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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 28 July: IN a move that will benefit vast chunk of girls pursuing post graduate courses in the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today announced granting them a monthly stipend to help continue with the studies.

“There is Kanyashree-1 and Kanyashree-2 wherein we have been providing scholarship to girl students aged 13-18 years and a one-time cash award of Rs 25,000 after turning 18 years. While this will continue, we have now decided to introduce Kanyashree-3 wherein stipend would be provided to girls pursuing PG courses,” Banerjee announced at an event at Netaji Indoor Stadium in the city today afternoon.

The event was organised to celebrate Kanyashree bagging a United Nations’ award in the category “on reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services and participation” at The Hague on 23 June.

Elaborating on Kanyashree-3, the Chief Minister said that those girls having secured 45 per cent marks in their UG courses and enrolled for a PG course would be eligible for the monthly stipend. “The stipend would be given at the rate of Rs 2,000 a month to those pursuing PG courses in the Arts stream; those pursuing science courses would get Rs 2,500 a month,” she said.

Banerjee did not clarify whether family income would be a criterion to be eligible to get the stipend and whether it would be extended to those studying in central universities located in the state. Visva Bharati at Santiniketan is the only central university in Bengal.

The Chief Minister also announced that a group of non resident Indians have pledged to fund the MPhil and PhD research of 10 meritorious girls from the state for studying abroad. The funding would be routed through the state government.

Earlier on 3 June, Banerjee’s government had allocated Rs 20-crore to provide monthly fellowship to non-NET research scholars pursuing M.Phil and Ph.D that was withdrawn by the Centre since last year.