An evaluation study of the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme NMMS conducted by National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) in 2017 states that the scheme has a positive impact.
The data reveals that about 70.1 % beneficiary students are unable to continue their studies without this scholarship and students are very conscientious about their studies as well as the need to perform well after qualifying in NMMS Scheme.
They register better performance in Class IX, X, XI and XII in order to continue getting the scholarship for four consecutive years. Heads of all the institutions disclosed that the NMMS Scheme has reduced the drop-out rate at the secondary and senior secondary classes, particularly from Classes VIII to XII. Exact number of students can not be produced because the details regarding number of students who discontinued education after availing the scholarship is not maintained centrally.
The Central Sector Scheme ‘National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme’ (NMMSS) is being implemented since 2008 with the objective to award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at class VIII and encourage them to continue the study at secondary stage. Under the Scheme one lakh fresh scholarships @ of Rs.12000/- per annum per student are awarded to selected students of class IX every year and their continuation/renewal in classes X to XII for study in a State Government, Government-aided and Local body schools. There is a separate quota of scholarships for each State/UT. The selection of students for award of scholarships under the scheme is made through an examination conducted by the States/UTs Governments. As on date approx 16.93 lakh scholarships have been sanctioned to the Students across the country.
The scheme is boarded on National Scholarship Portal (NSP) since 2015-16. The NSP has been developed by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) for streamlining and fast tracking the release of Scholarships across Ministries / Departments with efficiency, transparency and reliability. The eligible students from different States/UTs register themselves on NSP.
The Scheme was evaluated by the National Institute of Planning and Administration (NIEPA). As per the evaluation study report, the scheme helped poor families in sending their meritorious children for secondary and senior secondary education and has therefore recommended for increasing the scholarship amount from Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1000/- per month for class IX and class X students and Rs. 1500/- per month for Class XI and XII students to make the scheme more attractive and effective. Accordingly, with the approval of Expenditure Finance Committee the rate of scholarship has been enhanced from Rs. 6000/- to Rs. 12000/- per annum with effect from 1st April, 2017.
This information was given by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.