The State government had introduced various schemes for the betterment of people belonging to Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe and tribal people but only a few were reaching to them due to the lack of awareness about the schemes among both the people and implementing officers, said E Venkataiah, retired secretary to the government and advisor to the Social Welfare Department on SCP/TSP schemes.
Speaking at a five-day training programme organised by the Social Welfare Department and Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute, Mysuru, for the district and taluk level implementing officers on effective implementation of schemes related to SC/ST and tribal, Venkataiah said that Karnataka was the only State with the highest number of schemes benefitting the deprived classes. He, however, note that schemes will be of no use if does not serve the purpose effectively.
“The government has increased its annual grant to Rs 1,100 crore and warned of disciplinary and criminal actions against officers for not utilising the entire amount,” he said, adding, “this shows the seriousness on part of the government to bring the deprived class to the mainstream.”
Stressing the need to encourage students belonging to SC/ST and tribes to take up education seriously especially higher education, Venkataiah noted that there need to be increase in the number of hostel facilities for students to cut the number of drop out students. “In addition to the existing 400 hostels, the government is planning to construct 400 more hostels in order to accommodate more students. The government is also encouraging students to take up foreign studies and thus allotting 100 percent grants for SC/ST families with less than six lakh annual income and 50 percent grants for families with annual income between six and 15 lakh. But, there are very less takers of the scheme,” he added.
He further said that the government was pondering over extending the residential hostel facilities to the SC/ST students pursuing pre-university education and the government would encourage students to take up science. “It is observed that students belonging to SC/ST taking Arts and Commerce are more and only a few take up science. If they take up science, they will have more options such as engineering and medical. They would get special incentives if get selected in national schools like NIT and IIT,” Venkataiah said.
Venkataiah advised the officers to keep themselves updated about all the schemes so as to ensure the effective implementation of the schemes. He also felt the need for training programmes for the officers on frequent intervals. Implementing officers from various districts participated in the training programme.
Director, Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute, Mysuru, Prof T T Basavangowda, Deputy Director, Directorate of Scheduled Tribe Welfare, Veerupaksha and Research Officer, Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute, Mysuru, S Pratibha were present.