ISLAMABAD: Ehsaas undergraduate scholarship project steering committee came to the table for the sixth time to review the progress for the academic sessions 2019-20 and strategize next steps for 2020-21. The meeting conferred the overall progress of the Ehsaas scholarships worth Rs. 4.827 billion being awarded to 50,762 undergraduate students (38% girls) for the year 2019-20. The steering committee also took stock of the pattern followed for scholarship distribution and disbursements to 119 public sector universities. It was discussed that the Ehsaas application portal will be opened in the first week of Sep 2020 for online submission of fresh applications for the year 2020-21. The Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship project is being governed by the Ehsaas Scholarships Steering Committee, co-chaired by SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar and Chairman HEC Dr. Tariq Banuri.Speaking at the meeting, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar stated, “Overall, 50,000 undergraduate scholarships (50% girls) will be given every year to enhance financial access to higher education for the deserving. This four-year, Rs. 24 billion scholarship programme will support 200,000 students from low income backgrounds.” “Transparency and equity is being ensured through joint monitoring and evaluation mechanism set up under this shared initiative,” assured Chairman HEC.Following the launch of the Ehsaas undergraduate scholarship project by the Prime Minister in March 2020, all students from low-income backgrounds studying in undergraduate degree programmes in public sector universities were eligible to apply. Last year, 132,192 undergraduate students had applied for scholarships through HEC’s online portal. The scrutiny of applications received last year to award 50,762 scholarships was finalized early this year and post COVID-19, with the re-opening of universities, the entire process was expedited with all 119 public sector universities. The need cum merit scholarship covers tuition fee and a living stipend.The meeting adjourned with the decision that the Ehsaas undergraduate portal will open on Sep 5, 2020 to receive applications for the year 2020-21.