New Delhi: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will set up 562 more Ekalavya Model Residential School (EMRS) in tribal areas of the country. Briefing media persons on the budgetary provisions for Budget 2018-19 the Minister for Tribal Affairs, Shri Jual Oram said that 271 EMRSs have already been sanctioned out of which 190 are currently operational. Shri Jual Oram said that the government is committed to provide the best quality education to the tribal children in their own environment. The Finance Minister in his budget speech had announced “the Government is committed to provide the best quality education to the tribal children in their own environment. To realize this mission, it has been decided that by the year 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Ekalavya Model Residential School. Ekalavya Schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.”
The Minister of Tribal Affairs explained that the EMRSs provide boarding and lodging facilities to tribal students and will be brought at par with the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyala through high quality education. An amount of Rs.241.60 Crore was released to States during 2017-18 for meeting reccuring cost of 190 functional EMRSs where about 56000 Tribal Students are enrolled at the rate of Rs.42,000/ student per annum.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has been allocated an amount of Rs. 6000 Crores in 2018-19 (BE) as compared to Rs. 5329.32 Crores in 2017-18 (BE) showing an increase of 12% (Rs.670.68 Crore) over the previous year.
Shri Jual Oram also disclosed that 24 items of Forest Produce are now been given MSP which will substantially increase the income of the tribal population. Similarly, loans are been given to Tribal Self Help Groups thourgh National Tribes Finance Development Corporation at low interest rate varying from1% to 8%. As announced by the Finance Minister in his budget speech, more than Rs.39000 Crore have been allocated for STs in 2018-19 under the Tribal Subplans Schemes, Shri Jual Oram said.
Secretary, M/o Tribal Affairs, Ms. Leena Nair disclosed that during the budget 2018-19, 5 new ministries have been included in the Scheduled Tribe Component (STC) and there are now 37 Central Ministries and Departments having STC funds catering to specific tribal development in various sectors through 297 different schemes. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will now monitor expenditure of these funds. For this, an online monitoring system has been put in place with web address http://stcmis.nic.in , she explained.
Ms. Nair also disclosed that 21 Tribal Research Institutes are being set up and 11 museums of national importance for tribal freedom fighters are planned in different States. The foundation of one such state of the art Tribal museum has already been laid by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in Gujarat, the Tribal Affairs Secretary explained.