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SCHOOL VOUCHER FOR GIRLS

400 girls from underprivileged community in North East Delhi were awarded vouchers worth upto Rs. 3700 per year
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Home > Campaigns > Policy Campaign > Vouchers, CCT and Scholarships

 

Vouchers, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and Scholarships

For the inclusion of marginalized groups in to the mainstream of education, we suggest a three-pronged approach of Vouchers, Conditional Cash Transfer and Scholarships. Vouchers are non-transferable, securitized monetary instruments that allow the recipient to pay fees at a chosen institution instead of money. Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) model involves the deposit of money directly to the recipient (intended beneficiary/ household) upon fulfillment of previously agreed conditions. Successful school voucher and CCT models have been piloted around the world. Scholarships, along with vouchers and CCT models, can be used to effectively target and deliver quality education to disadvantaged groups.

The School Choice Campaign, through the Delhi Voucher Project, provided vouchers for 408 students belonging to the lowest (category D and category E) socio-economic groups. Similarly, the School Vouchers for Girls pilot project has targeted and provided vouchers to girls from economically weaker urban backgrounds hailing from minority communities. Based on these experiences and keeping in mind the potential of vouchers to empower and enable historically disadvantaged groups to avail quality educational opportunities, we propose three innovative voucher schemes:


1. Urban Muslim Girl Voucher Scheme

Traditional discriminatory practices and socio-economic inequalities have combined to barricade the provision of equitable opportunities for girls belonging to minority communities. To encourage and incentivise them to gain secondary education, the Government should offer school vouchers. The scheme may be targeted at Muslim girls from the twenty five most populous cities (population greater than 15 lakh people), whose annual parental income is less than Rs 2 lakhs, to enrol in secondary school, at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 per annum for each student. Such a scheme would complement the ‘Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan’ and allow Muslim girls to attend aspirational schools of their choice, which may be empanelled by the Government or recognized by the State/ Local authority. The preliminary awareness and successful implementation of this scheme could be done with the co-ordination of Department of Minority Affairs.

2. National SC/ ST Reimbursement Scheme

The Delhi Government has pioneered a scheme under which the class fees and other compulsory fees for any qualified SC/ ST child are reimbursed by the Government. To qualify, the annual family income must be below Rs 1 lakh and the student must attain marks more than 50% and attendance of at least 80% in previous year. The scheme could be rolled to all parts of the country with District Collectors, Corporation Commissioners or similar high-level bureaucrats as implementing authorities in charge of disbursing funds. Parents will be required to enrol their children only in recognized schools and produce fee receipts to avail this scheme.

3. Special Needs Children Education Scheme

The Central Advisory Board on Education Committee report on the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (hereafter, RTE) bill notes that 2.7% of children are disabled and 0.3% to be severely disabled. It suggests an amount of Rs 50,000 to meet the educational costs of those children falling under the latter category.

The RTE bill provides ‘that a child suffering from disability, as defined in Clause (i) of Section 2 of the Persons with Disabilities Act (hereafter, PDA) 1996, shall have the right to pursue free and compulsory elementary education in accordance with the provisions of Chapter V of the said Act.’ Chapter V of the PDA, under Clause (a) Section 30, requires the appropriate Government to make provision for ‘transport facilities to the children with disabilities or in the alternative financial incentives to parents or guardians to enable their children with disabilities to attend schools.’

Based on the above commitments to provide equitable opportunities for the children with special needs, the Government should make available vouchers worth Rs 50,000 per annum to meet all education related expenses of disabled children whose annual parental income is less than Rs 5 lakhs. This would allow children with disabilities to attend schools where the best facilities and care is provided for them.

Many Conditional Cash Transfer schemes are currently being utilized by the Central and State governments to incentivise and influence poor and disadvantaged households to achieve certain goals. For example, CCT schemes have been used to tackle the problem of female foeticide and high drop-out rate of the girl child:

Dhanalakshmi, a conditional cash transfer scheme for girl child with insurance cover, was launched as a pilot project in March 2008 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. The scheme is aimed at providing a set of staggered financial incentives for families to encourage them to retain the girl child and educate her. The scheme provides cash transfers to the family of girl child on fulfilling certain specific conditions such as birth and registration, immunization, enrolment and retention and remains unmarried at the age of 18 years. The scheme is being implemented in 11 blocks across seven states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab). Nearly 80,000 girls are expected to benefit from this scheme in the year 2008-2009. Rs 10 Crore has been allocated for this scheme in the upcoming year (2009 – 2010).

Balika Samridhi Yojana scheme deposits money first at birth and then after successfully completing every year of schooling up to Class X. The scheme was initiated in 1997 (and recast in 1999) by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, and provides for periodic cash transfers to the girl child at various stages of her life beginning with birth when a post delivery grant of Rs.500 is given to the mother for a surviving girl child. This is followed with annual scholarships at various stages of their education. The scholarship is available to the girl child as long as she is unmarried and attends school regularly.

The Laadli scheme implemented by the Delhi and Haryana Governments provides cash incentives to girl children, transferred directly to their bank accounts, upon birth and attainment of various levels of education. Under this program, the Government deposits Rs.10, 000 in the name of girl child at time of her birth and subsequently deposits an amount of Rs.5000 each at the time of her admission to Class I, VI, IX, X and XII. An accumulated amount of approximately Rs.1 lakh becomes eligible to girl child on attaining the age of 18 years and at least passing out 10th standard.

4. Scholarships

Scholarships offer one pathway for qualified students to complete education and provide incentives for high academic performances. Scholarships, offered by Central and State Governments, target different socio-economic groups and provide them cash incentives from Class 1 to Ph D level study.

The comparison table given below lists all the different scholarships according to the scope of study, and contains information on eligibility criteria and scholarship benefits. For more information on any of the scholarships, please follow the links provided.

Scholarships offered by the Central Government

All scholarships listed here are provided by the Government of India to its citizens. They are categorized on the basis of the level of study starting from school education, vocational and technical education up to higher education. Schemes sponsored by the Central Government to assist students in preparing for exams are also presented here.

A. School Education (pre-matric, secondary, higher secondary)
B. Vocational and Technical Education
C. Higher Education (graduation and post-graduation)
D. Competitive Exam Coaching

If you know of any other scholarship opportunities provided by the Government of India, then suggest by emailing us.

Scholarships offered by state governments

This section is a library of information on academic scholarships announced/provided by the various State Governments to its citizens. The scholarships listed here cover studies from Class 1 up to Ph D within the state.

If you know of any other scholarship opportunities provided by the Government of STATE, then suggest by emailing us.

  1. Bihar
  2. Delhi
  3. Himachal Pradesh
  4. Jharkhand
  5. Karnataka
  6. Kerala
  7. Manipur
  8. Meghalaya
  9. Orissa

 

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