|7th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)||<< Back to Index|
SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROGRAMMES FOR SCHEDULED CASTES AND SCHEDULED TRIBES
15.1 One of the major concerns of Indian planning has been the welfare and development of the weaker sections of society, and among them more especially that of the scheduled castes, the scheduled tribes and the denoti- fied, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes who constitute nearly one quarter of the total population. These groups have, for historical reasons, remained socially and econo mically backward, and hence concerted efforts have been made under the plan to raise their social and economic status, as required by the Directive Principles of Article 46 of the Constitution.
5.2 In the first two plans, welfare programmes were drawn up and implemented for improving the educational and economic status of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes. In addition, in the tribal and the scheduled areas, an area development approach was adopted. By the end of the Fourth Plan, however, it was evident that the strategy for the development of these disadvantaged groups would have to be based on comprehensive economic and human resource develop- ment efforts so that these sections of the population would acquire the ability to utilise the fruits of general economic development arising from the various sectoral development programmes. The Tribal Sub-Plan approach was adopted in the Fifth Plan and the Special Component Plans (for SCs) formulated in the Sixth Plan and these resulted in earmarked allocations for the Tribal Sub-Plans and sche- duled castes' socio-economic development, apart from the general programmes of economic development undertaken by the Central and State Governments. In the Sixth Plan, the emphasis shifted from welfare to family and beneficiary-oriented development schemes within the general framework of socio-economic programmes specifically directed at and designed for the benefit of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. In the Sixth Plan, a definite target of assisting 50 per cent of the scheduled caste ano\scheduled tribe families to cross the poverty line was adopted for the first time.
15.3 Clearly, at the beginning of the Seventh Plan, an assessment is called for in order to ascertain if the major objective of narrowing the socio-economic gap between the general level of economic and social development and that of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes has been achieved and to know how far the modified strategies have been successful in tackling the historical legacy of their backwardness. Specifically, it is important to know what has been the impact of the programmes undertaken for their benefit in the following areas:
(a) Education, which accounted for over 50 per cent of all expenditure up to the end of the Sixth Plan.
• Includes projected estimates for Assam.
(Figures in breckets represent female literacy percentages).
The population of scheduled castes as a percentage of the total population was stable over the decade 1961 -71, increasing to 15.5 per cent in the following decade, while the population of scehduled tribes, after remaining static at 6.9 per cent of the total population in the 1961 -71 decade rose to 7.9 per cent in the 1971 -81 decade. It however, needs to be recalled that the population of scheduled tribes went up on account of the removal of area restriction for scheduled communities in 1976.
15.5 The inter-decennial trends in occupational cate- gories among the working population of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are brought out in Table 15.2. It is noteworthy that for the scheduled castes, there is a slight increase in the share of cultivators, while for the seche- duled tribes there is a decline. Both the groups show a decline in the share of agricultural labourers, this being marked in the case of scheduled castes. An increasing trend of non-agricultural activities is descernible among both.
15.6 As regards literacy, which is one of the major indicators of social advancement, the position is shown in Table 15.3. The percentage of literacy among communities other than scheduled castes and scheduled tribes showed an increase from 33.8 in 1971 to 41.22 in 1981; the corresponding, increases for SCs and STs have been less. Then increase in female literacy among the SCs and STs has been very slow. While the enrolment percentage for the total child population in the 11-14 age group was 33.53, for SCs it was 29.3 and STs 15.78.
15.7 As regards employment in government service the number of scheduled tribe employees in the Central Government, are given in Table 15.4. It will be seen that over the period 1965-83, the employment of persons belonging to the scheduled castes went up by 93 per cent and the employment of scheduled tribes increased by nearly 217 per cent. The employment of scheduled castes in Class I jobs went up by more than 10 times in this period and that in Class II jobs by more than 7 times. The corresponding figures for increase for the scheduled tribe employees are by more than 14 times in Class I jobs and by nearly 9 times in the case of Class II jobs. While these figures indicate that the progress has been made, it is an undeniable fact that the progress has not been fast enough and that neither of these two sections of the popula tion, i.e. scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, are able to make full use of the reservation quotas.
