Karnataka govt committed to constitutional classification of quota for SCs: CM Siddaramaiah


PTI, Feb 16, 2024, 7:58 PM IST

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, presenting the state budget on Friday, said his government is committed to a scientific and constitutional classification of reservation for scheduled castes, and has made a recommendation to the Centre in this regard.

The cabinet had last month decided to recommend to the Centre to insert Article 341 (3) to the Constitution, which will enable states to provide internal reservation among Scheduled Castes.

”Our Government is committed to a scientific and constitutional classification of reservation for scheduled castes. In this respect, a recommendation has been made to the Central Government to insert clause (3) under Article 341,” he said.

The move is seen as significant ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

The chief minister also announced several welfare schemes and measures in the budget for various sections of society, including a gratuity facility for anganwadi workers and helpers, an increase in monthly pension under ‘Mythri’ scheme for gender minorities from Rs 800 to Rs 1,200. ”We will also take steps for simplifying the process of identification and issuing identity cards.” For welfare of former ‘devadasis’, the monthly allowance will be raised from Rs1,500 to Rs 2,000, while a special package will be provided through the Karnataka State Women’s Development Corporation.

Financial assistance for construction of houses will be given through Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation, and detailed survey on their socio-economic status will be conducted to design appropriate welfare interventions.

Siddaramaiah said the food allowance for students of government pre-matric and post-matric hostels, Ashram schools and residential schools under Social Welfare, Scheduled Tribes, Backward classes and Minorities Welfare Departments will be increased by Rs 100 per month for each student.

A ‘Nirashritara Parihara Kendra’ (Destitute Shelter) will be set up in East Bengaluru in view of the rapid growth of the city and rising number of destitutes, he said, adding that this would be constructed at a cost of Rs 10 crore and have a capacity to house 500 persons.

A corpus fund of Rs 35 crore will be created to provide financial assistance for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes patients who are suffering from rare diseases and are in need of expensive medical treatment. The interest accrued under this fund will be provided to patients as per treatment requirements, the CM said.

A stipend of Rs 15,000 will be provided to 200 engineering graduates enrolled in 6-to-12 months’ vocational training courses such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Indian Institute of Science, IITs or NITs.

Up-skilling in drone-based photography and videography has immense potential for employment in social-media, the CM said. Therefore, drone training will be imparted to 5,000 youngsters belonging to Scheduled Tribes who are already content creators on social media.

A monthly stipend of Rs 25,000 will be given to 100 research students belonging to the Scheduled Tribes who are pursuing postdoctoral fellowship and have not received any fellowship.

The Karnataka Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Commission will be formed to assess the socio-economic status of these communities.

A new social security scheme ‘Anna-Suvidha’, a home delivery app for the free delivery of food grains (PDS) to the doorstep of senior citizens above 80 years old, will be launched, Siddaramaiah said.

Further, 50 women-run cafes of the name ‘Cafe Sanjeevini’ will be launched across the state during this year at a cost of Rs.7.50 crore. These canteens will cater to the demand and supply gap in rural areas for healthy, hygienic and affordable cooked food in traditional local cuisine.

In collaboration with the Coffee Board, one lakh women members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) will be trained as coffee entrepreneurs. Besides, 2,500 coffee kiosks managed exclusively by SHG women will be set up at a cost of Rs 25 crore.

Affordable and secure transit hostels will be set up for students and working women for staying overnight in cities, the CM said. These lodges will be managed in partnership with women’s self-help groups and urban local bodies (ULBs). The project will be launched in five cities including Bengaluru in the first phase, at a cost of Rs two crore, the chief minister said.

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