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ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has formally asked the provinces to earmark special allocations for students from Balochistan. In a statement issued on Thursday, it stated that that would build upon HEC's dedicated programme of support for Baloch students as well as students from remote and less developed regions of the country.

Besides allocated quota for students from Balochistan in all the general scholarship schemes of HEC, special progammes have been initiated, which have resulted in award of 4,523 need-based scholarships, 3,000 Ehsaas scholarships, 227 overseas scholarships, 332 indigenous scholarships and placement of 300 students in medical colleges every year.

In May 2020, a special package of Rs 285 million was separately allocated for universities of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, over and above their normal allocation for the upcoming financial year 2020-21.

The special programmes include the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package for Master's Leading to PhD Scholarship Programme (Indigenous and Overseas). Since its launch in 2012, 143 students have received overseas scholarships, and 159 students have availed indigenous scholarships.

Similarly, 1,000 undergraduate and 294 postgraduate scholarships were awarded under the "Provision of Higher Education Opportunities for Students of Balochistan & FATA (Phase-II)" project, and 44 students under the "Law Graduates Scholarship Programme for Balochistan for Study Abroad" project.

Finally, support has been provided to students from Gwadar under a CPEC project. Since 2017, 50 students have completed their Chinese language course in China, 19 BS (four-year) students are studying in various institutions, and cases of 31 students are under process.

Generally, a total of 30,941 students from Balochistan have benefited from the Prime Minister's Fee Reimbursement Scheme for Less-Developed Areas since 2012-13.