Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, while presenting the Union Budget for 2011-12, has announced that specific allocations are being earmarked towards Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan for the first time in the Budget for 2011-12. Referring to the allocation for primitive tribal groups, the Finance Minister announced that it is being increased from Rs.185 crore in 2010-11 to Rs.244 crore in 2011-12. Emphasizing that empowerment flows from education, the Finance Minister said that a new pre-matric scholarship scheme will be introduced in 2011-12 for needy students belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes studying in classes ninth and tenth. Pranab Mukherjee pointed out that the new scheme would benefit about 40 lakh scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students.
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