The Kerala Cabinet on Thursday decided to restructure distribution of merit-cum-means minority scholarships mainly between people from Muslim and Christian communities in accordance with the 2011 Census.
So far, scholarships for the needy among Muslim and Christian (Latin Catholics and converted Christians) communities were distributed in the ratio of 80: 20.
On May 29, the Kerala High Court quashed this existing ratio and ordered that scholarships be distributed equally and in accordance with the population census. The court’s directive came on a PIL filed by an activist from the Christian community.
An official communication issued after the Cabinet meet stated that the ratio for fixing minority scholarships would be restructured as per the HC order. The ratio would be fixed in accordance with the population, based on the 2011 Census, “in such a manner without depriving any community” of their grants, it stated.
As per 2011 Census, Kerala’s population comprises 26.56 per cent Muslim, 18.38 per cent Christian and 0.33 per cent people from other minority communities. Within the minority segment, 58.67 per cent people are Muslims and 40.6 per cent Christians. As per Thursday’s Cabinet decision, people from Muslim community would be entitled to 59 per cent scholarships, and those from Christian community the remaining 41 per cent.
According to the release, there would not be any change either in the number or sum of scholarships given to segments which benefit from the existing schemes. The scholarship schemes would require Rs 23.51 crore. Besides, there would be an additional allocation of Rs 6.2 crore, it stated.