Maharashtra to set up institute ‘MahaJyoti’ for OBC, SBC, VJNT communities

MumbaI: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced the setting up of a training and career guidance institute for OBC, Special Backward Class and VJNT communities.

The decision to form Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Research and Training Institute, also called MahaJyoti, was taken in a weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, OBC, SBC, VJNT Communities Welfare department minister Sanjay Kute said the institute will be headquartered in Pune, with divisional offices in Nagpur and Buldhana, and have a budget of Rs 380 crore for two years.

The institute will work for the social, educational and economic development of these communities and the decision to form it was taken on the basis of a committee report that suggested a platform for students preparing for competitive examinations, Kute said.

It would carry out surveys for improving the situation of backward classes and deprived sections of the society, and make available facilities for self-employment and impart skill training, the minister added.

MahaJyoti will also have a helpline and counselling centre, and provide scholarships for M. Phil and Ph.D courses, besides creating awareness for removal of caste and creed bias.

The institute will have three programmes, namely 'Jyotidhoot', 'Jaldhoot' and 'Savitridhoot'.

Jaldhoot will have programmes of awareness in water literacy, conservation, irrigation, water management among others.

Savitridhoot will create awareness about gender bias, prohibition and cleanliness, while Jyotidhoot will work to alleviate dowry and caste discrimination.

In another decision, Kute said the Dhangar community will get all benefits provided to Scheduled Tribes by the Tribal Development department, adding that a provision of Rs 1,000 crore was made for this in the state budget.

A sum of Rs 500 crore has already been budgeted, he said.

The minister said, as per the cabinet decision, 13 schemes being implemented in Tribal Development department for divasis will be extended to Dhangars.

There is a also a scheme for investment in setting up industries, Kute said.

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