New Delhi, July 5: The Union Budget 2019-20 of the Modi 2.0 government, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, slashed educational grant for minorities. While the government reduced budget allocation for pre-matric and post-matric scholarships for minorities, it substantially raised funds for providing free and subsidised coaching for UPSC exams to minority candidates.
In the budget, the government reduced funds allocated for educational empowerment of minority to Rs 2,362 crore from Rs 2,451 crore last year. The budget allocation for pre-matric and post-matric scholarships has been reduced from Rs 1,296 crore last year to Rs 1,220 crore this year, and from Rs 500 crore to Rs 496 crore this year, respectively. Full Highlights of Union Budget 2019.
Under the Support for students clearing prelims conducted by UPSC, SSC, State Public Service Commissions etc scheme, the government, however, increased the budget for providing free and subsidised coaching for minority candidates from Rs 8 crore last year to Rs 20 crore this year, The Print reported. Budget 2019: 10 Good News From Nirmala Sitharaman's First Financial Blueprint.
When the Modi government abolished the Haj subsidy, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had said that the saved money would be used to educate the Muslim community. Speaking to The Print, a ministry official said the reduction in budget allocation for minority education is marginal and that more funds have been allocated for other schemes meant for the betterment of minorities.
“These schemes have been operational for some time and do not need more money. We are instead focusing on persuading more Muslims to prepare for the UPSC,” the official was quoted as saying.