ISLAMABAD: Ehsaas, the federal government’s social welfare programme, has received 122,744 applications for under-graduate scholarships.

The online scholarship portal has now been closed and scrutiny and selection of applicants will be completed in the next three months. It was opened on Sept 30 last year.

Over the last three months, 122,744 undergraduate students, including 50,048 girls and 652 transgenders, applied for the scholarships. The scholarships are granted to students of poor families, who fulfil a certain merit criteria. The need-cum-merit scholarships include tuition fee and a living stipend. All students from low-income families studying in undergraduate programmes in public sector universities were eligible to apply. Out of the total, Ehsaas will award 50,000 new scholarships to deserving students. In line with the under-graduate scholarship policy of Ehsaas, 50 per cent of scholarships will go to girls.

“With the closure of the portal, scrutiny of applications has just begun, and it is envisaged that the final selection process will be completed within the next quarter with all 135 public sector universities,” said Dr Sania Nishtar, the head of Ehsaas programme.

Dr Nishtar also urged Higher Education Commission (HEC) and all public sector universities to expedite the scrutiny and selection process with full transparency.

In the last two years, 142,000 Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships have been awarded. As part of the Ehsaas framework, 200,000 undergraduate scholarships will be awarded in the next four years.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2022

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