No hostels for SC students in 4 states

No hostels for SC students in 4 states

A central scheme to open hostels for scheduled caste students remained a non-starter in the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, despite having a sizeable chunk of the population from the deprived section.

The Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Yojan (BJRCY) could not take off even after six years of its renewed launch. The scheme did not run full steam in Karnataka and 12 other states as well.

Out of the total 524 hotels sanctioned during years 2007-08 to 2010-11, only 365 such residential premises for the scheduled caste boys and girls studying in middle schools, higher secondary schools, colleges and universities were constructed till December 16 last.

The information exposing the tall claims of different state governments on making efforts to provide facilities for the deprived sections of society were revealed in an affidavit filed by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry in the Supreme Court.

The apex court, on November 18, 2013, directed the Centre to submit the latest status report on construction of the hostels while hearing a PIL filed by BJP’s student wing, Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, who is the chairman of the steering committee, was told to liaise with different state governments to ensure building of the hostels.

In its response, it said, “Secretary, the ministry concerned has taken up the matter vide his letters November 28, 2013 with the chief secretaries of remaining 13 states/Union Territories viz Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Puducherry, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, which have started the construction of hostels but are still pending.”

The affidavit stated that the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, in his letters on November 22 last, urged the chief ministers of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, where construction of sanctioned hostels had still not started, to ensure that all sanctioned hostels are constructed at an early date. They have also been requested to communicate the time schedule for completion of the pending hostels and to furnish the utilisation certificates for the central assistance pending with them.

The Centre provides 100 per cent assistance to states/ UTs/ Universities for construction of girls hostel buildings and for expansion of existing girls hostels under the BJRCY. As much as 90 per cent central assistance is given to NGO and deemed universities in private sector for expansion of existing facilities for girls.

With regard to boys hostels, only 50 per cent central assistance was given to states.

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