PMARC : Dalits Media Watch - News Updates 25.11.12
Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 25.11.12
Disbursal of scholarships to SC students at snail’s pace - The Hindu
Ambedkar’s grandson to inaugurate seminar on dalits - Deccan Herald
Guj's Dalits: Nobody's babies even in election tim - Zee News
Disbursal of scholarships to SC students at snail’s pace
Barely 15 per cent of applications submitted by Scheduled Castes’ students under the post-matric scholarship scheme has been cleared by the authorities.
As on Wednesday, around 1.73 lakh applications were received online. Of them, 27,225 applications were processed and 22,710 applications cleared.
Out of about Rs. 13.58 crore sanctioned by district welfare officers, around Rs. 1.16 crore was disbursed to colleges – all in Tiruvallur district.
A senior official attributes this to a host of factors for the progress of approval of applications. Primarily, norms governing the scheme were changed this year and it took some time for officials concerned to have clarity on the revised system. It was because of this that there had been delay in disbursal of scholarship money. This will not recur next year, the official hopes.
Traditionally, only in the second half of the academic year, most such applications are cleared. The approval process would pick up momentum only now. By the end of next month, all pending applications would be scrutinised and those who fulfil conditions would be sanctioned the assistance.
The official also adds that it is quite possible that some district officials may not have updated information regarding approved applications or disbursal of scholarship money.
After the revision of norms in September, the office of Commissioner of Adi-Dravidar Welfare communicated to each and every self-financing engineering college, totally numbering 455 institutions, about decisions of the State government. The colleges were specifically told that at the time of admission, they should not collect compulsory non-refundable fee from eligible beneficiaries of the scheme.
About 3.34 lakh applications were received during 2011-2012 and 3.19 lakh applications sanctioned. A sum of Rs. 171 crore was disbursed, of which the State government’s committed liability was Rs. 118 crore and the Centre’s share covered the balance.
After the present All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) assumed office in May last, the scholarship scheme underwent some changes. The significant change was that the assistance money would cover compulsory non-refundable fee, as stipulated by the government-constituted Committee on Fixation of Fee for Self-financing Professional Colleges. Till then, the scheme covered only what was charged by the government and government-aided colleges.
Henceforth, the disbursal of scholarship amounts would be done through offices of Directors of Technical Education, Medical Education and Collegiate Education to colleges concerned for respective courses. Also, the annual income ceiling of parents of students was increased to Rs. two lakh.
Of about 1.73 lakh student-beneficiaries, around 49,000 persons have opened bank accounts. Student-beneficiaries of the scheme are encouraged to open basic savings bank accounts, as the authorities make remittances for maintenance charges to the students directly. [As for compulsory non-refundable fee to be collected from the students, the payment is made to the respective colleges.]
The official says that the department will pay focussed attention to this aspect so that all student-beneficiaries open the accounts.
Ambedkar’s grandson to inaugurate seminar on dalits
Mysore:Nov 25, 2012 DH News Service
A three-day national seminar on ‘Dalit Development and Inclusive Growth: Issues and Prospects,’ will be held from November 26 to 28.
The seminar being organised by Dr B R Ambedkar Research and Extension Centre, University of Mysore will be inaugurated by Prakash Y Ambedkar, grandson of Dr B R Ambedkar at 10.30 am on November 26 at Sri Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar auditorium, Manasagangothri.
L R Balley, editor in chief, Bheem Patrika Publication, Jalandhar, Punjab will be the chief guest. Prof Gopal Guru of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi will deliver the key-note address and Prof V G Talwar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Mysore will preside.
Six technical sessions deliberating on the developmental issues of Dalits will be held at the Centre, where experts from around the country will present papers.
On November 27, ‘Jai Bheem Comrade’ a movie directed by Anand Patwardhan will be screened.
After all the technical sessions, Ambedkar Centre’s directors’ session will be held on November 28, said a release from the Centre.
Guj's Dalits: Nobody's babies even in election tim
Last Updated: Saturday, November 24, 2012, 14:00
Ahmedabad: As the poll battle intensifies in Gujarat, the tussle is on for support of the Dalit community, perceived to have moved from the Congress to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but neglected by both with discrimination continuing as it has for decades.
"The Narendra Modi government has not implemented any schemes for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes (SC) like educational scholarships, employment schemes, financial aid and reservation at the promotional level," said social activist Father William.
"Atrocities against Dalits are still rife in Gujarat. According to a survey by Dalit NGO Navsarjan Trust, untouchability still exists as does manual scavenging," he told a news agency.
The Congress, trying desperately to wrest control of Gujarat after having lost two successive elections, says the BJP regime has been anti-Dalit but admits that it has done little to win the Dalits, who form seven to eight percent of the state's 60 million population.
"Modi's rule and before that Keshubhai's ((Keshubhai Patel's) government have been anti-Dalit," said Ishwar Makwana, president of the Congress' SC Morcha.
What about his own party?
"I agree that in recent years, the Congress has drifted away from Dalits.
But we are rectifying that," said Makwana.
The BJP of course rejects the allegations.
"The Modi regime cares for Dalits. We have provided the community with reservations in jobs, loans, assistance in businesses and justice from atrocities," Jivraj Chauhan, president of the Gujarat BJP's SC wing, told a news agency.
As the election fever catches on - polls for the 182-member assembly are due on Dec 13 and 17 - the parties would do well not to neglect the Dalit vote, say analysts.
"The Dalit vote, though small, is significant. Dalits can influence the outcome of the elections in seven-eight constituencies. Also, 13 constituencies are reserved for the Scheduled Castes," Manu H Makwana, head of the sociology department in Ahmedabad's Gujarat University told a news agency.
Dalits in Gujarat are divided into four major subcastes: Vankars, Chamars, Garodas, and Valmikis. Gujarati Dalits are found in both the Hindu and Christian communities.
Dalits in the state have been traditional Congress supporters since Gujarat was formed in 1960. In the 1970s and 1980s, the community was part of Congress' 'KHAM' (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim) formula.
But with the rise of the BJP and the polarising work of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal, many Dalits turned to the right. Indeed, Sangh outfits have often been accused in the past of brainwashing young Dalits and provoking them to attack Muslims in many riots, including that of 2002.
The results seem to prove that the Dalits have embraced the Hindu right. In 2007, just two of the 13 reserved seats went to the Congress with the BJP taking the rest. In the 2009 general elections, both the reserved seats (Kutch and Ahmedabad) went to the BJP.
Dalit activists and intellectuals bemoan the turn to the right by some sections of the community.
"The new generation of Dalits in most urban areas of the state have not seen the terrible sufferings borne by previous generations, especially in the rural areas. They are loyal to the BJP as they see the party as a stepping stone to political power," said Makwana.
"Modi has only favoured landlords and big business. He has done nothing for the socio-economic uplift of Dalits," he added.
According to a Dalit government official, Dalits who vote for the BJP "do not know history."
"In 1981 and 1985, when there were strident anti-reservation campaigns in Gujarat, it was the BJP's predecessor, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, that had taken a lead in supporting these campaigns," the official said on the condition of anonymity.
The problem is that the Dalit community does not have too many options other than the BJP and the Congress.
The Republican Party of India does have some presence in Gujarat as does the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Lok Janshakti Party. But, as a Dalit activist pointed out, they don't have grassroots support.
"Plus, the Gujarat BSP and LJP are led by a Brahmin and a Gurjar respectively. Why will Dalits vote for them?" he asked.
The next government must implement various schemes for the SC, offer protection from atrocities and remove untouchability, community leaders say.
Can the Congress and the BJP make up for lost time and focus on the community's needs, for votes if nothing else?