CHITRADURGA: Education, skill development and improving the lives of SCs, OBCs and socially-neglected sections, like transgenders, elderly people and disabled, are the top priorities of his ministry, said newly-inducted Union Minister of State of Social Justice and Empowerment A Narayanaswamy. Setting up of residential schools in all districts of the country following the Karnataka model, is on top of his agenda too, he said.
He told The New Sunday Express, “Education is the key indicator of development and the thrust given during my tenure in Karnataka as a social welfare minister had ensured setting up of Morarji Desai and Kittur Channamma residential schools for SCs and OBC communities, which helped in educating all. This needs to be replicated across the country. It should be done on a pilot basis in a few districts and based on its success, it should be extended to the entire country. Overseas education for SC/STs and OBCs, and providing them with training to take up competitive exams and higher education will be given thrust.”
The Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana will be merged with the MGNREGA programme to help villages across the country see real development and his ministry will monitor the transformation, he added. Some state governments, after getting the financial help, are trying to project Central schemes as their own without giving credit to the Union Government. His ministry will monitor this to ensure that the Centrally-sponsored programmes are publicised with the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Government of India logo to let people know it is being the taken up by the Centre, he added.
On the differently-abled people, he said that a study is needed to identify the reason for the prevalence of disability in the country. “Differently abled-friendly equipment should be developed, which is possible through technological innovations. The differently abled will be provided with skill development training to help them lead an independent life,” he added.
The problem of fake caste certificates should be tackled to avoid injustice to real SC and OBC beneficiaries, he said. “I have asked my department officials to set up a data repository on fake caste certificate cases, hold meetings with the Solicitor-General of India and ensure that violators are punished.”