The government is offering students from minority communities free coaching for admission in various technical and professional courses like IT and business management.
The other courses included in the scheme under the Prime Minister's 15-Point Programme for the welfare of minorities in India are medical, engineering and law, states the plan document of the ministry of minority affairs. The scheme also covers competitive examinations for recruitment to government posts, including police, security forces, public sector undertakings, railways, banks and insurance companies.
According to the ministry, the government has invited proposals from private institutes to conduct the coaching. The selected centres would be given a grant permissible under the scheme. "The scheme aims to empower the minority communities, which are relatively disadvantaged section of society, by assisting them as well as those institutions working for them, towards enhancing their skills and capabilities to make them employable in industries, services and business sectors in addition to the government sector," according to the plan document.
This is being done keeping in view the "market dynamics on a continuous basis so that the target groups are not deprived of the professional acumen demanded by the changing market needs and opportunities for employment at domestic as well as international levels".
All institutes in the government sector, including universities and autonomous bodies, engaged in coaching and training activities can apply for the scheme. Besides, private universities and colleges, including deemed universities, can also apply. Candidates who seek coaching at selected centres should have secured the requisite marks in the qualifying examination. Only candidates belonging to the minority communities with a total family income from all sources not exceeding Rs 2.50 lakh per annum will be eligible.
Benefits of coaching/training under the scheme can be availed by a particular student once only, irrespective of the number of chances he or she may be entitled to in a particular competitive examination. The last date for submitting the proposals by institutes is May 31.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched the minority welfare programme in 2006 covering 15 aspects for immediate action. This is commonly known as the Prime Minister's 15-Point Programme that includes enhancing opportunities for education.