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Trump signs Malala education act into law

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WASHINGTON: In his last week in office, US President Donald Trump signed into law an act that would award at least 50 per cent of scholarships under a merit-based higher education scholarship programme to Pakistani women.

The new act is named after Malala Yousafzai.

Earlier this month, the US Congress passed the proposed law and sent it to the White House for the president to sign.

“On Jan 13, the President signed into law the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act, which directs the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least 50 per cent of Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Programme scholarships to Pakistani women,” said a statement issued by the White House.

The bill was first passed by the House of Representatives in March 2020 and then by the US Senate by a voice vote on Jan 1.

The bill would direct 50pc of scholarships under a Pakistan-based higher education scholarship programme to Pakistani women, from 2020 to 2022. The scholarships will be available across a range of academic disciplines and in accordance with existing eligibility criteria.

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

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