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Four more special courts to be set up to handle cases of atrocities against SCs, STs

By Staff Reporter

Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Welfare Minister N. Kayalvizhi Selvaraj on Friday announced in the Assembly that four more special courts would be set up in Salem, Krishnagiri, Madurai and Tirunelveli districts to handle cases filed under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

During the discussion on Demand for Grants for the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare (ADTW) department, she highlighted that there were already 22 such special courts functioning in the State. The policy note for the department said four more special courts were being formed, keeping in mind the volume of cases with pending trial.

Most key announcements revolved around measures to improve infrastructure of hostels and schools run by the department. Six higher secondary schools run by the department would be upgraded as model schools at a cost of ₹16.26 crore, she said.

To ensure safety of students, she said, CCTV cameras would be installed in 90 hostels run by the department. Other initiatives to improve infrastructure, construct compound walls and new buildings in hostel kitchens were also announced.

The Minister announced a few initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship and improve job opportunities for students from the SC and ST communities. A project bank will be created at ₹1 crore by conducting a district-wise “techno-economic survey,” she said. It will identify entrepreneurship opportunities in every district.

The income ceiling to be eligible for the economic development scheme, run by Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Housing and Development Corporation (TAHDCO), would be increased from ₹2 lakh per annum to ₹3 lakh per annum.

Considering the job opportunities available in financial management, insurance and banking sectors, she said around 600 students will be provided skill training in these sectors at ₹50 lakh.

She said ₹50 lakh would be allocated for audio and visual documentation of the culture of six tribal communities, which include Thodar, Kothar, Kurumbar, Irular, Paniyar and Kattunaicker.

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