Tribal hostels to be ‘institutions of excellence’: Minister

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JAMMU: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) and Tribal Affairs Choudhary Zulfkar Ali on Thursday stressed on making tribal hostels in the state ‘schools of excellence’ to ensure a bright future for youth of the community through the medium of education.
“The government would equip all these hostels with modern facilities to provide value-based education to the downtrodden sections of the society enabling them to compete with the other students in the country”, the minister maintained while speaking during a meeting held with the wardens of Gujjar and Bakerwal (G&B) hostels to review the functioning of these institutions, an official handout read.
The meeting discussed several issues including intake capacity of G&B hostels, annual progress of students, status of ongoing construction works and expenditure incurred during the previous financial year, it read.
According to the handout, presently 23 G&B Hostels are functioning in the state which include 6 girls’ hostel and 17 boys’ hostels with intake capacity of 2325 inmates. Out of which 650 inmates are girl students and 1675 are boys. Free boarding, lodging and other facilities are being provided to the inmates of the hostels, it read.
Reiterating government’s commitment for doubling the intake capacity in tribal hostels, the minister directed the Tribal Affairs Department to increase 320 seats in different hostels of Jammu division. He asked the officers to “work out modalities for construction of PG hostel at Jammu”.
The minister also directed the wardens of the hostels to upload daily progress of construction works carried out in their respective districts on social group of the department.
He asked for reorganisation of staff for Gujjar & Bakerwal hostels to further strengthening the working of hostels besides preparing a DPR for construction of additional block of G&B hostel at Udhampur to accommodate the students..
In this regard, the minister directed to release Rs. 43 lakh for renovation and repair works of existing hostel, besides drafting the proposal for establishment of dispensary, gymnasium, library, computer lab and other facilities for the boarders at Rajouri, it read further.
He directed for preparing a roster of students who stay in different hostels for promoting cultural exchanges among them, besides organising educational programmes for them. He directed to undertake construction of damaged wall for the girls’ hostel at Jammu besides construction of additional block.
The minster asserted that wardens were local guardians for students who come from far off areas, away from their families for education and “it is the duty of all to facilitate these students in their endeavour”. He directed the wardens to take all measures to ensure safety and security of these students, besides providing them a clean environment and hygienic food.
He directed for special attention with regards to quality of education being made available for the students at these hostels and stressed for equal attention to be paid on their character building and their moral value education.
He also directed the wardens to prepare and publish a souvenir magazine reflecting the working and achievements of last 40 years, the handout added.