Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 4:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday wrote to Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram seeking his personal intervention for release of pending allocations under the ‘Strengthening Education among ST Girls in low literacy district’ scheme for 2014-15 and 2015-16.
“It is a matter of concern that funds under the scheme ‘Strengthening Education among ST Girls in low literacy district’ have not been released to the state government, for the years 2014-15 and 2015-16. The state government in the meantime has incurred expenditure out of its resources, which is putting extra financial burden on the already stretched revenue resources of the state,” wrote Patnaik .
Patnaik stated: “There is an urgent need for release of allocations from your Ministry under the scheme amounting to Rs 12.38 crore for the year 2014-15 and Rs 13.04 crore for the year 2015-16. I would request your personal intervention in this matter for early release of funds towards management of the Educational Complexes for the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).”
The Chief Minister said that his government has been attaching highest priority to education of weaker sections of society, in particular Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.
Odisha has 13 PVTGs out of the 75 identified in the country. These PVTG areas have very low levels of female literacy for which 19 Educational Complexes were set up to bridge the critical gaps in education. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India has been providing funds under the scheme “Strengthening Education among ST Girls in low literacy district” since 2008-09 for managing these Educational Complexes. These Educational Complexes are being managed by the Odisha Model Tribal Education Society (OMTES), a government sponsored society, the Chief Minister pointed out in his letter.