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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Technical Glitch: Tribal students from India unable to fill the National Overseas Scholarship

For one month the portal has been showing technical Glitches, due to which tribal students [Scheduled Tribes students] have been unable to fill in the NOS application. The last date to apply is 30th July 2020, this Glitch can prove extremely disadvantageous to the future of unnumerable tribal students.

New Delhi— Prasant Prasasrath from the district of Beed, Maharashtra opened an application to apply for the NOS (National Overseas Scholarship) a month ago, which is offered by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for undertaking admission to an overseas university. But the technical glitches on the website portal haven’t allowed him to complete the application promptly.

After a week when Prasant opened the portal to upload the educational documents on the portal, the error did not allow him to proceed further into the application. After this, he tried mailing and calling on the helpline numbers but could not get any help from both source. Due to the proximity of the deadline i.e., 30th July 2022, the distress of losing the opportunity to apply and get a chance to study overseas for his future aspirations is proving to be creating a lot of anxiety.

After multiple attempts in trying to reach an answer from the given helpline contacts on the website, he could not get any help regarding the technical glitch. In fact, many times the officials did not even bother to pick up the calls.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs opened the application on 1 May 2022, the last date to submit is the 30th of this month. After the successful verification of the uploaded documents, the applicants are called in for an interview. Those who are able to clear the interview round, they get scholarships to study abroad. The scholarship accredits 15400 US dollars for studying and accommodation, and 1532 US dollars for covering other students’ expenses.

20 students get this scholarship

The central government has sanctioned this scholarship to help students from SC ST backgrounds to enable them an opportunity for overseas education. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment provides this scholarship for tribal communities via the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment provides 100 scholarships, out of which 90 are given to SC, 6 to De-notified landless tribes, and 4 to agricultural landless labourers and traditional artisans community from India. The Ministry of Tribal affairs only grants 20 scholarships, out of which 17 are allotted to Scheduled Tribe students and 3 are reserved for weaker Adivasi community students.

Current year student told about the challenges of getting scholarship

A recipient of NOS Scholarship, Ashok is a current-year student. Ashok expressed similar doubts regarding the technical glitches of the website. This is not the first time for such an error to occur, it has been an annual thing.

Ashok says, “Students belonging to Scheduled Tribes often reside in deprived and no connectivity regions. To fill in such applications, they have to intervally travel to fill such forms, and the technical glitches prove a grave problem which leads to missing deadlines and opportunities in the larger context.”

Ashok adds, “Due to the lack of simplification of the applying and selection procedure of the website, only 8 students are able to get through each year. Depriving the rest of the students of the opportunity”.

RTI Also Unveils the truth

Ashok added, that an RTI report revealed that from the years 2012-13 to 2018-19, on average only 8 people could get a chance to study in a university through this scholarship. This clearly indicates that even though the scholarship exists, the majority of the students are unable to even benefit from the provided scheme. It was also disclosed that in the years 2012-2013, 2013-14, 2015-16 and 2016-17, the number of applicants shortfall to reach even 20 applications, when the number of chosen candidates is a far higher number than the received applications.

Hearing Arrangement in Process

NOS portal Redressal Grievance Cell representative Meena informed The Mooknayak that “if the problem of the technical glitch is persistent, the given Technical Helpline contact number may be contacted for further guidance. If the portal’s error has been taken care of or not, could not be answered at present by them.”

Mena added, He recently has been transferred to another wing of the Ministry and is unable to give any assuredly reply on the issue.

The Mooknayak tried contacting the current NOS in-charge Manoj Kumar, but could not get an answer.

Arun Kr Verma
Arun Kr Verma
Journalist, The Mooknayak

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