Around 45,000 students belonging to Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and De-notified Communities will hereafter receive higher boarding and lodging charges.

Announcing this in the Assembly at the end of debate on demands for grants to the BC, MBC and Minorities Welfare Department, A. Mohammedjan, Minister, said the charges for the students pursuing professional courses would go up to Rs. 350 a month from the range of Rs. 75–Rs.140; industrial training courses – Rs. 225 from Rs.75-Rs.90 and higher secondary students and those doing undergraduate courses – Rs. 175 from Rs. 75-Rs.80.

The charges would apply to those students staying in hostels attached to colleges. The hike would cost Rs. 9.75 crore, the Minister said.

Napkin incinerators would be provided to 476 girls’ hostels and 77 Kallar Reclamation Schools at a total cost of Rs. 1.39 crore. Books would be given to libraries attached to Kallar Reclamation high/higher secondary schools at a rate of Rs. 20,000 per school. Also, a sum of Rs. 1.02 crore had been earmarked for the purchase of books to libraries attached to 1,294 hostels, coming under the department’s control. There were 80,064 inmates.

Quota

During the debate, K. Balakrishnan (CPI-M) and K. Lingamuthu (CPI) were among those who reiterated that the private sector and multinational companies should implement reservation.

S. Vijayadharani (Congress) suggested that the minorities be provided their share under the Indira Awas Yojana, a rural housing scheme for the poor. The government should make arrangements for a burial ground for Muslims in Velachery, Chennai, and the earmarked land for the purpose was still available, she said. A. Aslam Basha (Manithaneya Makkal Katchi) hailed Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for having ensured that objectionable references in Tamil feature films, ‘Thuppakki’ and ‘Vishwaroopam’ were deleted before screening.

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