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Modi government to reframe social welfare schemes for OBCs

Modi government to reframe social welfare schemes for OBCs
Highlights

In the run-up to the highstakes elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the Narendra Modi-led government has moved to reframe social welfare...

NEW DELHI: In the run-up to the highstakes elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the Narendra Modi-led government has moved to reframe social welfare schemes for other backward classes (OBCs). The targeted schemes promise quality residential accommodation and scholarships to OBC students.

The ministry of social justice and empowerment has rejigged schemes to include more OBC beneficiaries and ensure the benefit of targeted schemes go to the real beneficiaries.

The ministry has laid down guidelines for construction of hostels, which would be energy efficient, economical yet good quality, earth-quake resistant buildings with boundary walls, toilets, and rooms equipped with almirah, study tables, chairs and proper beds.

At present, the residential facilities for OBC boys and girls in states are very poor. The scheme was started to check school dropout rates, especially among OBC girls.

However, despite the government’s efforts, quality residential facilities have not been built for OBC students.In order to make the construction timebound, the government has laid down that the proposal of second installment of funds should be sent within a year of the project initiation.

The guidelines come right ahead of elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, which have a substantial number of OBC voters. In Gujarat, OBCs form about 40% of population and can influence the outcome in 70 of 182 seats. In Himachal Pradesh, OBCs form 15.3% of the population.

“The guidelines were really work in progress for some time. Not much should be read into the timing,” a senior ministry official told ET.

Besides the residential facilities scheme, guidelines for National Fellowship for OBC students and assistance for skill development for OBCs and EBCs have been rejigged.

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