(Figures in parentheses are percentage increases over the period).
Review of the Sixth Plan
15.8 The Sixth Plan strategy for the socio-economic development of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes was designed to ensure a higher degree of devolution of funds through the Special Component Plans and through special Central assistance than in the earlier plans, with the overall objective to see that at least half of them were provided substantial assistance to enable them to cross the poverty line. The total outlays contemplated in the Sixth Plan and the amounts actually spent are given in Table 15.5.
Socio-Economic Programmes for Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes
15.9 The socio-economic development programmes for the development of the scheduled castes envisaged the strategy of using a Special Component Plan for 20 States and 4 Union Territories with a relatively large scheduled caste population. In regard to the Tribal Sub-Plan, a notable occurence during the Sixth Plan was that the State of Sikkim was added to the States covered under the Tribal Sub-Plan approach. 245 tribal pockets were identified for intensive development, increasing the coverage of the tribal population to 75 per cent while the number of primitive tribes identified increased from 52 to 72. (There are now 180 Integrated Tribal Development Projects). Emphasis was placed more on family oriented programmes than on infrastructure development unlike in the previous plans. The special development programmes for other backward classes included some provisions for educational and economic schemes and benefits for those groups who did not fall within the definition of either of the schedules relating to scheduled castes/scheduled tribes, but who were equally indigent. Special Component Plans are to be drawn up by the States/Union Torritories, identifying schemes (and relevant funds) which would benefit scheduled castes within their plans for various sectors of development. Special Component plans (SCPs) have a Special Central Assistance Counterpart by way of an addition to the States' Plan programme
15.10 The achievements during the Sixth Plan in relation to socio-economic development programmes for the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other back ward classes are: Stipends and scholarships were awarded to 115 lakhs children belonging to SCs/STs and other backward classes, and another 113 lakhs children belonging to these categories were covered by other educational incentives like free supply of uniforms, sta tionary, books etc. Post-matric scholarships were awarded to about 9 lakhs SC/ST students and 3000 hostels and 9000 Ashram schools were established. In the economic field, the schemes have been more in the nature of provision of inputs for the generation of. income among beneficiary families. About 3 lakhs SCs/STs and other backward classes were given assistance for sustain- ing activities in production sectors like agriculture, animal husbandry and cottage industries. An important program me taken up was the liberation of scavengers from their demeaning occupation through conversion of dry (ser vice) latrines into water closets under a Centrally- Sponsored Scheme in towns and municipalities covering a whole town at a time. This was taken up as a pilot project in 15 stales, and 70 towns were covered.
15.11 The Sixth Plan physical achievements cannot be compared to those of the earlier Plans, in that it is only in the Sixth Plan that a definite target of economically assisting 50 per cent of the SC/ST families to cross over the poverty line was laid down in the guidelines. But it can be said that by and large the targets set for the Sixth Plan have been achieved. Against the target of 8.65 million SC families to be brought above the poverty line. It is estimated that by the end of 1984-85, 8.71 million SC families have been assisted. As for ST families, against the Sixth Plan target of 2.70 million families, similarly to be brought above the poverty line, 3.46 million ST families would have received assistance to bring them above the poverty line. It is, however, by no means certain that all those families assisted have, in fact, crossed the poverty line, and for the Seventh Plan it is possible that some families assisted in the Sixth Plan may yet require some assistance to take them permanently above the poverty line.
