Odisha: Chief Secretary to focus on filling of ST Quota in Govt Medical Colleges
With various support from Govt, Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste & Minority community students are rapidly catching up the general trend in educational performance. This has been discussed in the review meeting of the department taken by Chief Secretary Sri Aditya Prasad Padhi in the conference hall of the department wherein Secretary Sri Surendra Kumar presented the updates and outlined the issues for discussion.
Sri Padhi also visited various sections in the department. Reviewing the activities of the department, Chief Secretary directed the department to focus on filling of the ST quota in Govt medical colleges through a special drive in the coming year. The department has also been advised to strengthen the existing infrastructure in hostels and ensure appropriate delivery of services in ST & SC hostels. Chief Secretary has also directed the department to make assessment of the outcomes of the interventions taken for safety security of the students in hostels and residential schools.
Available data shows, at present the total ST & SC population of the State is around 39.98% among whom 22.85% are STs and 17.13% are SCs. The minority population of the State is around 5.05% of the total population. There are 62 identified ST communities, 93 identified SC communities and 5 minority communities in the State. The literacy rate among ST & SCs have increased by around 15 and 14% respectively in 2011 census in comparison to 2001 census. The present literacy rate among the STs is around 52.24% and SCs is around 69%. The sex ratio in ST community has grown to 1029 against State average of 979. Similarly, the sex ration in SC and minority community is around 987 and 998 respectively.
The academic performance of the students of these communities at high school level has also increased significantly over last 7 years. In the year 2009 naround 72.29% of the students were successful in high school certificate examination among whom 9.68% of the students were 1st Divisioners. Over the years this percentage followed an increasing trend.
In the year 2015 the percentage of pass students in high school certificate examination reached 95.27% among whom 42.11% were 1st Divisioners. Around 46 students qualified for college and universities of national and international repute. The entire study expense of these students is being provided by the Govt through a popular programme Anwesa. Target has been fixed to cover 23,000 students under the programme in next 5 years.
The safety and security of the students in hostels and residential schools have been brought to focus and tightened measures have been taken. Detailed guidelines and SOPs have been issued and those are being strictly enforced. Recording of the movement of boarders, procurement & storage of ration, engagement of matrons, safety measures, health check up and sanitation provision in the schools have also been brought to focus.
A Comprehensive Monitoring System of Schools & Hostels has been put in place. Chief Secretary has directed to adopt ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy in case of any negligence/ violation of the laid down procedures relating to safety and security of the students and boarders.
The issues relating to non-release of scholarship grant from Govt of India for last 3 years, implementation of various social, educational, economic development and legal empowerment programmes of the department along with the implementation of Forest Right Act also figured in the review.
The Programme Director OTELP Srikant Prusty, Director ST & SC Research Institute Akhil Bihari Ota, Managing Director Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation Ltd Susant Nanda along with senior officers of the department participated in the review.