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Cabinet nod for draft bills to increase ST beneficiaries

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New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) The union cabinet on Wednesday gave its ex post facto approval for the introduction of two constitutional amendment bills in parliament to grant Scheduled Tribes (ST) status to certain communities in some Indian states.

An official announcement said tribes like Bodo Kachari and Karbi (Mikir) in Assam, Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, Bhuyan, Dhanuhar, Kisan, Saunra, and Saonra Dhangad in Chhattisgarh and Bhogta, Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi, Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, and Khairi in Jharkhand would benefit.

The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also decided to accord ST status to Malayali Gounder, Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran tribes in Tamil Nadu.

The new amendments will also benefit Darlong tribe in Tripura and Irular, including Villi and Vettaikaran, in Puducherry.

The new communities given the ST status will be able to derive benefits of major schemes like post-matric and national overseas scholarships, national fellowship, concessional loans from National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation, hostel facility for ST boys and girls, etc.

"In addition, they will be entitled to reservation in services and admission to educational institutions," an official statement said, adding that existing entries in the list of Scheduled Castes in case of Jharkhand and Other Backward Classes/Most Backward Classes of central/state lists would be consequently modified.

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