Scholarship for students enrolled in recognised self-financing institutions

Reiterating that it is committed to the welfare of Adi Dravidar and tribal communities, the State government on Monday announced that allocation under the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan will be Rs.6,108.60 crore, an all-time high, constituting 21.28 per cent of the annual plan outlay.

Substantial amount has also been allotted for providing education. For the first time, post-matric scholarship will be extended to the students of these communities enrolled in free and paid seats of recognised self-financing institutions.

The government has decided to distribute cots to college hostel students.

Presenting the Budget on Monday, Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam said that the government would also ensure that funds meant for Adi Dravidars reached the target group.

As food charges for hostel students of these communities had already been increased, the Budget provided Rs.76.76 crore towards enhanced charges for 2012-13. Besides, Rs.331.31 crore would be provided for pre-matric and post-matric scholarship.

While 49 hostels had been taken up for construction in the current year, Mr. Panneerselvam said another 44 would be constructed under NABARD-RIDF. Further, essential infrastructure facilities in 1,080 hostels would be upgraded at a cost of Rs.83.40 crore.

The Minister said that special Central assistance of Rs.82 crore would be spent on the economic development of Adi Dravidars. A total of Rs.5.75 crore from this assistance would be spent on revitalising and reviving the Ramanathapuram District Co-operative Spinning Mill.

Mr. Panneerselvam said that the allocation for Tribal Sub-Plan would be Rs.449.31 crore, which was 1.25 per cent of the annual plan outlay.

A comprehensive tribal development programme to be launched in the coming financial year would focus on strengthening educational infrastructure in tribal areas, housing, road and other basic infrastructure in tribal hamlets, livelihood support through encouraging income-generating activities and programmes to enhance the employability of tribal youth.

“It will also try to achieve convergence with other existing infrastructure and poverty eradication programmes and Rs.50 crore has been allocated for this innovative programme,” the Minister said.