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‘Ehsaas’ undergraduate scholarships to be launched this month

By Our Correspondent
October 04, 2019

Islamabad : The ‘Ehsaas’ Undergraduate Scholarship scheme—a key initiative of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC)—will be launched this month. A Memorandum has already been signed on September 20, 2019 and on Thursday, the project steering committee met to firm up modalities of the joint working.

Co-chaired by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar and Chairman HEC Dr. Tariq Banuri, the meeting was called to mutually granularise the eligibility criteria of the said ‘Ehsaas’ sub-project, its standard operating procedures, allocation of scholarships, financial mechanism and communications plan.

Article 25-A provides the right to free education from age 5 to 16 years. To provide financial access to education beyond that point, ‘Ehsaas’ is launching the need-based ‘Ehsaas’ undergraduate scholarship programme. Through this, students qualifying for the project will have access to undergraduate education regardless of income, gender, or location. The number of scholarships will be determined based on the budget envelope.

Talking about the initiative, Dr. Nishtar said, “The Prime Minister has instructed that the undergraduate scheme should be launched as soon as possible. The government realizes that deprivation to education is the highest contributor in Pakistan’s national multi-dimensional poverty index. Therefore, ‘Ehsaas’ wishes to pay special attention to the education of undergraduate students, especially women and girls from underprivileged families and areas.”

The need for ‘Ehsaas’ undergraduate scholarships is critical, as poverty is both the root cause as well as a consequence of multi-faceted development problems in Pakistan.

The meeting was also attended by Ali Raza Bhutta, Secretary BISP; Arshad Mehmood, Additional Secretary Finance; Dr. Fateh Marri, Executive Director, HEC; and Dr. Raza Chohan, DG HEC, Dr. Muhammad Ali, VC Quaid e Azam University and Convener - VCs Committee and Dr. Khalid Mehmood, Sr. Director Complementary Initiatives.