By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneshwar, February 27, 2024: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday launched a scholarship scheme called ‘Nutana Unnata Abhilasha Odisha’ for undergraduate and postgraduate students. The scheme aims to empower the state’s youth and help them to carry forward their studies, officials said.

While Patnaik launched the scholarship scheme through video-conference, senior official VK Pandian joined the programme in Sambalpur, Angul and Deogarh.

Interacting with the students from 57 colleges, Pandian said, “The scholarship amount for General and OBC students is Rs 9,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively, whereas for SC/ST and ‘Nirman Shramik’ students, it is Rs 10,000 and Rs 11,000, respectively.”

He said all eligible students will get the scholarship amount in their bank accounts by March 5. A total of 28,112 students from the three districts received the scholarship amount in their bank accounts on Monday.

Pandian, the chairman of Nabin Odisha, said the state government’s next initiative will be the ‘Nabin Odisha Magic Card’, a points-based smart card that will engage and empower the youth, and help them in academic development, personality development, skill development and employment.

Noting that this card will be a “passport to prosperity”, he said that based on points earned through various activities and parameters, the cards will be upgraded to ‘Silver’, ‘Gold’ and ‘Platinum’ levels.

These cards will provide access to various facilities such as concession in fares of bus, train and flight tickets, phone recharge, online academic courses, tuition classes, “earn while you learn” opportunities, volunteering opportunities and access to stadiums during the national and international matches, among others, he said.

The government will actively engage with the private sector to provide more benefits to the students through these smart cards, he added.

Online registration for this card will be launched on March 5 and the distribution of the cards will start on August 15, he added.

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