Complete Revamp of Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes to Provide Universal Access to SC Youth for Higher Education

The outlay for Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes has increased with historic investment in the present government. It was stated by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Rattan Lal Katariawhile reviewing the progress of the scheme in the last financial year. He said that the first release of funds pursuant to complete revamp of PMS-SC has been made. Government has released funds to the tune of Rs. 4000 crores with Uttar Pradesh being allocated the highest funds at Rs. 892.36 crore, followed by Maharashtra at Rs. 558 crore and Andhra Pradesh at Rs. 450 crores.

The government had completely revamped the Post Matric Scholarship scheme for Scheduled Castes to provide universal access to the SC youth for higher education. The funding pattern under the Scheme was changed from the committed liability formula to a fixed sharing pattern of 60:40 between the Centre and the States (90:10 for the North EasternStates), thus increasing the commitment of the Government in the scheme by almost four times. An amount of Rs.35,534 crore was committed by Central Govt. for this scheme till 2025-26 and it is estimated that about 4 crore youth from the SC community will be benefitted during this period. He further informed that apart from increasing the central share in the scheme, the Government has brought in several process improvements to avoid delays in payment of scholarships using the DBT system.

The Minister underscored the importance of education and said that education is the cornerstone on which the edifice of social progress is built. Time and again the Prime Minister has emphasised the impact of quality educationand its importance in moulding an individual to overcome influences of ignorance and superstition in achieving their maximum potentials thereby transforming them into productive assets for the nation building process.

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NB/SK/jk/MoSJ&E/09.04.2021

(Release ID: 1710711)
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Canada – Complete cellular connectivity coming to “Highway of Tears”

Victoria, British Columbia

Thanks to federal and provincial investments, Highway 16 from Prince Rupert to Prince George will soon have cellular coverage along the entire route, fulfilling a critical recommendation to make the highway safer.

“We must continue to do everything in our power to prevent violence against Indigenous women and girls to ensure they are safe to travel anywhere in our province, but especially between communities along Highway 16,” said Barb Ward-Burkitt, executive director, Prince George Native Friendship Centre. “I commend the Province, the federal government and Rogers for expanding cell service along the isolated and essential corridor between Smithers and Prince Rupert—it serves as an important step in reconciliation and in honouring murdered and missing sisters, daughters, mothers, aunties and their families.”

Solving the problem of cellular gaps between communities along Highway 16 was among the Highway of Tears Symposium Report’s 33 recommendations aimed at enhancing safety for Indigenous women and girls. This recommendation from the symposium was echoed in the report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This investment is key to ensuring women, especially Indigenous women, who are not safe can call for help and receive the services they need to ensure their safety and security.

“People travelling this economic corridor and vital connection between communities will no longer be out of cell service range if they need to call for emergency services,” said Lisa Beare, British Columbia’s Minister of Citizens’ Services. “This project means there will be cellular coverage along the entire length of Highway 16 from Prince George to Prince Rupert, giving people peace of mind knowing they can reach out for help if they need it. It is a critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies along this route, bringing comfort to people who use the highway and are now safer because of this connectivity.”

The Connecting British Columbia program and the Government of Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund will provide Rogers with $4.5 million toward the $11.6-million cost of installing cellular infrastructure to provide cellular coverage in the remaining areas of weak signal strength between Prince Rupert and Smithers.

“This project will provide continuous cellular coverage along the whole of the highway corridor, which will improve overall safety for this area,” said Murray Rankin, British Columbia’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “It honours the memory of both survivors and the friends and family members of the Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people who have gone missing, been murdered or experienced other forms of violence along Highway 16.”

“Access to reliable cell and Internet connections provides job opportunities and is vital for the health and safety of Canadians, said the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. “We heard from too many loved ones the anguish, loss and trauma caused by the murders and disappearances along the Highway of Tears. Gender-based violence is preventable. Through a partnership with the Government of B.C., the Government of Canada will improve safety along Highway 16 and enable those in danger to call for help. There is more work to be done to connect more communities to high-speed Internet and reliable cell service. The Government of Canada, through the Universal Broadband Fund, will work with all willing partners to do just that.”

“Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people have the right to feel safe wherever they are. For years, the Highway of Tears has become an iconic example of the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Families and survivors have highlighted the connection between MMIWG and gaps in cellular service along Canadian highways, especially in rural and remote areas,” said the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Canada’s Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. “This investment is an important and concrete step toward ensuring all travellers, especially women and girls, along Highway 16 from Prince George to Prince Rupert can reliably call for help if and when they need it.”