15.12 An encouraging feature of the Special Compo nent Plans drawn up by the States for the socio-economic development of the scheduled classes is that the quality of the schemes and their implementation has shown im- provement over the previous plans. However, much still needs to be done towards organisational improvements; coordination among various implementation agencies and proper linkages between different programmes and schemes aimed at the same target groups need to be strengthened. Some of the major difficulties observed relate to a lack of decetralisation from the State to the Block level, of adequate communication between them, and of a proper reporting and monitoring machinery at the ground level. Another development that can have a favourable impact on future programmes for the uplift of these backward communities has been the increase in the number of Scheduled Castes Development Corporations in the various States, which provide margin money for catalysing economic and income generating activities among the scheduled castes. Their role in catalysing development and in mobilising additional credit should not be underestimated; and there are now 19 Scheduled Castes Development Corporations with a total capitlal of over Rs. 173 crores. The Corporations have enabled some 2.7 million SC families to get benefits through assistance by themselves and through bank loans which they helped the families to secure. In the aggregate, subsidies, margin money loans and bank loans amount to Rs. 635 crores. An other significant achievement is the distribution among scheduled caste families of land declared surplus under the ceiling laws. During the Sixth Plan period, 8,06,143 acres of land declared surplus under the ceiling laws were distributed among 6,88,175 scheduled caste families. To date, out of a total of 43 lakh acres of surplus land distributed, the total area distributed to the scheduled castes is 13.33 lakh acres. Of the total beneficiaries of 32.48 lakhs who were given surplus land, 12.47 lakh beneficiaries (or 38 per cent) are scheduled caste families.
15.13 Under infrastructure, of vital importance for tribal development, soil conservation measures have been undertaken in respect of 2 lakh hectares. About 9,000 tribal villages have been electrified and more than 80,000 villages provided with drinking water supply. An estimated 8.5 lakh shifting cultivator tribal families and about 5,000 forest villages still await a fair deal under Plan program mes. The problem of shifting cultivators and forest villages has remained largely unresolved over the years because of the inability to make large investments without commercial or economic return.
15.14 Reviewing the Sixth Plan performance, the lack of progress in some areas may be noted. For the Tribal Sub-Plan, States have not been able to prepare even by the end of the Sixth Plan project reports for all Integrated Tribal Development Projects (ITDPs), or for tribal pockets or for the development of primitive tribes. Coordination between the different tribal programmes which are taken up at the project level has been lacking; also involvement of tribals and their traditional institutions, both in the development and the reproductive spheres, has left much to be desired. The conclusions in this regard set out in the Mid-Term Appraisal of the Sixth Plan continue to hold good.
STRATEGY FOR THE SEVENTH PLAN
Soclo-Economic Programmes for Scheduled Castes
15.15 The aim of the Seventh Plan is to continue the thrust towards the socio-economic development of the scheduled castes and to give them occupational mobility and economic strength. Programmes will have to be designed in order to fulfil their minimum needs together with emphasis on the integration of different sectoral development programmes, with a clear recognition of the needs of the scheduled castes. Special attention will be given to assist this segment of the population to cross the poverty line.
15.16 The emphasis on beneficiary-oriented program mes and schemes for the socio-economic uplift of the scheduled castes will continue, but it is necessary to recognise that the strategy has to cater to two broad occupational categories which can be distinguished namely, (a) those engaged in land-based activities and (b) those engaged in non-land based activities. In the first category would be included landless agricultural labourers and marginal cultivators, while the second category would include leather workers, weavers and other artisans, fishersmen, scavengers, etc. It is possible that these occupational categories are not mutually exclusive and that many families might be engaging themselves in activities belonging to both categories.
15.17 In the first category, the main problem is lack, or inadequacy, of assets. Allotment to the landless of ceiling surplus land, Government wasteland and other lands found surplus, will be undertaken. Implementation of ceiling laws will be speeded up. Plugging of loop-holes in the ceiling laws and pursuit of time-bound programmes can lead to substantial allotment of surplus land to scheduled caste families. Land-holding families will be helped in the development of their land, through provision of agricultural credit, inputs, irrigation, etc. under the Small and Marginal Farmers Schemes. Where irrigation becom es available, enforcement of wet-land ceiling can make available surplus land which can then be distributed among the scheduled castes. The programmes of provi- sion of irrigation to land owned by the Scheduled castes in compact blocks will be continued. For agricultural labour- ers, enforcement of the statutory minimum wages is important; the enforcement machinery will be mobilised for the purpose, particularly in major wage-employment areas. Programmes of animal husbandry, handicraft, village and cottage industries and inculcation of skills for induction into the tertiary sector will also be taken up for them.
