KOLKATA: Chief minister has removed the from her to bring all in government or within its fold.

The scheme, that has won UN recognition, provides an annual scholarship of Rs 1000 and a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 to girl students on attaining 18 years of age. Taking the scheme a step forward, the chief minister has now conceived a Kanyashree university for these girl students, prompting politicial circles to speculate that she was banking on women power to counter religion polarisation.

The removal of the family-income cap, which was Rs 1,20,000 per year, will add another three lakh girl students to the Kanyashree category, taking the number of beneficiaries of the scheme to 53 lakh.

University planned for Kanyashree girls

Speaking at a programme to observe Kanyashree Day on Tuesday, CM Mamata Banerjee said, “The government will have to take an additional financial burden of Rs 200 crore after removing the income cap. But I don’t mind spending this amount because I believe my Kanyashree girls can fetch Rs 2 lakh crore for the state in future.”

The Bengal government has already extended the programme beyond schools. Under the K3 programme, girl students pursuing post-graduation will get an annual scholarship of Rs 2,000 for arts steam and Rs 2,500 for science stream, the CM said.

Banerjee on Tuesday asked the education department to draw up a plan for a university to accommodate all Kanyashree students. Accordingly, the departments of higher education, technical education and women development and child welfare along with Unicef will hold a meeting on August 23. This apart, the departments of education and skill development will train the Kanyashree students to help them get jobs or explore self-employment opportunities.“The dropout rate among girl students has gone down by 11.5% after the Kanyashree programme was introduced,” she said.

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