The Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications launched a Pan-India scholarship programme called the Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana for school children to increase the reach of Philately. The scheme of SPARSH (Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude and Research in Stamps as a Hobby) awards annual scholarships to school children studying in VI to IX standards having an excellent academic record, and pursuing the hobby of Philately.
The scholarship’s objective is to promote Philately among children in a sustainable manner at a young age that can supplement and reinforce the academic curriculum and provide a hobby that helps them relax and destress.
What is Philately?
Philately is the study and collection of postage stamps. It entails the appreciation, collection and research activities on stamps and related Philatelic products. The hobby of collecting stamps includes locating, seeking, acquiring, cataloguing, organising, storing, displaying, and maintaining the stamps or related products in thematic areas.
Stamp collection has educational benefits since it teaches about the political and socio-economic reality of the period when the stamp is issued. Maintaining a collection of stamps can be a relaxing activity while providing a purposeful pursuit for preventing boredom.
The hobby of stamp collection leads to a social connection between people with similar interests and the development of new friendships. Collecting stamps also sharpen memory skills by working on the need to catalogue and organise information and give meaning to one’s actions.
Scholarship Under the Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana
- An award of 920 scholarships is provided to students pursuing Philately.
- Each postal circle will select a maximum of 40 scholarships for ten students each from standards VI, VII, VIII and IX.
- Scholarships are provided to students who satisfy the eligibility criteria and qualify in the selection procedure.
- The scholarship amount is Rs.6,000 per annum at Rs.500 per month.
- After selecting candidates for the scholarship, the scholarship would be given to the candidates for one year. However, there is no bar on an already selected student to apply for the scholarship next year, provided he/she fulfils the eligibility criteria.
Eligibility for Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana
- The candidate should be a student of a recognised school in India.
- The respective school must have a Philately club, and the candidate must be a club member.
- If the Philately club is not established in a school, a student with a Philately deposit account will also be considered.
- The candidate must have an excellent academic record.
- At the time of selection for the scholarship, the candidate must have scored at least 60% marks or equivalent grades in the recent final exam. There is a 5% relaxation for SC/ST students.
Selection Procedure for Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana
- Every school which participates in the competition is assigned a Philately mentor. The Philately mentor is to be chosen from amongst the renowned Philatelists.
- The Philately mentor will help form the School-level Philately club, guiding aspiring and young Philatelists on how to pursue the hobby and also help the aspiring Philatelists on their Philately projects, etc.
- Selections would be made based on the evaluation of Philately project work and performance in the Philately quiz conducted by the postal circles.
- A committee constituted by the postal circle consisting of postal officials, and renowned Philatelists will evaluate the candidate’s project work.
- The postal circles will provide the topics lists on which project has to be made while issuing the notifications.
Disbursement of Scholarship Under Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana
- Scholarships will be disbursed quarterly to students studying in class VI-IX in recognised schools.
- The awardees should open a joint account with parents in the India Post Payment Bank (IPPB) or Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) branch, having a core banking facility.
- Each postal circle will select the awardees. They will hand the list of beneficiaries to IPPB/POSB for scholarship payment.
- IPPB/POSB will ensure that the scholarship is paid to awardees quarterly (Rs.1,500 each quarter) after getting the list from each postal circle.
The Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana scheme encourages Philately amongst school children. The hobby of collecting stamps and other Philately activities helps children destress and know the history of a stamp and the events related to the stamp. The Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana scheme encourages more children to develop the Philately since it provides scholarships to selected students for a year.
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