Ranchi: Students in Jharkhand have failed to draw benefits from the ‘National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship’ provided by the Central government as they failed to attain the cut-off percentage required to qualify in the test.

As per the norms established by the Central government, the candidates from general and OBC categories appearing for scholarship test are required to secure a minimum of 40 percent marks whereas the SC and ST categories need to get 35 percent marks. 
As the students could not attain the minimum percentage required to qualify for the 5,326 scholarships, the state government sent back Rs 14.37 crore grant provided by the Centre for the purpose.

Only 547 out of 3,140 students of government and private schools who had applied for the scholarships were found eligible by the Jharkhand Academic Council in 2011-12. Also, 1,057 scholarships in 2008-09 and 1,391 in 2009-10 were sent back to the Centre.

Under the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship, Class IX students appear for the examination in which they have to answer objective type questions. Selected students are provided Rs 6,000 per annum up to Class XII.

However, there is an extreme lack of awareness among the parents and students regarding the scholarship due to which poor children are unable to appear for the examination. Neither the state nor the union government have taken any step to promote the scheme.

The quality of education in the schools is not equating with the standard, therefore the students fail to qualify in the test.