Chennai: With a view to encouraging more differently-abled persons to take up higher education, Centre would soon launch a new `Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship` scheme from this year, Social Welfare and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik said on Saturday.
"The new Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship would help students with multiple disabilities to pursue higher education. More students should make use of this scholarship," Wasnik said during his speech at the National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities here.
Inaugurating new buildings for the institute, he said, there were around 2.2 crore persons with disability in the country and the Government has been providing grants-in-aid to several NGOs working for their welfare.
The Centre has proposed to start two more Composite Regional Centres (CRCs) at Kozhikode in Kerala and Ahmedabad in Gujarat, in addition to the already existing six Composite Regional Centres and six national institutes under his Ministry, he said.
KM Acharya, Secretary to the Ministry said a new department of Disability Affairs is to be created in the Government to cater to the needs of the disabled better.
Minister of State in the Ministry D Napoleon was also present.