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Featured Image: Students and teachers at the bicycle distribution event by Mamata Banerjee in Siliguri on Wednesday.  

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 21 September: WEST Bengal government has increased the amount of scholarship given to scheduled caste (SC) students in state government recognised schools under Sikshashree scheme.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the decision while distributing bicycles to students of IX standard from various schools at an event organised at Margaret (Sister Nivedita) English School at Pradhannagar in Siliguri today afternoon.

“We have decided to increase the amount of scholarship for SC students of class V-VII under Sikshashree to a flat rate of Rs 750 (per annum). In class VIII, it will be Rs 800 as before,” Banerjee said in her speech.

Sikshashree scheme was introduced by the state government in 2014 by merging two previous schemes wherein scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students from classes V-VIII used to get financial aid to buy books and maintenance of study.

As of now, the amount of annual scholarship under Sikshashree various from class to class: SC students in class-V get Rs 500, those in class-VI get Rs 650, those in class-VII get Rs 700, and for class-VIII students it is Rs 800. As regards, ST students, they get a flat scholarship of Rs 800 per annum in all classes from V-VIII.

But after today’s announcement by the Chief Minister, the SC students in classes V-VII will now get a flat scholarship of Rs 750 per annum. The scholarship for class-VIII students would remain unchanged at Rs 800 per annum.

Banerjee, who landed at Bagdogra airport today on a three-day tour of Darjeeling district kicked off the second phase of 18,546 bicycle distribution meant for class-IX students from various government schools in Siliguri.

Out of them, she personally handed over the bicycles to the students of Margaret English School, Sri Guru Vidya Mandir (Champasari), and Bagha Jatin High School (Deshbandhu Para). Students of other schools in Siliguri will get the bicycles before Durga Puja.

After the event at Siliguri, the Chief Minister left for Kalimpong where she will be staying until 23 September. Tomorrow, she will attend an event organised by the Lepcha Development Board; on 23 September she will grace another event organised by the Tamang Development Board.

The Chief Minister will fly out for Kolkata from Bagdogra airport on 24 September.