13 yrs on, flagship scheme a non-starter in JK

GoI Audit Says Not A Single Hostel Constructed In State


Srinagar, Dec 24: Government of India’s vital flagship scheme ‘Construction of Hostel for Other Backward Class’ boys and girls is yet to take off in Jammu and Kashmir with the State showing zero progress in implementation of the project since its launch in 1999.
 While other states and union territories in India have got benefited from the scheme with many hostels being constructed for both boys and girls hailing from OBC, J&K has remained at the receiving end in the wake of state government’s non-serious attitude in starting the scheme.
 According to an audit complied by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, more than nine hostels have been constructed in Andhra Pradesh at a cost of Rs 240 lakhs in the previous financial year benefiting more than 900 candidates. In Gujarat, nine hotels have been constructed at a cost of Rs 680 lakhs benefiting over 1000 candidates.
 In almost all states and union territories, the audit reveals, hotels have been constructed. In total, 152 hotels have been built in India at a cost of Rs 6236 lakhs over four years benefiting more than 10,000 candidates.
 However, the status of Jammu and Kashmir in implementation of the scheme is ‘zero.’ Not a single hostel has been constructed since 1999, leave alone rehabilitating the other backwards class boys and girls in the state.
 The flagship scheme has been launched in 1998-99 to address the problem of educational backwardness of OBCs. “Very  often,  students from rural areas, especially those belonging to the weaker sections, discontinue their studies because of lack of secondary schools and colleges nearby and non-availability of adequate hostel facilities, at a reasonable cost, at places where such educational institutions are located,” the audit says.  “Therefore, the Scheme was initiated with a view to facilitate continuation of education by students belonging to OBCs, especially those hailing from rural and remote areas and   from poor families,” it states.
 The funding for construction of hostels under the scheme is shared by Central and State Governments in the ratio of 50:50. But for union territories and central government institutions like central universities 100 percent funding is released by GoI.
 “Earlier, only State Governments, UT Administrations and Universities were eligible for Central assistance.  Now, NGOs with a good track record will also be eligible,” the audit report says. But ironically, not even a single NGO from J&K has applied for carrying out the implementation of the flagship scheme.
 The OBC hostels are primarily meant for students whose castes are included in the Central/State/UT list of Backward Classes and who do not belong to the "creamy layer". The hostels, according to the audit, were to be constructed over an area of 1215 Sq meters.
 “State Governments will be expected to suitably associate concerned Panchayati Raj and Municipal bodies (especially the concerned Block & District Panchayats and the Municipal Body of the town), in planning, execution, and day-to-day management of the hostels sanctioned under the Scheme,” it says.
 Director Social Welfare Kashmir Bashir Ahmed Bhat said three OBC hostels are under construction in Valley. “The hostels are under construction in Islamia College, Srinagar; Islamic University of Science and Technology; Awantipora and Degree College Pulwama,” he said.
 Asked about completion of buildings and criteria to allot hostels to the particular institutes, the director said he did not have more off-hand information regarding the matter.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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