15.18 Efforts will be made to properly organise and modernise all stages of activities of weavers, leather workers and other artisans. The necessary infrastructure and other facilities will be created for those engaged in fisheries. For all these occupational categories comprehensive schemes for common facilities, skill jmprove-ment, supply of raw materials and marketing of products will be formulated and implemented. Formation of cooperatives of brick-kiln workers would prove useful for organising their work on a proper footing. Steps will be taken to make the unorganised labour in the urban sector, comprised of rickshaw pullers, cart pullers, etc., owners of their vehicles. Details regarding the number of scheduled caste families in each occupational group needing assistance, the quantum of assistance required by each family and the manner in which it should flow to them will be worked out by each State and UT Adminstration. All these schemes will form an important component of anti-poverty programmes aimed at raising the families above the poverty line.
15.19 The Scheduled Castes Development Corpora- tions which constitute one of the instruments of economic development of SC families have been acting as catalysts, promoters and guarantors in respect of beneficiary- oriented programmes. However, for lack of clear-cut agreement on procedures with other financial insitutions, their full potential has not been realised in the Sixth Plan period. Moreover, there have been deficiencies in the working of some of the corporations. The functioning of the corporations will be thoroughly evaluated and the short-comings rectified.
15.20 As indicated in Chapter 6, identification, release and rehabilitation of bonded labour will continue to be given priority attention. In reality, the per family require- ment of funds for rehablitation does not amount to much, and hence, the total outlay might not be very large; in any case this can be provided for fully. In fact, if funds available from all relevant sources for the rehabilitation of bonded labour are pooled, they will be adequate. A concerted effort and coordination between the different agencies are essential.
15.21 In most parts of the country, scheduled castes live in separate localities lacking essential services. In towns, they live in slums devoid of basic amenities. Basic facilities like drinking water, housing, health facilities, electrification, link roads, and fair price shops will be provided for in the bastis by the end of the Seventh Plan. In the matter of sources of drinking water supply and other village-level amenities, social accessibility will be borne in mind, new sources will be located in SC bastis, which would be meant for all communities.
15.22 Total elimination of scavenging is one of the objectives of the Seventh Plan. For this purpose, lowcost sanitation and whole-town approach for conversion of dry latrines into waterbome latrines will be adopted. New latrines need to be provided where none exists now. Sanitation workers of municipal bodies liberated from scavenging will be redeployed in other civic activities. The small number of those employed privately have to be trained for, and provided with, alternative avocations. Financial provision for elimination of scavenging, training of liberated scavengers and their employment will have a , priority claim on the Special Central Assistance to the States' Component Plans. A major task in the Seventh Plan will be the removal of deficiencies in the implementa tion of programmes. Reform measures in relation to administration, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes will be undertaken. These include assign ment of specific responsibilities to Collectors in the implementation of SCP programmes, communication of disaggregated physical and financial targets to district and block-level authorities, strengthening of implementation machinery, regualr inspection, preparation of a check-list, for each programme, avoidance of multi-counting of beneficiary families, and review of programmes at the level of the Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister. In the field of personnel policies selection of dedicated and compe tent persons and their posting with reasonable security of tenure is most important. To sum up, in the Seventh Plan period, linkages between different sectors and program mes, back-up services organisational structures and personnel coordination will receive close and continuing attention.
15.23 The programme of scheduled castes develop ment is not likely to succeed without public participation. Decentralisation will be carried through to the last rung. The role of non-government voluntary organisations in activising the systems, training cadres of grass root workers, mobilising the resources of the community and providing professional and managerial expertise will be valuable. Even more important will be their attempt at raising the awareness of the people through non formal and informal educational methods. The media can render extremely useful service here.
