Bhubaneswar, Feb 13 (PTI) Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections, the Odisha government has decided to introduce the Nua-O scholarship for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Under the initiative, male students will get Rs 9,000 annually, while female students will receive Rs 10,000. Male students belonging to SC/ST and Nirman Shramik (construction worker) families will get Rs 10,000, while female students of the categories will receive Rs 11,000 annually.
Speaking to students at the 'Nu-O festival' at Jajpur on Tuesday, V K Pandian, chairperson of 5T (transformational initiative) and Nabin Odisha scheme, said that the decision in this regard was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the previous day.
The Nutana Unnata Abhilasha (NUA) Odisha scheme aims to empower youth with continuous skilling, re-skilling, and up-skilling opportunities, he said.
With a budget of Rs 385 crore for 2023-24 to 2025-26 fiscals, the scheme will cover all 30 districts, prioritising tribal and remote areas.
Pandian said that the scholarship will be available for students of undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in state universities and government and non-government aided colleges including Sanskrit colleges under the Higher Education department.
Students whose parents are Income Tax payees or are permanent government employees would not be able to avail of the scholarship, he said.
The Nua-O scholarship for the current academic year will be deposited in the bank accounts of the eligible students from February 20 onwards.
This will be a new era of student empowerment towards realising the CM's vision of 'Nabin Odisha' (New Odisha), he said.
"A corpus of Rs 300 crore will be created and by August, Nua-O magic smart cards will be given to all eligible students, through which they would be able to avail additional benefits such as bus or train travel, access free WiFi, online courses, skill development and coaching programmes," Pandian said.
Around 4.5 lakh undergraduate and 32,000 post-graduate students are expected to benefit from the Nua-O scholarship, he added.
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