As part of this project, Rogers plans to install 12 cellular towers along the highway, providing 252 km of new highway cellular coverage, which will close several gaps along this corridor.

“As someone who uses this highway regularly and has been stranded once myself, I know how important this project is for the people who travel Highway 16,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Member of the Legislative Assembly for North Coast. “This project will not only open up access to communities along this corridor but also make it much easier for emergency responders to react quickly when people need assistance.”

This project will also provide coverage to three rest areas along Highway 16, located at Boulder Creek, Basalt Creek and Sanderson Point. It is scheduled to be completed in fall 2022.

Rogers is proud to be investing in British Columbia to build critically needed 5G networks to bridge the digital divide, including across rural, remote and Indigenous communities,” said Dean Prevost, president, Connected Home and Rogers for Business. “With these investments announced today, in collaboration with the B.C. government and the Government of Canada, Rogers is providing improved safety and reliable connectivity for those who depend on Highway 16, while creating new jobs and supporting the economy of northern B.C.”

As part of StrongerBC: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, grants from the Connecting British Columbia program are helping to drive record investment in rural and Indigenous community broadband and highway cellular access.

The Province expanded the Connecting British Columbia program in September 2020 with a $90-million grant to encourage investment in broadband and cellular infrastructure that benefits people in rural and Indigenous communities throughout B.C.

The Connecting British Columbia program continues to welcome applications from Internet and cellular service providers for grants from its Economic Recovery Intake. Funds from the program will benefit people in hundreds of rural and Indigenous communities throughout B.C. this year.

Ministry of Citizens’ Services

Government Communications and Public Engagement

250 920-5104

Marie-Pier Baril

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

613-295-8123

Marie-Pier.Baril@cfc-swc.gc.ca

Four more States complete ease of doing business reforms, Get additional borrowing permission of Rs. 5,034 crore

Four more States namely, Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have undertaken “Ease of Doing Business” reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. Thus, these State have become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources and have been granted permission to raise additional Rs.5,034 crore through Open Market Borrowings.

These four States are Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Thus, total number of State who has undertaken the stipulated reforms to facilitate ease of doing business has gone up to 12. Earlier, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have also reported completion of this reform, which was confirmed by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

On completion of reforms facilitating ease of doing business, these twelve States have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs.28,183 crore. State wise amount of the additional borrowing permitted is as under:

Sl.No.

State

Amount (Rs in crore)

1.

Andhra Pradesh

2,525

2.

Assam

934

3.

Haryana

2,146

4.

Himachal Pradesh

438

5.

Karnataka

4,509

6.

Kerala

2,261

7.

Madhya Pradesh

2,373

8.

Odisha

1,429

9.

Punjab

1,516

10.

Rajasthan

2,731

11.

Tamil Nadu

4,813

12.

Telangana

2,508

The ease of doing business is an important indicator of the investment friendly business climate in the country. Improvements in the ease of doing business will enable faster future growth of the state economy. Therefore, the government of India had in May 2020, decided to link grant of additional borrowing permissions to States who undertake the reforms to facilitate ease of doing business. The reforms stipulated in this category are:

(i)      Completion of first assessment of ‘District Level Business Reform Action Plan’

(ii)     Elimination of the requirements of renewal of registration certificates/approvals/licences obtained by businesses under various Acts.

(iii)    Implementation of computerized central random inspection system under the Acts wherein allocation of inspectors is done centrally, the same inspector is not assigned to the same unit in subsequent years, prior inspection notice is provided to the business owner, and inspection report is uploaded within 48 hours of inspection.            

In view of the resource requirement to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India had on 17th May, 2020 enhanced the borrowing limit of the States by 2 percent of their GSDP. Half of this special dispensation was linked to undertaking citizen centric reforms by the States. The four citizen centric areas for reforms identified were (a) Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System, (b) Ease of doing business reform, (c) Urban Local body/ utility reforms and (d) Power Sector reforms.

Till now, 17 States have carried out at least one of the four stipulated reforms and have been granted reform linked borrowing permissions. Out of these, 12 States have implemented the one nation one ration card system, 12 States have done ease of doing business reforms, 5 States have done local body reforms and 2 States have undertaken power sector reforms. Total reform linked additional borrowing permission issued so far to the States stands at Rs.­­­74,773 crore.