* CM says fund will provide financial assistance to deserving students * Fund to provide finances for accommodationChief Minister Shahbaz Sharif gave formal approval for the launch of the Punjab Education Talent Fellowship Fund, with seed money of Rs 2 billion on Thursday.
During a meeting presided over by Shahbaz, he said that the purpose of establishing the fund was to provide financial assistance to deserving students who showed outstanding performance in the field of education. He said that the Punjab government would provide Rs 50 million for the fund annually, adding that financial assistance would be provided from the fund for the preparation of the entry test of various prestigious educational institutions. He also granted approval for expanding the scope of the fund to middle and higher classes under which scholarships would be awarded to male and female students of these classes according to available resources.
The chief minister also granted approval to the allocation of five percent quota for students of the minority community; five percent for disabled students; and five percent for the children of government employees of grade-1 to 4. The fund would initially be distributed through a trust and students studying at private educational institutions would be provided assistance through the Punjab Education Foundation.
Accommodation: The fund would also provide money for accommodation of students at institutions where hostel facilities are not available. The meeting was informed that the selection of deserving students and their financial needs would be decided by the administration of the educational institutions concerned. The financial assistance would be provided directly to the administration of the teaching institute and it would be responsible for verification of cases of financial assistance, their scrutiny and distribution of funds.
Shahbaz said that the fund would provide financial assistance to both male and female students of public sector high schools, madrassas, colleges and universities. The chief minister also gave approval to the formation of a special committee for investment of the money of the Punjab Educational Talent Fellowship Fund, including Senator Ishaq Dar, Sohail Hassan, FC College Consultant Zafar Iqbal Qureshi and Javed Masood. The chief minister also directed that sufficient publicity be given about the fund so that a maximum number of brilliant students could benefit.
Source: Daily Times, 17/10/2008