Nagpur: Maharashtra government was considering extending financial assistance to poor students belonging to upper castes, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil said here today.
"The issue has been discussed with Chief Minister and thus Maharashtra will be the first state to cover the economically backword students from upper castes, including Brahmins", Patil told reporters.
He said these students would be treated on par with the ST, SC, BC and OBC students receiving government scholarships.
This step will go a long way in arresting the percentage of dropouts on one hand and enhance the rate of literacy in the country among other states. Maharashtra with 77 per cent literacy is second after Kerala, Patil added.
Presently the rate of dropouts is 15 per cent upto fourth standard, 30 per cent upto seventh and 53 per cent upto matriculate level, he said.
The modalities for structure of scholarships to these finacially poor students from the upper castes is being worked out and the state will come out with the policy soon, Patil added.
The state government last year had spent Rs 120 crore for giving scholarships to four lakh OBC students. The Cabinet will soon take a final decision, Patil asserted.
The state was committed to providing good living conditions and basic amenities, including education to its people, he said.