The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment provided details about the SHRESHTA scheme in a written response in the Lok Sabha.


GS-02 (Government policies and Interventions)

Scheme for Residential Education For Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA) :

  • SHRESTHA scheme has been formulated to provide quality education and opportunities for the poorest of the poor Scheduled Caste students based on the constitutional mandate.
  • The primary objective of the scheme is to ensure equal access to quality education for all students.
  • The scheme will provide high-quality residential education free of cost from class 9th to 12th to meritorious poor students from Scheduled Caste communities whose annual family income is up to Rs. 2.5 Lakh per annum.

Key provisions of SHRESHTA :

  • Each year, a specified number of outstanding students from the SC communities will be selected through a transparent process known as the National Entrance Test for SHRESHTA (NETS), administered by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
  • Selected students will enroll in private residential schools affiliated with CBSE.
  • Moreover, they will be eligible for the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme or a Higher Education Scheme provided by the Ministry, ensuring continued financial assistance for their further studies.
  • Provisions in the scheme also facilitate a “Bridge Course” for 3 months for the students joining the CBSE-based schools from state schools, rural areas, or regional language schools.
  • The scholarships will be released in one instalment directly to the schools in the first quarter of every financial year and the scheme will be considered in the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) method.