Odisha [OPSC] Current Affairs - 2020

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Governmet sanctions 158 ‘Eklavya Model Residential Schools’ for ST students

Govt. of India has approved a total of 158 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) for Tribal students out of grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India in 23 states out of which 111 schools have become fully functional with all facilities. Gujarat has been sanctioned 22 schools which is the highest for any state followed by Madhya Pradesh (20) and Rajasthan (17). Chhattisgarh and Odisha have been sanctioned 16 schools each.

All the facilities for a proper study environment like adequate number of class rooms, computer and science laboratory , library , recreation room, hostels for students and housing facilities for the teaching and other supporting staff are made available in the EMRSs. Further, the school buildings have been made accessible to students with disabilities.

What are the objectives of  ‘Eklavya Model Residential Schools’?

The objective of EMRS is to provide quality middle and high level education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in remote areas, not only to enable them to avail of reservation in high and professional educational courses and as jobs in government and public and private sectors but also to have access to the best opportunities in education at par with the non ST population. This would be achieved by: 

  • Comprehensive physical, mental and socially relevant development of all students enrolled in each and every EMRS. Students will be empowered to be change agent, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a larger context.
  • Focus differentially on the educational support to be made available to those in Standards XI and XII, and those in standards VI to X, so that their distinctive needs can be met.
  • Support the annual running expenses in a manner that offers reasonable remuneration to the staff and upkeep of the facilities.
  • Support the construction of infrastructure that provides education, physical, environmental and cultural needs of student life.

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Government sets up high-level panel to map status of tribals

The Government has set up a high level panel to prepare a position paper on the socio-economic, health and educational status of tribals and also recommend policy initiatives as well as effective outcome-oriented measures to improve development indicators and strengthen public service delivery to STs.

India has around 8.6% people belonging to tribal community. The population is concentrated in the north-east, particularly in Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, and in those parts now overrun by Maoists — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and parts of Bihar and Maharashtra.

Who will be the members of the Committee?

Virginius Xaxa, noted tribal expert and eminent sociologist, who was recently appointed member of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council, will be the head of the Committee.

Other members include Usha Ramanathan, Joseph Bara, K.K. Misra, Abhay Bang and Sunila Basant, all of whom are familiar with the problems of tribals and come from diverse backgrounds — Law, History, Anthropology, Medicine and Administration.

What will be the focus of the Committee?

The panel is likely to focus on the following areas:

  • The impact of involuntary displacement and imposed migration on tribal communities.
  • Effect of rapid urbanisation on their original habitats
  • To examine whether new possibilities of employment and livelihood available to them.
  • To measure their asset base and income levels, and changes in the patterns of ownership and productivity of their immovable assets
  • To analyze the role of public policy and the legal framework in facilitating/inhibiting such changes, the level of their socio-economic development, and their relative share of public and private sector employment, and consider what steps have been taken by States/Union Territories for capacity building and improving their employability.
  • To examine whether tribal communities have adequate access to education and health services, municipal infrastructure, bank credit, and other services provided by government/public sector entities; and the level of schools, health centres, ICDS centres, etc, in areas of tribal concentration in comparison to the general level of such social infrastructure in various States.
  • To look at whether protective legislation such as the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, the Forest Rights Act and the Food Security Ordinance are being implemented effectively.

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