ISLAMABAD - To support Kashmir cause through human resource development, government of Pakistan has decided 100 percent increase in scholarships for the students of Indian Occupied Kashmir.

In the revised PC-I the government is planning to increase the number of scholarships for the students of IOK from 800 to 1600, official sources told The Nation here. The project will be funded from the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) as prime minister has already approved funding of the project. The total cost of the project is Rs 2054.894 million. It will promote people to people contact from Pakistan and IOK and compensate the families of Kashmiri Shuhuda and Mohajireen by helping them obtain quality education.

The project was launched in 2004 for five years with cost of Rs 65.2 million and originally it was decided to fund 100 scholarships for the students of IOK. In 2007, the number of scholarship was increased to 200. The cost of the project was enhanced to 150 million and the duration was extended for another five years from 2004 to 2015.The project was revised again in 2012 and the number of scholarships was increased to 400, costing to Rs 355 million till the corresponding year.

100pc increase in scholarships

In 2015, the project was revised and the number of scholarships was increased to 800, costing Rs 940.9 million till year 2023. Now the government is planning to further increase the number of scholarship to 1600. The tenure of project will be further increased for 7 years from 2023 to 2030 and the cost will go up to Rs 2054.894 million. Under the new initiative, the number of scholarships for the medical students will be increased from 320 to 600, engineering from 240 to 490, and other subjects from 250 to 490.

In its comments, the technical section pointed out that while approving the 3rd revision of the project in 2015, the department concerned had decided the funding for 2015-16 from the developmental portfolio while for July 2016 onward from recurring budget of ministry of inter provincial coordination.

Now the sponsor should provide the justification for referring again the project of recurring nature to PSDP fund. The planning has asked the sponsor of the project to provide details of government and private institutions where these students will be enlisted.