The scholarship, named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was constituted in May by an Aligarh-based group of Muslim intellectuals, the Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA), and is meant for economically backward Muslim students.
Over 22,000 applications were received for it, claimed director of FMSA Dr. Jaseem Mohammmad.The largest chunk of the 15,956 applications came from girl students. The applicants compete for a total number of 100 annual scholarships of Rs. 5.000 each.According to Dr. Jaseem Mohammad, the large number of the applications showed the “extent of desire among Muslims to study”.
“The Narendra Modi Scholarship for Muslim Students was launched this year considering the weak economic condition of Indian Muslims because of which a large number of Muslim children remain uneducated or fail to have higher education. The list of students selected for scholarship will be released at a glittering function in Aligarh in November,” said Dr. Mohammad, who shot to the limelight when he wrote a biography of PM Narendra Modi titled ‘Narendra Bhai Modi — Farsh Se Arsh Tak’ (‘From the ground to the sky’), which is Mr. Modi’s first biography in Urdu.
“While secular parties like the Samajwadi Party (SP) did nothing to educate Muslims, Prime Minister Narendra Modi through his ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ has taken along all religious groups and chalked out policies to give them the fruits of development without any consideration of religion, cast and sex,” added Dr. Mohammad, who was earlier seen to be close to the UPA government and as part of the Millat Bedari Muhim had also campaigned for ‘secular forces’ in the highly polarised 2014 general elections along with activist and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.