PM Imran launches ‘largest ever’ scholarship programme

Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) gestures while addressing his supporters during a campaign meeting ahead of general elections in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha - RC11DDD07B30

–50,000 scholarships will be offered each year of which 50pc will be provided to women while physically challenged students will get 2pc quota


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the “largest ever needs-based” scholarship programme on Monday.

Addressing the launching ceremony, Imran said that the programme will bring a big change in the society. He said that the best way to reduce poverty is provision of opportunities to students from poor families.

He regretted that a colonial-era educational system was functioning in the country and criticised the multiple education systems which exist in Pakistan. “Three parallel systems — English medium, Urdu medium and religious seminaries — were being run in the society which was a big injustice and no one tried to [fix it] or talk about it,” he said.

“According to the last update I received, some 800,000 students are studying under the English medium system, 30 million under Urdu medium and 2.5 million students are enrolled in madressas,” he said.

He said that under the programme, 50,000 scholarships will be offered each year. Out of the total, two per cent quota will be allocated for physically challenged students, the premier announced, adding that 50pc of the scholarships will be provided to women.

He also emphasised the importance of a high literacy rate among women.

Titled “Ehsaas for Students”, the programme is another project of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s flagship social welfare programme, Ehsaas, and aims to provide scholarships to about 200,000 students from lower-income families over the next four years.

“[Out of the] 50,000 [schorloships going to be awarded] every year, 50% of these [are reserved] for women to promote human capital development,” he announced through his Twitter handle.

The project aims to “ensure that no student is deprived of education because of financial need”. Scholarships will be awarded to students admitted to any public sector university “on merit”, whose family income is “below poverty threshold”.

The programme also encourages differently-abled students to apply and/or those who hail from rural or remote areas. The scholarship would cover the students’ tuition fee and also provide them with a stipend.

The deadline to apply for scholarships is Dec 10.

Ehsaas is an ambitious social safety and poverty alleviation programme launched by the government. Since the launch of the programme earlier this year, the prime minister has inaugurated multiple welfare projects under Ehsaas’ umbrella including Ehsaas-Saylani Langar Scheme and Panah Gah in order to provide food and shelter to the poor.