The Social Welfare Department’s ‘Vidyasiri’ programme for students from the backward classes will be launched on October 1 by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here.

Under this new scheme, the government will pay a stipend of Rs. 1,500 to those who chose to reside on their own instead of opting for hostels, Social Welfare Minister H. Anjaneya said here on Saturday.

Addressing presspersons, he said this stipend would be paid to 20,000 students for 10 months a year.

Students can apply online on www.backwardclasses.kar. nic.in and the stipend would be paid through Electronic Payment System of Scholarships (E-PASS) and transferred directly to the beneficiary’s bank account, he said.

Mr. Anjaneya, who reiterated that his department had hiked the annual scholarships of students from the backward classes, said there was a shortage of 2,670 rooms and 2,766 toilets in the existing 2,290 SC/ST hostels.

“The shortage is especially in Bijapur, Davangere, Chamarajanagar and Bellary districts. We plan to take up construction of these facilities and complete work in three months,” he said.

The Minister said the government was also planning to take up construction of a residential school in every hobli. “This can be possible only if the local MLAs and elected representatives identify at least 10 acres of land for the school,” he said.

Havanur award

To mark Valmiki Jayanti that is observed on October 18, the Social Welfare Department has decided to present a Rs. 2 lakh annual L.G. Havanur Award. A committee had been set up for choosing the recipient of the award, Mr. Anjaneya added.

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