The Indian Army has decided to sponsor university education of students from the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh outside the UTs. The aim is to provide quality education to deserving candidates from the union territories and offer them opportunities and exposure to acquire the requisite competence and capability for a secure future.
The Indian Army's Northern Command will reportedly sponsor the education of more than 600 students this year as a part of its "Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh Special Scholarship Scheme," launched in 2021, the Print has learned. The scholarships, which will be provided to those who require financial aid, will cover the cost of tuition, accommodation and catering. Students who are chosen for the scholarship are required to pay a sum of Rs 30,000 as a security deposit and admission fee.
The Indian Army has stepped up its outreach programme this year, as it had sponsored 311 students from J&K and Ladakh to pursue their education at Mewar University in Rajasthan last year, the report added. Due to the COVID-induced pandemic, the plan to include more universities was stalled.
In response to the demand to increase the scholarships, which is applied for by thousands of students, the Army increased the scholarship pool this year. More than 7,500 students reportedly applied for the scholarship scheme this year, of which more than 6,000 are from Kashmir, 1,400 from Jammu and around 100 from Ladakh. Registrations and qualification tests for the scholarships were conducted online.
Scholarships, focus on education bring a positive change
The implementation of the New Education Policy, 2020 and various scholarship schemes for young minds have provided them with multiple opportunities across the country. The renewed thrust on providing quality education to the youth has been one of the integral elements of "Naya Jammu and Kashmir".
During the past two years, no student from Kashmir has gone to Pakistan or Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to acquire any sort of education. The government has ensured that no need arises for Kashmiri students to even look towards the neighbouring country. Education has been made accessible to all.