OBC Fellowship Scheme: Highest number of beneficiaries in UP, lowest in Arunachal Pradesh and Chandigarh

Critical disparities in state-wise distribution of beneficiaries of OBC fellowship raise concerns; union data unveils trends revealing unequal access to OBC educational empowerment
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On December 6, during the Raya Sabha session of the ongoing winter parliament, Brij Lal (BJP) and Harnath Singh Yadav (BJP) put forth queries concerning the national fellowship scheme for OBC (Other Backward Class) students. Through the questions raised, they inquired about the details of the OBC beneficiaries of the National Fellowship Scheme.

These questions responded to by Pratima Bhoumik, who currently serves as the union minister of state in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. In the response, the minister provided that the said scheme aims to empower OBC students by way of awarding fellowship in obtaining higher education.

The answer also contains the data regarding the details of the researchers from OBC classes who have benefited from the scheme. As per the data, the highest number of scholars between the periods of 2018- 2023 were between 2022-2023, wherein a total of 1070 scholars received funds for education. On the other hand, the lowest number of scholarships, 324 in total, were granted in the year 2018.

The data also provides state-wise details of the number of scholarships provided. Based on the data, the state of Uttar Pradesh consistently granted the highest number of Junior Research Scholarships (JRF) between 2018-2023. Notably, the number of scholarships has also been increasing with each year.

In a total contrast to this, the data shows that no OBC beneficiary from the state of Arunachal Pradesh benefitted from this scheme between 2018-2021. Post this, between 2021-2023, a total of 5 scholars have benefited from the scheme in the state. Even in the case of the union territory of Chandigarh, only 5 scholars who have benefited from the scheme in the last five years.

Notably, while most of the states show an increasing pattern in the number of scholars benefitted in the last five years, six states showed a different trend. In the states namely, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, a constant decline in the number of beneficiaries in the past five years can be observed from the data. It is pertinent that while we appreciate the overall increase in the number of scholarships provided to the OBCs, focus is also on ensuring that all states follow a positive pattern, with increase in the number of beneficiaries, and ensure that an equitable number of beneficiaries exist in accordance to the population of each state.

The table provided in the answer is as follows:

The complete answer can be read here:


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