Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday formally launched the recently announced Dr BR Ambedkar Post Matric Scheduled Caste Scholarship Scheme, and also practically laid the foundation stone of Rs 50-crore worth of projects at Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal (Ram Tirath), Amritsar, on Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti on Saturday.
Participating in the Valmiki Jayanti celebrations in Chandigarh, the chief minister practically inaugurated the Ram Tirath Industrial Training Institute (ITI), while giving the go-ahead for setting up a skill development centre to prepare Dalit students for competitive exams.
Moreover, he announced an annual holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act in remembrance Maharishi Valmiki, and said that Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, will organise an annual seminar on the eve of his birth anniversary annually.
Capt Amarinder Singh distributed Post-Matric SC Scholarship Certificates to Scheduled Caste students and congratulated the Valmiki Samaj for schemes launched by the technical education and departments for the Dalit community in the state.
CM TAKES SWIPE AT CENTRE
The chief minister said the state scholarship scheme will be sure that needy SC students get free higher education, which the Government of India had “unfairly disadvantaged them of with its abrupt withdrawal of Central aid of Rs 800 crore to the state”.
“The Dr BR Ambedkar Post Matric SC Scholarship, being launched without any financial contribution from the Centre, will supply 100% fee waiver for SC students to give them net savings of approximately Rs 550 crore,” he said.
The scheme, which will benefit more than 3 lakh naughty SC students annually, will entail no upfront payment by these students to government/private educational institutions. The institutes will supply free education to SC students under the scheme against direct subsidy from the state government, the chief minister announced, adding that the students will also get monthly stipend to shop for books, uniforms etc.
On the Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal projects, he said these include a panorama on Maharishi Valmiki (Rs 25-30 crore), facade lights (Rs. 10.9 crore), filtration plant in the sarovar (Rs. 4.75 crore), furniture for the sarai (Rs 2 crore) and construction of a parikrama (Rs. 1.3 crore).
90 TRAINEES ADMITTED AT ITI, RAM TIRATH
Practically inaugurating the transitory campus of the ITI at Ram Tirath, Captain Amarinder said the institute will contribute to generating more jobs for youngsters. Around 90 trainees have so far been admitted to the institute, he announced, adding that the student strength will be raised to 240 by next year when the building will be renovated at a cost of Rs 1.82 crore and machinery worth Rs 3.5 crore will be procured. The number of courses can be increased from the present four to nine.