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To end child marriage, Assam govt approves stipend scheme for girl students; check details

Under the MMNM scheme, girl students who have passed Class 10 and enrolled in Class 11 will receive Rs. 1,000 per month (excluding the two-month summer vacation) for two years, until they complete their Class 12 board exams.

To end child marriage, Assam government approves stipend scheme for girl students; check details AJR
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First Published Jun 12, 2024, 3:13 PM IST

In a move to combat child marriage, the Assam government on Wednesday (June 12) approved the Mukhya Mantri Nijut Moina (MMNM) scheme. The initiative aims to provide monetary benefits to around one million girl students, with an estimated cost of Rs. 300 crore in the first year and approximately Rs. 1,500 crore over five years, officials said.

Under the MMNM scheme, girl students who have passed Class 10 and enrolled in Class 11 will receive Rs. 1,000 per month (excluding the two-month summer vacation) for two years, until they complete their Class 12 board exams. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the stipend would be transferred to their bank accounts on the 11th of every month.

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Additionally, girl students who have completed their Class 12 boards and enrolled in degree courses will receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 1,250 for the next three to four years until they graduate. Those pursuing post-graduation and Bachelor of Education courses will get Rs. 2,500 per month until they complete their studies.

Chief Minister Sarma stressed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is committed to supporting the education of girl students up to the postgraduate level. He also clarified that the scheme aims to prevent child marriage, and thus, school and college students who are married will not be eligible for the benefits. However, those who marry while pursuing post-graduation will still receive the stipend.

"Our objective is to defer the weddings of girls in the state. This scheme is a disincentive against early marriage," Sarma added. He highlighted that the scheme is expected to boost the enrolment ratio of girls in schools, colleges, and universities, with an anticipated increase of around 200,000 more girl students this year.

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The scheme also includes provisions to withhold stipends from students involved in ragging, indiscipline, low attendance, or poor academic performance. Students enrolled in private educational institutions, children of ministers and legislators, meritorious students, and recipients of other state benefits will also be excluded from the scheme.

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