New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Friday said the government was considering expansion of a pilot
scheme that focuses on integrated development of villages with
large Scheduled Caste presence.
"The central government has launched a pilot
centrally-sponsored scheme Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana
in five States, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and
Tamil Nadu. This is for integrated development of 1000
villages with Scheduled Caste majority populations.
"Provided the pilot warrants, and encouraging results
are achieved, an expansion of this scheme is being considered
in the 12th Five-Year Plan," Singh said, addressing a
conference of state ministers of welfare and social justice
The Prime Minister noted that ensuring equitable
development of all sections of society and especially the
weaker sections is central to the government`s agenda of
He also said the government proposes to revise the
income ceiling and scholarship rates under the post-matric
scholarship scheme for OBC students.
Singh also said that the government intends to bring
a new law for the disabled population.
"The expert group of the Ministry of Social Justice
and Empowerment is drafting a new law in place of the Persons
with Disabilities Act, 1995. After consulting state
governments and other stake holders, we propose to introduce
the bill in Parliament," Singh said.
Noting that various initiatives are being taken to
address concerns of persons with disabilities, the Prime
Minister said, "but I do recognise that we have to do much
more in this regard."