Higher Education Minister V.S. Acharya said on Monday that the State Government had given more funds for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the State in the past three years.

He was speaking after inaugurating a hostel for students of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes built at a cost of Rs. 33 lakh under the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) at Adiudupi here.

He also distributed cheques to beneficiaries from the Koraga community on the occasion. Dr. Acharya said there was a significant increase in the allocations for Special Component Plan (SCP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP). A sum of Rs. 3,359 crore and Rs. 1,344 crore were provided for SCP and TSP, respectively, in 2010-11. But this allocation had been increased to Rs. 4,633 crore for SCP and Rs. 1,867 crore to TSP in 2011-12. Food allowance to SC/ST students had been increased to Rs. 650 for pre-matric students and to Rs. 750 for post-matric students in 2010-11. But this was found to be inadequate. Hence, the food allowance was again increased to Rs. 750 for pre-matric students and Rs.850 for post-matric students in 2011-12.

There was an upswing in the facilities provided for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in Udupi district this year. As many as 34 youths from the Koraga community were given autorickshaws, while 29 youths were provided cars (taxis) in the first half of this year. Autorickshaws and cars had been provided to increase employment opportunities for the Koragas, he said.

Raghupati Bhat, MLA, president of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat Katapady Shankar Poojary, president of the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) Kiran Kumar, vice-president Bharati Chandrashekhar, Deputy Commissioner M.T. Reju, Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat Prabhakar Sharma, ITDP officer Urmila, and city municipal council Commissioner Gokuldas Nayak were present.

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