Mumbai: Maha declares schemes for OBC, VJNT students

Amid mounting pressure from Maratha and OBC communities for the restoration of their respective quotas, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Monday announced a slew of welfare schemes including imparting commercial pilot training for about 40,000 students from the Other Backwards Class (OBC), Special Backward Class (SBC) and Vimukt Jati Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) categories. Minister for OBC Vijay Wadettiwar said the schemes were launched under the aegis of the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Research & Training Institute (Mahajyoti), an autonomous institute of the Other Backward Class Bahujan Welfare Department.

"The board of directors of the Mahajyoti met in Nagpur on Monday to approve the schemes," Wadettiwar said. The schemes also include imparting skills development training to students from these categories.

He said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey on Sunday ordered a release of Rs 150 crore each to the Mahajyoti and the Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Social Justice and Special Assistance, in phases.

"The Mahajyoti board has decided to select 20 students from Maharashtra for training to become commercial pilots. Divisional commissioners will have the powers to select the candidates for this purpose," the minister said.

Among the 20 students, two each will be from families of martyrs and farmers who have committed suicide. Two students will be selected from the VJNT one from the SBC) group. The remaining students will be from the OBC community, he said.

He said 10,000 students will be given the JEE examination training while 1,000 students will be trained for the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) exams and 2,000 others for the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exams.

"A total of 40,000 students will be given the skill development training for self-employment. Similarly, Mahajyoti has also decided to give PhD fellowship for 500 students. A stipend of Rs 20,000 (each) will be given to 200 M.Phil students. The students will also be provided banking (exam) training," Wadettiwar added.

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