In contrast to the plans of setting up hostels for scheduled caste boys and girls in every block of low literacy districts of the country, the central government has been able to sanction just 819 such accommodations since 2007-08.
A report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Social Justice and Empowerment revealed that over a 13-year period, from 2007-08 to 2020-21, a total of 391 such hostels for girls, and 271 for boys were sanctioned by the government. However, only 662 have been built whereas the construction of 144 hostels is yet to be completed. Another 13 hostels were canceled by various state governments, reported Career 360.
The committee also highlighted missing data from 46 years for the Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojana. The scheme, first implemented in 1961, was revised in 2007-09 to build hostels for Scheduled Caste boys and girls across the country.
The parliamentary committee expressed dissatisfaction over the Social Justice and Empowerment Department’s inability to provide or retrieve data on hostels built under BJRCY from 1961 to 2007.
The committee wondered why hostels could not be planned by the department to guide stakeholders in developing feasible proposals when 100 per cent central funding is available.
The PSC, in its report, mentioned, “It is incomprehensible as to how data of nearly 46 years is missing altogether. The Committee is also surprised to note that hardly any action has been taken by the department on the matter.”
The committee has directed the department to ensure that the records are kept digitally in the future to avoid a similar crisis.
The BJRCY scheme, aimed at offering quality education to SC students, was implemented by the department of social justice and empowerment of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE). The scheme gets support from central and state institutions and government authorities in the respective state or union territories.
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