Govt's revised scheme to increase tribal literacy

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) Aimed at facilitating 100 per cent enrolment of tribal girls in schools, more particularly in naxal affected areas and the areas inhabited by the Primitive Tribal Groups, the Centre today announced a massive scheme to raise the literacy levels of Scheduled Tribe females and empower them.

A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave its approval for a revised cent per cent Central Sector Gender-specific Scheme of "Strengthening Education among Scheduled Tribe (ST) Girls in Low Literacy Districts." An official spokesperson said after the meeting that a sum of Rs 298.79 crore had been earmarked for the scheme during the eleventh plan period. The revised scheme and the financial norms would be implemented from April 1 this year.

The scheme would be implemented in 54 identified districts where the ST population is 25 per cent or more and tribal female literacy rate below 35 per cent as per 2001 census. Any other tribal block with the same parameters would also be covered.

In addition, the scheme would also cover areas below a block level inhabited by the notified Primitive Tibal Groups.

"Out of all the areas covered under the scheme, the naxal affected areas will be given priority," the spokesperson said.

Under the revised scheme, an assistance at the rate of Rs 26,000 per student per annum would be given to meet the expenses.

The scheme provides for improved rates for free meals, books and uniforms, monthly cash incentive to tribal girl students at improved rates. There is also a provision for stipend for tuition and proper health care and medical contingency.

The spokesperson said the scheme would help in reducing the drop outs at the elementary level by creating the required infrastructure and ambience for education with good health.

"The scheme will help in rising of literacy levels of ST tribal females and empowerment," she said.

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