustainable economy.
“By offering these Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships to the deserving best and brightest minds across the country we are enriching the Pakistani workforce, encouraging diversity across all our professions and investing in leaders of tomorrow,” she added.
She said that with 50 per cent girls inclusion in these scholarships, Pakistan would also benefit from measures in this programme to tackle gender discrimination in education, which negatively impacted the nation’s health and economic growth.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2020