15.24 As part of the strategy of the Special Component Plan earmarking of outlays in the State plan sectors has helped to galvanize larger flow of funds for scheduled castes' development. In the Seventh Plan, the States will set apart as large a proportion of the total State plan outlay as is feasible for the SCP. Schemes and programmes will be formulated to the extent of this amount in accordance with the object and priorities of SC development and corresponding outlays will be distributed sector-wise. In the Sixth Plan, special Central assistance was introduced as an additionality to States' SCP with a view to creating a multiplier effect and to help fill gaps which financial flows from the Central and State plans were not able to fill. To make the maximum possible impact, the Special Central assistance was to be pooled with the states' own resources. The ortly condition imposed was that it should be used for programmes of economic development, including relevant training, back-up services, institutional build-up and arrangements for implementation, supervi- sion, monitoring and evaluation. The versatility of the Special Central Assistance is yet to be fully exploited and overall planning for its use has to be done. The Special Central Assistance for Socio-economic programmes for SCs in the Seventh Plan will be Rs. 930 crores.
15.25 The tribal areas present a considerable degree of environmental and ethnic diversity. Tribal communities differ in their socio-economic levels, educational attain- ments and cultural milieus. The Tribal sub-Plan (TSP) strategy adopted comprises; (a) identification in a State of development blocks where tribal population is in a majority and their constitution into integrated tribal development projects (ITDPs) with a view to adopting therein an integrated and project-based approach for development; (b) earmarking of funds for the TSP and ensuring flow of funds from the Central and State Plan sectoral outlays and from financial institutions; and (c) creation of appropriate administrative structures in tribal areas and adoption of appropriate personnel policies. The TSP has, overall, a two-fold thrust, firstly, socio-economic development of tribal areas and secondly, that of the tribal families. Thes basic premises will continue to be operative in the Seventh Plan.
15.26 The majority of tribal areas have remained isolated and backward. With their low levels of training, skills and technology which have remained largely tradi- tional, the natural resources of tribal areas have remained unexploited for the development of tribals. Tribal areas are, further, characterised by socio-economic exploitation by non-tribals. One of the major tasks in the Seventh Plan will be to create an awareness of these factors among the tribals, and stringent anti-exploitative measures under taken along-side socio-economic development program- mes. Particular care needs to be taken of the small primitive tribal groups, some of which face extinction. One of the causes which has given rise to discontent among tribals is the loss of their lands, and remedial measures against this need to be given priority- Also, tribal families displaced as a result of location of projects like power, irrigation, industries, mining etc., in tribal areas will need to be properly rehabilitated.
15.27 The planning process in tribal areas has to be a judicious mix of beneficiary-oriented programmes, human resource development and infrastructure development the bias being towards the first two 30 lakh tribal families in TSP will be assisted in the Seventh Plan to build to build up their economic base.
15.28 In the protective Sphere, legislative measures already in force will be implemented stringently, as in the fields of agricultural tenancy, money-lending, debt-relief, bonded labour, forestry, excise and trade, as well as in respect of socio -cultural exploitation etc. Also, codification of customary laws still prevalent among the tribals will be attempted.
15.29 Large agricultural multi-purpose societies (LAMPS) in tribal area will be strengthened through broadening of their popular base in the board of directors and/or other executive bodies to make them effective instruments for the elimination of exploitation in the sale and marketing of tribal produce, consumer necessities and credit. To coordinate the activities of State-level Tribal Development Corporations, the national level Tribal Marketing Organisation already set up needs to get into full gear. Plan formulation and project reports will be made in close consultation with beneficiary-participants. Scien tific project reports will be prepared for ITDPs, tribal concentration pockets and primitive tribal groups with reference to the natural resource endowment, the tradi tional occupations and skills of the people and a properly drawn-up development perspective.
15.30 A balance will be struck between subsistence and commercial production, keeping in view the state of infrastructural development, the type and extent of marketing network and the efficiency of public delivery systems, and eco-systems oriented towards the needs of the weaker sections.
