House passes grants for Tribal Affairs Deptt
Rs 43.49 cr financial assistance provided; 5 EMRS, JKTRI being set up; 2 Milk Villages sanctioned; Shelter sheds coming up on migratory routes
JAMMU, JAN 22: Minister for Tribal Affairs Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today said that for inclusive development of State’s tribal population multiple steps have been taken in various sectors especially education, agriculture, dairy and sheep husbandry.
The Minister was replying on Demand for Grants of Tribal Affairs department in the Legislative Assembly today.
“Resolving a long standing concern of marginalized members of tribal population of the State, process has been initiated for preparing Special Ration Cards, that will be issued to nomadic beneficiaries under PHH category thereby entitling them for rations under NFSA & MMSFES,” Zulfkar informed the House, adding that district administrations have been directed to expedite the process for identification of beneficiaries.
He said that setting up of Tribal Research Institute in J&K State will be paramount in focusing efforts on development and preservation of Tribal cultural heritage besides providing inputs for evidence based planning and appropriate legislations, capacity building of Tribals and institutions associated with tribal affairs, dissemination of information and creation of awareness.
Zulfkar said to promote and support education among ST students, 05 Eklavya Mode Residential Schools (EMRS) have been sanctioned for Anantnag, Kulgam, Rajouri, Kargil and Poonch districts; EMRS Anantnag and Kulgam are near completion and academic activities are likely to be started from April 01, 2018.
He informed that each EMRS has a capacity of about 480 students- 240 boys and 240 girls and will provide lodging, boarding facilities and education to ST students free of cost.
Additionally, 23 ST/G&B Hostels, 17 for boys and 6 for girls are currently functional with intake capacity of 2125 students; works underway on 20 new G&B Hostels, being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 26 crore. Further, six hostels will be converted into residential schools in Kupwara, Bandipora, Kathua, Poonch and Doda at a cost of Rs 12.50 crore.
The Minister informed that financial assistance amounting Rs 29.88 crore was provided to 197933 students in the year 2016-17 under various scholarships for tribal students.
“For the year 2017-18, Rs 13.61 crore scholarships were provided to to 177273 students under Pre-Matric Scholarship for 1st to 8th for Gujjar & Bakerwal students, besides, 18520 applications were received for Post-Matric Scholarship and 7401 applications for Pre-Matric Scholarship for 9th & 10th class ST students; the disbursement for which is under process”, the Minister informed.
Besides, the department will also be sponsoring 20 meritorious ST students under IAS/KAS coaching this year.
He informed that under Skill Development initiative, during current financial year, 1100 ST students (50 from each district) will be trained in Paramedical Courses. During 2016-17, 129 ST candidates were trained in two courses viz. Business Process Operation and Electrician Domestic, he added.
Adding to 11 Cluster Tribal Model Villages sanctioned for 11 districts during 2016-17, 6 more CTM Villages have been sanctioned in 03 districts in current year till date, the Minister stated.
“34 new e-class rooms are also being constructed at an amount of Rs 85 lakh in these 17 Model Villages”, he added.
Further, the Minister informed that to boost milk production in Tribal areas, various efforts are underway including approving constitution of Milk Villages, at Agri Rajouri and at Sangarwani, Pulwama, establishment of Milk Bulk Cooling Plant at village Rakh Barotian Vijaypur besides proposed establishment of 125 Milk Collection units in Districts Rajouri, Samba, Kathua and Jammu. These will provide job opportunities to 125 Tribal Youths, he added.
He said that other initiatives under process include construction of shelter sheds at an estimated cost of Rs 1.58 crore on migratory routes at Shatani Nallah, Sinthan Top, Surankote, Dubjan and Peer ki Gali (Dongimarg) and Rs 1.39 crore expenditure on supporting agricultural activities like mushroom cultivation, distribution of hybrid seeds and promotion of organic farming; avenues are being explored to establish sheep units in every district.
Various issues of Tribals including application of Forest Right Act and Tribal policy in the State, Application of SC/ST Atrocities Act to State, Settlement of nomads in the state is under active consideration of the Government, the Minister assured.
Later, the House passed grants amounting to Rs 5101.61 lakh for Tribal Affairs department with voice vote.
Earlier, several members took part in the discussion and gave valuable suggestions for further strengthening the department. They include Javid Ahmad Rana, Asgar Ali Karbalai, Neelam Langeh, Choudhary Qamar Hussain, G M Saroori, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Bashir Ahmad Dar, Jeewan Lal, Abdul Majeed Padder, Usman Abdul Majid, Mubarak Gul, Syed Farooq Andrabi, Dr Krishen Lal, Choudhary Mohammad Akram, Shah Mohammad Tantray, Altaf Ahmad Wani, Viqar Rasool, Raja Manzoor, Abdul Majid Larmi and Yawar Ahmad Mir.