National

Govt Expands Minority Development Plans To 308 Districts Across 32 States/UTs

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
6848
| May 3 , 2018 , 09:09 IST

The BJP-led central government, which has come under fire in the past for not giving importance to minorities, has expanded its minority development plan from 196 districts across 27 states and Union Territories to 308 districts across 32 states and UTs, media reported on Thursday.

The states with the highest number of districts benefitting from the minority development scheme are Uttar Pradesh (43), Maharashtra (27), Karnataka, Bengal and Rajasthan (16 each), Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala (13 each), Tamil Nadu (12), Madhya Pradesh (8), Haryana and Manipur (7 each) and Punjab (2).

ALSO READ: BJP Uncomfortable With Dalit Assertion, OBCs And Minorities: Siddaramaiah

The addition of the new districts marks an overall increase of 57 percent in the coverage area.

The scheme launched last year with an allocation of Rs 3,972 crore to be spent over 3 years is designed to improve socio-economic infrastructure for minorities in education, health and skill development.

“It is an attempt to reduce the gap between the national average and minority communities on backwardness parameters” said the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

“Between 33% and 40% of resources under the PMJVK (Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram) would be specifically allocated for women-centric projects,” it added.

The earlier Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) launched in 2008, has been restructured as the PMJVK and will cover 5 more states and UTs (Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Goa and Puducherry) as well as 61 “aspirational districts”. The aspirational districts include the most backward districts with concentrations of minorities.

Expanding the number of districts covered under the scheme, the government lowered the population percentage criteria for the identification of minority concentration towns (MCTs) and village clusters. While previously, only clusters of villages with at least 50 percent of the population consisting of minorities were taken up, now the criteria has been lowered to 25 percent. In addition, while in the past only towns found backward both in terms of basic amenities and socio-economic parameters were taken up as MCTs, now towns found backward in either or both will be taken up.