15.31 As regards tribals practising shifting cultivation, first of all no viable alternative programmes have been presented so far to the shifting cultivators for directing them away towards alternative means of livelihood. Without such alternatives being available, it is difficult to envisage how this practice, so destructive in its impact on the environment and the ecology of fragile areas, can be curbed or eliminated. Secondly, even where the semblan ce of a viable programme has been in sight, it has suffered through faulty formulation and subsequently in imple- mentation; the programmes impinged on several sectors Jike land, agriculture, irrigation, marketing and there was lack of coordination among the concerned authorities. Particularly in relation to shifting cultivation, an inter disciplinary approach is a 'sine qua non' for a successful programme. At present, this is conspicuous by its absence. Wherever shifting cultivation is a major problem, there is need for each concerned State Government to examine the matter in-depth and develop such an approach towards tackling this urgent problem of environ mental degradation.
15.32 About 2 lakh tribal families of about 5,000 forest villages do not possess even now any rights to the <land they cultivate. They have no access to development programmes. Without these forest villages being declared as revenue villages, the inhabitants cannot be the reci pients of benefits flowing from development programmes!
15.33 A policy for the rehabilitation of project displaced persons has to be formulated at the national level, prescribing the general policy for the rehabilitation of persons displaced by large-scale land acquisition for projects and the special measures to be taken in the interest of scheduled tribes in such cases. Among other things, the policy will have to enjoin that rehabilitation of displaced persons, particularly the tribals, will form an integral part of the investment costs of projects relating to industries, irrigation, power, mining and forestry and wild life, of more than a certain magnitude, whether taken up in the Government corporate, joint or private sectors.
15.34 Integration in administration in tribal areas at ITDP levels has been the aim, but there are several programmes operataing in these project areas, like IRDP, DPAP, RLEGP and NREP, in respect of which the tribal area administration headed by the Project Administrator of the local ITDP has not been kept in the picture. This has had consequential effect on coordination.
15.35 Greater attention will be paid during the Seventh Plan to concurrent monitoring and evaluation through the existing field functionaries in the tribal areas on the principle of checks and balances. Further, independent academic and research organisations will be deployed for evaluation studies on the impact of various development projects meant for the socio-economic uplift of tribals.
15.36 For removing the backwardness of tribal women, adequate stress on economic development schemes aimed at them, or in which they can participate, needs to be given. While executing the programmes it has to be ensured that tribal women are assisted under income- generating programmes of IRDP and SCA. Mahila Sami- ties and other Women's organisations in tribal areas which are identified for the implementation of economic prog rammes for tribal women may be considered for being assisted on a selective basis. The Madhya Pradesh Government have established a Kanya Shiksha Parishad at Chhindwara where education and training is imparted to tribal women in a unified manner. Such centres could be considered for establishment by other States. Inclusion of tribal women representatives in the project implementa tion committees meant for development of tribal people would go a long way towards integrating specifically into the socio-economic programmes for their uplift.
15.37 The process of plan formulation generally and also the planning of specific projects need to attach importance to the ethos, needs and aspirations of specific tribal groups, while keeping the State and national priorities in view. The concept of planning from below needs to be given concrete shape in tribal areas by taking up re-formulation of the existing ITDP project reports/ plans. The State Tribal Sub-Plans are not to be merely a compendium of tribal areas project plans and the tribal componen1,of the programmes of individual development departments, but should also include programmes and outlays under imprtant non-plan sectors having a developmental thrust.
15.38 The role of institutional finance in the beneficiary oriented programmes is vital. Financial institutions need to make an assessment of the role played by them so far and take the necessary steps for more active involvement. The plans of institutional finance have to be compatible with the partially-monetised economy of the tribals.
