Assam: Nearly 95,000 students get free admission to higher education

Guwahati, Jul 10 (PTI) Nearly 95,000 poor students from underprivileged sections have been offered free admission from Class 11 onwards till post-graduation across colleges and universities of Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday.

As part of the ‘Pragyan Bharati Scheme’, Sarma distributed Rs 68.44 crore among 349 colleges and varsities for giving free admission for higher secondary, undergraduate and post-graduate courses in arts, science and commerce streams.

“Today, nearly one lakh students secured a pathway towards free education. This scheme aims to foster higher education and promote inclusivity by empowering students from the underprivileged sections,” he said at an official function here.

In the first phase of the 2024-25 academic year, 94,838 students from poor and middle-class families across 349 colleges and universities have benefited, with Rs 68.44 crore disbursed, he said.

While the first phase of the admission fee was paid on Wednesday, the subsequent payments will follow in the coming months after document verification, Sarma said.

“The next round of spot admission and 3rd and 5th semester fee waivers for CUET and non-CUET candidates will be disbursed in September,” he said.

Education Minister Ranoj Pegu had last week stated that previously, students with a parental annual income of up to Rs 2 lakh were eligible for free admission, but the limit was raised to Rs 4 lakh from this year.

The colleges now allow ration cards as proof of family earnings instead of income certificates earlier, Pegu had added.

Since the scheme’s inception, a total of 22,30,257 students have benefited with a cumulative amount of Rs 826.36 crore paid till the last academic year, officials said.