In a major decision, the BJP-led Central government has decided to stop annual scholarships to students of classes 1-8 in madrassas of Uttar Pradesh.
As many as 5 lakh students of 16558 madrassas students were given scholarships last year.
While students studying in standard 1 to standard 5 received ₹1000 per year, the amount of scholarship for students of higher classes (6-8) varies.
The order will be applicable from the current 2022-23 academic session, said officials.
However, other facilities like midday meals and free books for students will continue.
According to the government, education for students in grades one through eight is free under the Right to Education Act and the scholarship is not needed since other necessary items are given free of cost to students.
Students of classes 9 and 10 will continue to get scholarships because the government does not bear the cost of their education under the Act. “Applications of classes higher than 8 will be processed,” an official said.
The applications were submitted till November 15 and were forwarded to higher authorities.
Earlier this year, the UP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (UPSCPCR) initiated the probe over a complaint of two boys about the ill-treatment and abuse in a madrassa and recommended a survey.
Acting on the recommendations, Uttar Pradesh Madrassa Board conducted a survey of unrecognised madrassas in the state to investigate several aspects like the infrastructure, drinking water facilities, furniture, student-teacher ratio, and source of funding.
“The objective of the survey is to provide better education to children. No madrassa is bogus or illegal. The government conducts periodic surveys,” the board chairman Javed Iftikhar had said.
Iftikhar, a member of the ruling BJP, said that the survey was meant to bring positive reforms, which, he alleged, was not done by previous governments.