15.39 The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution provides a legal and administrative framework for the Scheduled Areas. Even this schedule in not fully operational as yet and this lapse has to be rectified. Further, the design support of the Fifth Schedule will have to be meaningfully combined with the self-management thrust of the Sixth Schedule to lend emphasis to endogenous growth. Non-government voluntary organisations can make signi ficant contributions by catalysing the involvement of and the "active participation by, tribals, approaching the tribal problems from a closer perspective and taking up de velopment programmes for primitive tribal groups in relatively inaccessible areas. The right type of voluntary organisations, depending on local sources of funds, would be encouraged. Coordination among governmental and non-governmental agencies would need to be fostered. On the whole, the existing preponderant reliance on official agencies has to be replaced by the participation of the beneficiaries in the planning and implementation process through elective, nominated and traditional in stitutions, as well as voluntary organisations.
15.40 In order that the dynamics of development does not directly or indirectly conflict with the custorhary modes and usages prevalent in tribal areas, it is necessary to codify the laws, coventions and usages, particularly in the developmental and functional areas. For want of adequate knowledge on the part of the planning personnel it is possible that by taking a wrong direction, the development process makes no headway at all. To avoid this, phased programme of codification of customary laws relating to property (particularly land), Inheritance, family and kinship, traditional tribal institutions, traditional village officers, etc., will be taken up.
15.41 Earmarking of portions of funds allocated to various sectors of State and Central Plan has been a part of the tribal sub-plan strategy. In the Seventh Plan period, of the total Plan outlay of a State/Ministry a reasonable proportion needs to be reserved for the TSP. The Special Central Assistance for TSP has been fixed at Rs. 756 crores for the Seventh Plan.
Other Socio-economic Programmes for the Backward Classes
15.42 The schemes of welfare for the Backward Classes in the Seventh Plan will continue to lay emphasis on strengthening the educational base of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes, both in the State Plans and through Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
15.43 In order to increase the school enrolment of SC/ST children, provision will be made for 100 per cent coverage, along with supply of free textbooks and stationery, provision of free uniforms, and provision of attendance scholarships, particularly for girls (including, possibly, some compensation to their parents for their opportunity cost). Other incentives like mid-day meals, hostel facilities, special coaching in schools/colleges in classes IX, X, XI and XII for such children as are weak in some subjects, particularly English Science and Mathematics, will also be provided in the Seventh Plan. Introduction of merit scholarship at the post-matric stage at the rate of one-and-a-half times the rate of normal scholarships and removal of the present restriction limiting scholarships to two children of the same parents are also envisaged. Book-banks for all professional courses, liber alisation of pre-matric scholarship schemes for children of those engaged in unclean occupations (increasing the rate of scholarships) and inclusion of day-scholars in the scheme for pre-matric scholarships are other educational schemes. Suitable modifications of the schemes for educational development, keeping in view the needs of scheduled castes/scheduled tribes and the introduction of preparatory training remedial teaching and special coaching for professional courses at the district level will be undertaken.
15.44 Schemes for economic aid to SCs/STs/OBCs will also be formulated in areas where the norms of general sector schemes do not adequately cover these people. The existing framework of the Scheduled Castes Financial Development Corporations will be utilised to channelise margin money funds to scheduled tribe fami lies also along with scheduled caste beneficiaries. This will not only reduce the organisational and administrative overheads but will enable SCs/STs placed in similar economic situation in the same areas being treated on par, and through a 'single window' source for margin money. However, ways and means have to be devised to extend margin money loans to STs from either separately allocated share capital funds or through the Special Central Additive for TSP.
15.45 Research and training will be expanded to fund research/surveys on SC/ST programmes not only by the Tribal Research and Training Institutes in the States, but also by voluntary bodies, academic institutions and research workers. Participation of voluntary organsiations will be soclicited not only for implementing the socio economic programmes and specific schemes for SCs/ STs and other backward classes, but also to organise, motivate and assist SCs/STs/OBCs to come forward to avail themselves of development programmes. Their assistance will be specifically sought for wide-spread installation of cheap sanitary systems in rural and urban areas, which will eliminate service privies and liberate scavengers from an unclean and health-hazardous occupation.
15.46 For all these programmes, an allocation of Rs. 1239.21 crores has been provided in the State Plans and Rs. 281.22 crores in the Central Sector.
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