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Set up call centres to aid SC, ST students, says CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Chief Minister on Friday directed the officers concerned to set up call centres to ensure help to the SC and ST students. The directions came after he reviewed the disbursement of SC and ST scholarship to students.He also told officers to ensure that SMSes and IVRs are sent to all applicants for scholarships adding that the staff working at call centres will be trained to work without mistakes. Kejriwal also directed the Chief Secretary and the departmental secretary to take all measures to ensure that the scholarships are disbursed smoothly and on time.According to the statement, the CM said that all calls to the helpline should be recorded and transcribed and all grievances should be resolved within 48 to 72 hours of the complaint lodged.

Other IDs to be accepted for getting benefits of schemes: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre today clarified that no one will be deprived of the benefits of subsidy schemes for the want of Aadhaar number and other identity proofs will be accepted. The move comes after various opposition parties objected to the HRD Ministry’s announcement of making Aadhaar mandatory for receiving scholarships and benefits under the mid-day meal scheme. “No one will be deprived of benefits for lack of Aadhaar. Till Aadhaar number is assigned to any individual, the benefit will continue to be given based on alternate means of identification,” an official statement said. “In case of Mid Day Meal scheme and under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, schools and anganwadis have been asked to collect Aadhaar number of the beneficiaries and in case a child does not have Aadhaar, the functionaries will be required to provide enrollment facilities and till then the benefits will continue,” it said. The government asserted that the total savings in some schemes after plugging of leakages due to want of Aadhaar number in the last two and a half years amount to more than Rs 49,000 crore. Aadhaar has become an important tool of transformation, good governance and empowerment of people, it said. “Considering the usefulness of Aadhaar, the government has recently issued orders to use it in several welfare schemes. While these orders require beneficiaries to give their Aadhaar number, it has also been ensured that no one is deprived of the benefits for want of it,” the release said. “During the last two and half years, Aadhaar has helped in direct delivery of benefits to crores of people through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in schemes such as LPG subsidy under Pahal, Scholarships, MNREGA, and Pensions. “In the Public Distribution System, Aadhaar is ensuring that food grains are received only by genuine beneficiaries and are not diverted by any middle man or unscrupulous elements,” it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Budget criticised by Dalit, SC/ST rights activists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The union budget for 2017-18 was criticised by a group of Dalit and Scheduled Caste rights activists here today, for its “paradigmatic shift” in policy from sub plans to welfare-oriented approach and merger of plan and non-plan heads in it. The budget replaces SC Sub Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) by ‘Allocations for welfare of SC and ST’ which is a “retrogressive step” as sub plans had been key policy for flow of financial resources to Dalit and Tribal communities in the country, said Paul Divakar in a press conference organised by National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights. “The previous trend of under-allocation continues in 2017-18 budget and the allocations for SC comprise only 2.5 per cent and triabl allocations 1.53 per cent of total budget expenditure although government has raised total allocations as compared to last year. It is violative of Jadhav guidelines mandating allocating minimum of 4.63 per cent for SC and 2.39 per cent for ST of the total budgetary allocation,” he said. Vimal Thorat slammed the government for “negligible” allocations for schemes of SC and ST women. “These women continue to be marginalised and suffer from all kinds of discrimination. Within the SC and ST welfare schemes, allocations for women schemes amount to just 1.19 per cent (SC) and 1.68 per cent (ST). Is it something worth considering.” she questioned. The analysis of NCDHR shows that several of the directly beneficial schemes for SCs and STs like Self Empowerment of Manual Scavengers and Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers, National Overseas Scholarships and National SC Finance Development Corporation have been “severely undermined” of funding has been “slashed”, Abhay Xaxa said. “Only 11 new schemes for SC and 8 for ST have been introduced in 2017-18,” he said. Beena Pallical and Ravi Duggal also participated in analysis of the budget in terms of SC and ST allocations. Pallical said that recommendations has been made to the government for real targeted schemes for SCs and STs, legislation on sub plans for SC and ST, special focus on Dalit and tribal women, and release of Rs 12,000 crore as backlog of Post Matric Scholarships to students of marginalised communities.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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