PATNA: In a significant move to empower the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) people in Bihar, the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government has unveiled a scheme under which youth from these communities, who clear the central and state civil services preliminary examinations would be given monetary incentives.
SC and ST youths who clear the preliminary test (PT) of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) would get Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 respectively, according to the ‘Anusuchit Jati Evam Anusuchit Janjati Yojana,’ said officials.
“The amounts will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of the SC-ST students, and the amounts would be paid in a single installment. It will help them prepare better for the next phases of the tough civil services examinations,” said Bihar chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh.
Since most students from SC/ST communities often fail to afford the high costs involved in preparing for the civil services examinations, the financial assistance is expected to help them significantly and raise the number of youths from these communities joining the civil services. The scheme was approved by the state cabinet on Tuesday evening.
Under another new scheme, the government also decided to give a monthly grant of Rs 1,000 to all SC-ST students residing in government hostels across Bihar. This scheme, Mukhyamantri Anusuchit Jati Evam Janjati Chhatravas Yojana, is expected to help the SC/ST students meet their educational expenses, said officials.
The state government will also give 9 kg rice and 5 kg wheat to each student from minority, backward classes (BCs) and extremely backward classes (EBCs) along with SC/ST community every month. The state government will bear the cost of the grains along with the cost of transportation up to the hostels, the cabinet decided.
After having erased the distinction between Dalits and Mahadalits (poorest among Dalits), the government said all SC/ST families in Bihar would be eligible for benefits under Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission.
These new measures are seen as the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government’s alacrity to woo Bihar’s Dalits and tribal population after two prominent Dalit leaders – former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi and former Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary – quit NDA to join the Opposition camps.