Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Sunday launched State Youth Policy with provisions of free laptops for students belonging to tribal, dalit and BPL categories besides scholarship provision for ST and SC girls who want to study technical subjects.
"To bridge the digital divide all the meritorious students at plus two level will be provided with free laptops. Under this initiative, special focus would also be given to girls and students belonging to SC and ST communities," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said after launch of the policy here.
Patnaik said the policy lays special emphasis on girls and young women, migrant youth, young men and women from ST, SC and minority groups, school drop-outs and unemployed youth, youth with disability and other disadvantaged youth.
Stating that capacity building through education and training is an important aspect of the new youth policy, the Chief Minister said career counselling centres at all colleges will be set up to guide the students to choose a prospective career.
Similarly, scholarship for higher education and professional education will be given to students to pursue higher studies, he said adding that the Mission Yuva Shakti, a new initiative under this policy, will promote SHGs (self help group) among the youth to explore their potential for self-employment.
Biju Yuva Sha-ShaktiKaran Yojana will be extended to rural areas, wherein the youth clubs will be provided with financial support of Rs 10,000, he said.
As sports and games play an important role in the development of personality, the new policy initiative gives special emphasis on sports and physical education, he said.
Accordingly, Patnaik said the BJD-led state government will constitute the Sports Authority of Odisha. "I am happy that over 14,000 participants representing different age groups, particularly the youth, were associated with the policy formulation process,” he said.
The policy provides for creation of several new institutions and facilities and provision of financial assistance and incentives to youth, he said.