RAWALPINDI: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday approved scholarships worth Rs30million for students belonging to religious minorities.
The announcement was made at a ceremony held at the Government Waqarun Nisa College for Women by Punjab Minister for Minority Affairs and Human Rights Khalil Tahir Sindhu. The minister awarded scholarships ranging from Rs30,000 and Rs50,000 to around 25 students belonging to the minorities.
Speaking on the occasion, Sindhu said the government was committed in bringing prosperity by human resource development and mobilising all available resources to upgrade existing facilities of education and co-curricular activities.
He said initiatives taken by the chief minister to promote education have created an environment of healthy competition among students, encouraging them to work hard.
The minister also lauded the role minorities play for the development of society and assured them that concrete steps will be taken for their socio-economic development.
Sindhu said the government had initiated a few projects to honour and encourage talented students with the objective to provide them opportunities to develop their careers.
He appreciated the discipline and educational environment of the college and emphasised that the young generation was the future of Pakistan and the government would extend a helping hand to mitigate the suffering the Pakistani people.
Talking to The Express Tribune, All Pakistan Hindu Sikh Social Welfare Association President Jag Mohan Kumar Arora said the scholarships should be advertised in both print and electronic media so deserving students could apply for them.
“The education department should set a criterion and the scholarships should not be distributed through district coordination officers to avoid nepotism,” he said.
He insisted that a large number of minority students are out of school and a project should be initiated to educate them.
He demanded that scholarships for higher education of minority students should also be approved.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2014.