Pan India scholarship program called Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana for school children was launched by the Ministry of communication to increase the reach of Philately. Under the scheme of SPARSH (Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby), proposals have been made to award annual scholarships to children of class VI to IX having academic excellence and also pursuing Philately as a hobby. 920 scholarships will be awarded by the government to the students pursuing the hobby of Philately.
Criteria for selection:
- The selections will be made through a competitive selection process in all postal circles.
- A maximum of 40 students will be selected representing 10 students each from class VI to class IX.
- The scholarship is fixed at Rs. 6000 per annum.
- The selections will be made based on performance in Philately Quiz conducted by Circles and evaluation of Project work on philately.
- To avail this scholarship, a child must be a student of a recognized school within India and the concerned school should have a Philately Club and the candidate should be a member of the Club.
- In case the school has not established a Philately Club, a student having his own Philately Deposit Account would also be considered for the scholarship.
A Philately mentor chosen from among renowned Philatelists would be assigned to each school participating in the competition. The Philately mentor will be responsible for providing guidance in establishment of a school level Philately club, guide the aspiring Philatelists on pursuing the hobby. He would also help the young Philatelists in their Philately projects.
Philately is the hobby of collection and study of Postage stamps. It also entails the collection, appreciation and research activities on stamps and other related philatelic products. The hobby of collecting Stamps includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloguing, displaying, storing, and maintaining the stamps or related products on thematic areas. Philately is called the “king of hobbies” because Stamp collection as a hobby has a lot of educational benefits – it teaches a lot about the socio economic political reality of the period in which the stamp is issued or the theme on which it is issued.