Leh, May 23: An informative one-day training cum awareness workshop on the Pradhan Mantri Ucchhatar Shiksha Protsahan Yojana (PM-USP) erstwhile Pradhan Mantri Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) was organized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) supported by the Department of Higher Education, UT Ladakh at the Eliezer Joldan Memorial College (EJM) Leh.
The workshop aimed to equip the Principals of Government Colleges, Government Degree Colleges, Government Higher Secondary Schools, and Nodal Officers of Ladakh Region with comprehensive knowledge about the PM-USP Yojana 2023-24. This scholarship scheme, initiated by the Government of India, offers financial support to students pursuing professional and general studies outside the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir.
Addressing the participants, Commissioner/Secretary, Higher Education and Skill Development, Padma Angmo highlighted the importance of making good use of the workshop. She commended EJM College and acknowledged its selection as a nodal college, emphasizing its essential role in the implementation of the PM-USP Yojana in the region. Commissioner/Secretary Angmo also lauded the dedicated faculty of EJM College and stressed the pivotal role of the Principals and Nodal Officers as the key individuals responsible for processing these scholarships and disseminating vital information among the student community.
The Commissioner/Secretary also shared success stories of students who have benefited from the PM-USP, securing admission to renowned colleges across the country. She emphasized the financial advantages of the scholarship, including a maintenance allowance of Rs 10,000 per month and reimbursement of academic fees, making it one of the most lucrative scholarship schemes available.
The Commissioner/Secretary explained that apart from PM-USP there are two types of scholarships available, one from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the other from the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
Padma Angmo emphasized that students can avail scholarship from only a single source and accordingly students should choose wisely while applying for scholarship.
Padma Angmo also shared that 14 seats in engineering colleges and 22 seats in Diploma have been approved for the students of UT Ladakh in the central pool in reputed engineering colleges across the country including colleges like Punjab Engineering College among others.
In her welcome address, Principal, EJM College, Sameena Iqbal expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to host the workshop at EJM College. She highlighted the institution’s commitment to providing quality education and fostering an environment conducive to academic excellence. Principal Iqbal emphasized the significance of the scholarship and its impact on the educational journey of students from Ladakh.
Director AICTE, Kunal Jeet Singh, gave a comprehensive presentation on the PM-USP Yojana a special scholarship scheme for students from the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir in the academic session 2023-24. During his presentation, he outlined the objectives of the scheme, emphasizing its role in providing access to quality education and equipping the youth with knowledge, skills, experience, and training necessary for higher academic and professional pursuits.
One of the key objectives highlighted by Kunal Jeet Singh was to enhance the capacities of the youth in Ladakh by educating, enabling, and empowering them to compete at a national level. The scheme also aims to offer students from the region exposure to the culture, language, and livelihood of other states and Union Territories, thereby promoting national integration, he stated.
Kunal Jeet Singh explained that the Pradhan Mantri Ucchhatar Shiksha Protsahan Yojana provides financial support in the form of academic fees and a maintenance allowance to students from Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. He said that these benefits are available to students who have successfully cleared their Class XII or equivalent examinations and secured admission to government colleges, institutions of repute, and other selected institutions with NBA, NAAC, NIRF ranking, and other Centres of Excellence located outside the Union Territories of Ladakh and J&K.
He further mentioned that the admission process for the scheme is based on merit and conducted through centralized counselling organized by AICTE. He informed that the Dental Council of India has permitted a maximum of five seats per institution in BDS under the SSS J&K and Ladakh quota, granted on a merit basis.
Further, he clarified that students who qualify in national-level entrance examinations conducted by central and state governments, such as NEET, JEE, CLAT, etc., are also eligible for the Pradhan Mantri Ucchhatar Shiksha Protsahan Yojana scholarship, subject to their registration on the AICTE portal.
He stated that starting from the academic session 2023-24, B.A(LLB) will be considered as a professional stream course only in National Law Universities.
Assistant Director, Scholarships and Grants Bureau, PMSSS, AICTE, Rakesh Kumar Ganju, provided a comprehensive overview of the online application process during the workshop. He guided the attendees through the step-by-step procedures, including registration and application submission, choice filling and merit list generation, as well as online counselling, seat allocation, and confirmation, enabling them to assist students effectively in navigating the application process and securing the available scholarships.
Prof. Ajeet Angral, representing AICTE, extended heartfelt gratitude to the Commissioner/Secretary for her unwavering support and relentless efforts in working towards the betterment of students. He also expressed deep appreciation to the Department of Higher Education for their continuous support in driving educational initiatives forward.
Prof. Angral reaffirmed his strong dedication to the welfare of students in Ladakh and emphasized the importance of collective efforts in ensuring their success.
The workshop was followed by a Q&A session.
It is worth mentioning that the Pradhan Mantri Ucchhatar Shiksha Protsahan Yojana offers a diverse range of scholarships to eligible students. In the General Degree stream, a total of 2,070 scholarships are available, with each scholarship valued at up to Rs. 30,000. For specialized fields such as Engineering, Architecture, Pharmacy, BSc. Nursing, and BA. LLB through National Law Universities (NLU), a substantial number of 2,830 scholarships are provided, with each scholarship amounting to up to Rs. 1.25 lakh. Additionally, there are 100 scholarships specifically designated for Medical/BDS or equivalent medical streams, with each scholarship offering a significant value of up to Rs. 3.00 lakh. These scholarships provide financial support to deserving students, enabling them to pursue their chosen fields of study and fulfil their academic aspirations