Thursday, February 22, 2024

Govt must get consent of people on uranium: Kyndiah

Union Tribal Affairs Minister PR Kyndiah today reiterated his stand that the Meghalaya government must take into confidence the sentiment of the people before conceding further with the Uranium mining.
“Though, uranium is a national asset, no government should take any step against the will of the people. The government must get the consent of the people,” Kyndiah said.
The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) had planned to develop open cast mining for production of 375,000 tonne of uranium deposits at Kylleng-Pyndeng-Sohiong village and a processing plant at Mawthabah in West Khasi Hills district. Uranium ore deposits there have an average grade of 0.085 per cent.
It also offered an economic package for all round socio-economic development of the area.
Despite all commitment, the UCIL has failed drum up support for the project, with several NGOs and anti-mining civil and human rights groups opposing it, citing human safety and environmental hazard due to radiation.    
However, the  Meghalaya Progressive Alliance has decided to allow mining of Uranium provided that the UCIL can convince the people of the state that there will be no ill-effects of uranium mining.
In fact, Chief Minister Donkupar Roy had even constituted an All Party Committee to reach a consensus on the uranium mining. Roy would meet leaders of all political parties on July 12. “Until the people are convinced, the decision on uranium mining has to be kept in abeyance,” Kyndiah said.  
Sops for ST students
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has launched a new scholarship scheme of top class education for students belonging to Scheduled Tribe category.
Announcing the slews of scholarship for tribal students here today, Union Tribal Affairs Minister, PR Kyndiah said  the scheme is aimed at encouraging meritorious students for pursuing studies at degree and post degree level in any of the identified instutitutes.
The ministry has identified 127 institutes to be covered by the scheme which includes both government and private covering the filed of management, medicine, engineering, law and commercial courses, he said.
Kyndiah said that each institute has been allotted five awards, with a ceiling of 635 scholarships per year for which the annual family income should not exceed Rs.2 lakh. 
In the scheme, the students are awarded scholarship covering full tuition fee and other non-refundable dues in respect of government or government funded institutions, he said.
Kyndiah, however, said there is a ceiling of RS. 2 lakh per annum per year for private sector institutions and Rs. 3.72 lakh per annum per student for the private sector flying clubs for commercial pilots training. 
Under the scholarship, Kyndiah said living expenses, books and stationery and a computer system would be provided as one time assistance during the course. Under the top class education scheme, grants were released to 23 institutes benefiting 79 students in the first year of the operation of the scheme.
Besides the scheme, the Tribal Affairs minister also announced the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship (RGNF) scheme to provide fellowships in the form of financial assistance to students belonging to the scheduled tribes to pursue higher studies.  
The fellowship under RGNF is on the pattern of UGC fellowships awarded to research students pursuing regular and full time M.Phil and Ph.D courses, Kyndiah said.

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