The Centre has approved the continuation of the Central Sector National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS) over the 15th Finance Commission cycle for a period of five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
It has been approved with a financial outlay of one thousand 827 crore rupees with minor modifications in eligibility criteria such as increasing income ceiling from 1.5 lakh rupees per annum to 3.5 lakh rupees per annum and revising the renewal criteria under the scheme.
It is proposed to disburse scholarships to 14.76 lakh students. The objective of the scheme is to award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop-out at class 8th and encourage them to continue their education at the secondary stage.
One lakh fresh scholarships of 12 thousand rupees per student are awarded to the selected students of class 9th every year and their continuation or renewal in classes 10th to 12th for study in State Government, Government-aided and Local body schools under the scheme. Students are selected for award of scholarships through an examination conducted by the State and Union Territory Governments.
This is a continuing scheme and since the launch of the scheme in 2008-09, over 22 lakh scholarships have been sanctioned till 2020-21 involving an expenditure of around one thousand 783 crore rupees.