Odishatv Bureau

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday felicitated 248 toppers of class 10 and 12 examinations of various boards and said they would be provided with a scholarship of Rs 10,000 each.

She also ordered officials to process applications for scholarships for higher studies by students at the earliest.

"Ours is a poor government. This is a small initiative to felicitate the meritorious students. I have taken a decision to open up bank accounts for all these students with a balance of Rs 10,000 which may help them in the future," she said at the felicitation programme of 248 students.

These students topped the class 10 and 12 examinations conducted by the boards of West Bengal, the ICSE, the ISC, the CBSE and the WBJEE.

"Consider this (the scholarship) as an asset for your entire life," said Banerjee who has initiated the programme to felicitate examination toppers from all boards in West Bengal.

She also urged them to stick to the values imparted by their teachers and parents, and pursue a career of their choice, undaunted by adversities.

"Securing a rank in the merit list in this age of tough competition is no mean feat.... There are many stories of struggle, we must salute those. There are students whose parents may not be well-to-do, and the have to make ends meet to buy them books," she said.

There was a time when teachers used to think twice before giving full marks to students, Banerjee said.

"But our students have to compete with the world now. So, I had requested our education minister to ensure that our students also get marks on a par with ICSE or CBSE students. They have done really well," she said.

[With Agency Inputs]