June 30, 2018
Bengal Govt committed to the welfare of backward classes
The Bengal Government, under the inspiration of Mamata Banerjee, has been committed working for the welfare of the people belonging to the backward classes. Over the last seven years, several schemes have been taken up by the government for this purpose.
On the occasion of Hool Dibas, let us have a look at the welfare measures by Bengal Government for the development of backward classes.
- BCW Department has introduced e-enabled services resulting in transparency, speedy disposal, easy access and increased coverage during last seven years.
- Issuance of Caste Certificates has increased to 8.50 lakh per annum compared to 2.5 lakh prior to 2011. During last seven years (2011-12 to 2017-18), 64.83 lakh SC & OBC Certificates were issued. Statutory time for processing Caste certificate has been reduced to 4 weeks.
- Approximately 41.24 Lakh old Caste Certi¬ficates, issued since 1980, have been scanned and uploaded on the department’s portal. Scanned old certificates are used for online verifications and referencing.
- The list of OBCs in West Bengal has been extended to include additional 107 Muslim communities.
- Altogether, 176 communities have so far been included in OBC category (OBC-A-81 & OBC-B-95), of which 110 communities have been included during the last seven years only.
- 17% reservation for OBCs has been granted in 2013, without curtailing the general category seats.
- 17% reservation in State Government jobs for OBCs has also been introduced.
Educational Loans and Scholarships:
- In a first of its kind initiative in India, educational loans up to Rs 10 lakh are being granted to SC students for studying full-time courses within the country and up to Rs 20 lakh for studying courses abroad in recognised institutions /universities.
- During last seven years 56.02 lakh SC and 32.54 lakh OBC students were provided scholarships. Pre-Matric scholarship for OBC students has been brought under e-governance system also.
Sikshashree, a new scholarship scheme has been introduced for SC students of class V to VIII in 2014-15. During 2014-15 to 2017-18, more than 48.46 lakh SC students were covered under the new scheme. Scholarship is being paid directly to Bank Accounts of the Students. Sikshashree Scheme has recently been brought under e-governance.
- During last seven years, around 3,500 SC students were awarded “Ambedkar Medha Purashkar” with cash ward of Rs 5,000/- for their meritorious result in 10th standard Board Examinations.
Educational and Job Opportunities:
- To cater to the demands of outstation students a number of hostels have been constructed. 32 hostels have been constructed during last seven years. Another five hostels is at different stages of construction.
- Five OBC Central hostels have been approved in the last seven years for post-matric OBC Students. Alongside three Ashram Hostels for SC students (from Class-1 to Class-X) of economically stressed families have become operative in the last seven years.
- During last seven years, around 65,000 SC candidates, both male and female were provided skill training in different occupations. Out of them 52,000 were self/ job-employed.
- “Ethnic Beauty Care”, innovative skill training in ‘Beauty and Personal care’ has been declared as the single largest skill development initiative taken up by any State in the Country. In this programme 22,000 SC female beneficiaries were provided livelihood opportunity in beauty care segment.
- SC beneficiaries having low income are provided opportunity of self-employment in various sectors through loan and subsidy assistance. Average annual coverage of the scheme has considerably been increased to 60,000 which were earlier 35,000 before 2011. Per capita investment has also been increased considerably.
- The Department has initiated special recruitment drive to fill up backlog vacancies of reserved category in various State Government Departments. During the 1st phase of special recruitment drive (2014-16) 4,142 SC persons, have been recruited. In the 2nd phase of special recruitment drive (2016-till date), another 6,099 SC vacancies, in different categories of services, have already been identified and the process is on.
Development / Cultural Boards and Advisory Council:
- Ten new Boards were constituted for the welfare and development of the communities. A total of 3,203 number houses have been constructed through these Boards from the Departmental fund.
- For focused and intensive development of SC s of the State, West Bengal Scheduled Castes Advisory Council has been constituted. This step is one of its kinds in the country.
- A new scheme titled “Career Paramarsh Kendra’ (CPK) has been introduced with the objective of Counseling target group students and job-seekers to enable them to choose right career path. Thirty (30) CPKs in sub-divisional H.Q.s have been set up in 2017-18.
- Each such CPK will counsel at least 2,400 target group youths, facilitate at least 400 candidates with self-employment and provide skill training to 120 candidates for job-employment within six-month. Another 37 (thirty-seven) CPKs will be set up during 2018-19.