Faced with an imminent resumption of the Patels’ agitation for reservations in jobs and educational institutions, the Gujarat government on Friday announced various schemes for communities hitherto not enjoying any quota benefits.
Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel has threatened to sit on an indefinite fast later this month despite the denial of permission for a venue which has overnight been turned into a free parking lot by the Municipal Corporation.
The Gujarat government has till now pleaded its inability to raise the limit of reservations beyond the present 49 per cent, as ruled by the Supreme Court.
However, the schemes announced by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel today would provide liberal benefits to the “un-reserved” communities by way of cheap loans for education and self-employment. Young men of the communities not covered by reservations would be provided loans up to Rs 10 lakh for self-employment ventures at a low interest rate of only five per cent.
For women from the “un-reserved” communities, such loans would be available at just four per cent interest. Similarly, loans would be made available for higher education too but only on the basis of marks obtained in the senior secondary examination.
There would be provision also for financial assistance to students for foreign education, food bills and expenses for preparations at coaching classes to appear in competitive examinations like NEET and GujCET, the Deputy Chief Minister said this afternoon.
The implementing agency for all these schemes would be the Bin Anaamat Shaikshanik ane Arthik Vikas Nigam (Un-reserved communities Educational and Economic Development Corporation) that was formed soon after the turmoil over the issue of reservation demanded by the Patels.