Current Affairs – 05 January 2021

U.S. Congress passes ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’

The United States Congress passed the “Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act” to increase the number of scholarships for Pakistani women in higher education as part of merit and need-based program. The bill was passed by the US Senate by voice vote on January 1. The bill is now heading to the White House for US President Donald Trump to sign.

About the invoice:

The bill requires the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least 50% of scholarships under a Pakistan-based graduate scholarship program to Pakistani women, from 2020 to 2022, across a range of academic disciplines and in accordance with existing eligibility criteria.

The bill also requires USAID to consult with and leverage investments from the Pakistani private sector and the Pakistani diaspora in the United States to improve and expand access to education programs in Pakistan.

About Malala Yousafzai:

  • In October 2012, Malala was shot in the head by Pakistani Taliban as she came home from school. At the end of 2008, she began to advocate for access to education for women and girls despite objections from the Pakistani Taliban.
  • On October 10, 2014, Malala shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi for her “fight against the repression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

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