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CM announced state youth policy

Odisha cabinet yesterday approved the state youth policy which has its focus on employment and confidence building among young men and women.

The policy splits youths into three categories: those aged between 13 and 19 years, between 19 and 25 years and 25 and 35 years. About 40% of Odisha’s 4.2 crore population are in the 15-35 age group.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who presided over the meeting, announced the new policy at the Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) rally held today.

According to the policy, free laptops and pre-paid data cards will be given to 10,000 Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and BPL students who have passed secondary school with representation from all the 314 blocks of the State.

Besides, scholarship of Rs 40,000 will be given to BPL girls to pursue studies in private technical institutions.

Young women’s hostels will be opened in every district and six coaching centres established for SC and ST youths across the State.
free laptops odisha
Skill development programmes will be announced for the youths of different age groups. Boys will be involved in self-help groups (SHGs) for income generation activities. This will be taken up on a Mission Shakti mode.

Sports and cultural activities will be given importance. A sports council will be set up for women of this age group to promote sporting activities among them. Besides, stadia will be constructed in all the blocks to encourage youths to participate in sports activities.

Sources said the ruling party started thinking in terms of a youth policy after watching Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s growing emphasis on youth and the response that he was generating among youngsters. Even during his visits to Odisha in the last one year, he chose to interact with youngsters drawn from schools and colleges while emphasising the importance of youth within his own party.

The BJD, having suffered reverses in the recent elections to three notified area councils, requires a similar strategy to revive its fortunes. The youth policy is expected to provide that thrust to the party and the government.

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