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Mahapola grant increased

THE 252nd Mahapola which is the Silver Jubilee of the Mahapola Scholarship Programme, being held at the Vidyaraja National School, Thawalama, Hiniduma, from January 17, simultaneously with the "Deyata Arunalu" Vocational and Technical Exhibition organised under the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training will come to an end on January 22.

The Mahapola and the Exhibition are jointly organized by the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training and the Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Marketing Development on the initiative of Minister Piyasena Gamage and Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle.

The event marks the completion of 25 years of the Mahapola programme which was inaugurated in 1981 as a brainchild of the late Minister Lalith Athulathmudali to benefit around 30,000 students per year.

Addressing the Inaugural ceremony on January 17, Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, who attended as the Chief Guest, said that the Mahapola is a successful programme from its outset fostered under successive governments and the Mahapola allowance was increased by Rs. 2000 in 2004.

Under the "Mahinda Chintana" concept of President Mahinda Rajapakse steps have been taken to double this amount, said Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle inaugurating the 252nd Mahapola.

Minister Piyasena Gamage, addressing the gathering said that he was happy about the steps taken to conduct a successful Vocational and Technical Exhibition simultaneously with the 252nd Mahapola and that the inaugural ceremony of the Mahapola programme was held at Vijitha Maha Vidyalaya in the Hiniduma Electorate in 1981 under the patronage of the late Minister Lalith Athulathmudali, the founder of the Mahapola Concept.

Southern Provincial Council Leader of the House I. Wijayawantha, Vocational and Technical Training Ministry Secretary Thilak Hapangama and Mahapola Entrepreneurship Council Director General Thilina Bandara Tennekone and officials of the two Ministries attended the occasion.

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