The Union Ministry of Communications has launched Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana, a pan India scholarship program for school children to increase the reach of Philately. The SPARSH stands for Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby.
Under the scheme, annual scholarships will be awarded to children of Standard VI to IX having good academic record and also pursuing Philately as hobby through competitive selection process in all postal circles. Government will award 920 scholarships to students pursuing Philately as hobby.
Scholarship and Selections: Every Postal Circle will select a maximum of 40 scholarships representing 10 students each from Standard VI to IX. The amount of Scholarship will be Rs. 6000/- per annum @ Rs. 500/- per month. The selections will be made based on evaluation of Project work on philately & performance in Philately Quiz conducted by Circles.
Philately Club: To avail this scholarship, child must be student of recognized school within India and concerned school should have Philately Club and candidate should be member of Club. In case school Philately Club hasn’t been established a student having his own Philately Deposit Account will also be considered.
Philately mentor: Every school participating in competition, would be assigned Philately mentor to be chosen from amongst the renowned Philatelists. The Philately mentor will help in formation of School level Philately Club, providing guidance to young and aspiring Philatelists on how to pursue the hobby and also helping the aspiring Philatelists on their Philately Projects etc.
Philately is hobby of collection and study of Postage stamps. It also entails collection, appreciation and research activities on stamps and other related philatelic products. The hobby includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloguing, displaying, storing, and maintaining the stamps or related products on thematic areas. It is also called king of hobbies because stamp collection as hobby has lot of educational benefits as it teaches lot about socio economic political reality of period in which stamp is issued or theme on which it is issued.