Pitching for the development of the minorities, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has said that the government has allocated Rs. 1,030 crores in the first state budget for the welfare and development of the minorities.
For the welfare and development of minorities, who have constituted 14.24% among the population, a comprehensive plan is prepared. For the first in the annuals of history, we have allocated Rs. 1,030 crores in the first state budget for the welfare and development of the minorities. The allocations were then hiked to Rs. 1,204 crores the same year, Rao said.
He further said that backwardness among the minorities can be eradicated only through education. A majority of minorities are dependent on petty jobs and trades. Hence they are not been able to send their children for better education. Understanding this, the state government wanted the children of the minorities to get good and quality education without having any financial burden on their parents, he said.
The state government has decided to set up residential schools exclusively for the minorities at a cost of Rs. 8,000 crores in the state. During 2016-17 Academic year, 71 minority residential schools were started. Another 129 schools will be started in the next academic year. With this, there will be 200 residential schools for the minorities in the state, he added.
Realising that there is a large percent of girls dropping out of the schools, Rao further said that the state government has made 100 residential schools for the girls. No other state or government in this country has ever made such a step for the minorities. About 1, 28, 000 students (both girls and boys) will get a global level education in English Medium from these schools. These revolutionary measures for the minorities will usher in a wonderful future for these youngsters, he said.
Past regimes have adopted the policy of offering some small favours to get their votes. But our government is planning for a permanent solution to the problems faced by the minorities forever and brings a qualitative change in their lives through the setting up schools, he added.
The Telangana Chief Minister informed that the state government has introduced Overseas Scholarships Scheme for those minority students pursuing their education abroad.
Last year, under this Scheme, 463 students were given Rs 10 lakh scholarship each besides providing their airfare. This year we have increased the scholarship amount from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. We have given premetric scholarship to 89,000 minority students at a cost of Rs 35 crore. On par with SC/ST/BC students, 1, 18,000 minority students studying from Intermediate to PG were given Post Metric scholarship to each one who have applied. Like SC/ST students, minority students were also given the fee reimbursement notwithstanding their ranks. We have paid Rs 219.43 crores to 1,18,000 minority students during the academic year 2015-16, he said.
He also said, To encourage minority entrepreneurs, TS PRIME, on the lines of TS PRIDE launched for the SC/ST entrepreneurs, is launched. A Special IT Special Economic Zone (ECZ) is also being launched in Hyderabad exclusively for the minority industrialists.
The state government has launched an innovative scheme in the twin cities called ‘own your Auto’. Under his scheme, 1783 minority youth were given Autos on 50% subsidy. For the self-employment of the minority youth, the subsidy component of the government has been increased from 60% to 80% he added. Asserting that since the government has increased programmes under the Minority Welfare Department, Rao said the department has become important and its activities extended.