Rs.231.50 Crore released for ‘Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts from 2012-13 to 2017-18

New Delhi, March 13, 2018: Based on Census figures, all India Scheduled Tribe (ST) female literacy rate has increased from 34.8% in 2001 to 49.4% in 2011. Ministry of Tribal Affairs has been implementing the scheme, ‘Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts’. This scheme covers 72 blocks of 54 districts in 12 states and 1 union territory as identified by Ministry of Tribal Affairs where the ST population is 25% or more and ST female literacy rate is below 35%, or its fractions, as per 2001 Census. The scheme may also cover any other tribal block in a district, other than aforesaid 54 identified districts, as and when reported by the concerned State Government.

It aims to bridge the gap in literacy levels between the general female population and tribal women,  through facilitating 100% enrolment of tribal girls in the identified districts or blocks, more particularly in naxal affected areas and in areas inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), and reducing drop-outs at the elementary level by creating the required ambience for education.

A total of Rs.231.50 Crore has been released during last six years from 2012-2013 to 2017-2018 under the scheme, namely, ‘Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts’.

Besides, from 2012-2013 to 2016-2017 in a span of five years a sum of Rs 194359.31 lakh have been released for setting up “(Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs)” to 27 states including 7 North Eastern states .This  Grants has been provided under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution of India for setting up (EMRSs).

The Ministry also releases Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution and Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub Scheme (SCA to TSS) to the State Governments for establishment of schools / hostels and development of educational infrastructure. With a view to maximize retention of ST students within various stages of school education and promoting higher learning, the Ministry provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships to ST students.

Ministry of Human Resource Development is implementing Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a Government of India flagship programme for achievement of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) in a time bound manner, making free and compulsory education to children of 6-14 years age group, including ST children. It also implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme with a view to enhance enrolment and retention of children in schools. SSA strategies for promotion of girls’ education include inter-alia, opening of schools in the neighbourhood to make access easier for girls, appointment of additional teachers including women teachers, free textbooks, free uniforms, separate toilets for girls, teachers’ sensitization programmes to promote girls participation, gender sensitive teaching-learning materials including textbooks.

With a view to improve literacy rate, Ministry of Human Resource Development implements ‘Saakshar Bharat’with the prime focus on adult non-literate women of rural areas. The principal target of Saakshar Bharat Mission is to impart functional literacy to 70 million adults in the age group of 15 years and beyond with prime focus on women besides SCs (14 million), STs (8million), Minorities (12 million) & other disadvantaged groups in rural areas of the districts having low female literacy rate (50% or below as per 2001 Census). As on 7.3.2018, 10.3 million adult non literates belonging to Scheduled Tribe community have been certified as literates under ‘Basis Literacy Assessment Test’.

This information was given by Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri Jaswantsinh Bhabhor in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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