Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that the Eklayva schools meant for tribal students will be modified on the lines of the central government-run Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.He said the Eklavya schools had been set up in 1997-98 but the condition of the schools remained poor and deplorable despite the government fulfilling their monetary requirements. "We will ensure these (Eklavya schools) get the required facilities to excel in the fields of sports, skill development, local art and culture," he said.Replying to the debate on the working of the Tribal Affairs Ministry, he said that earlier all central ministries used to work separately without coordinating with one another. It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who pointed this out after the government was formed under his leadership at the Centre and now every ministry is coordinating with one another in terms of taking development ahead.Munda stated that the government has identified nearly 36,000 tribal villages under the Pradhan Mantri Adi-Adarsh Gram Yojana across the country to provide them with facilities like clean drinking water, internet, water drainage system, 100 percent admission rate in schools and steps to check the dropout rate.
Referring to the questions raised by the opposition members over the working of his ministry, he said that they had ruled the country for years.He added that it was the Narendra Modi government which brought the Arunachal Pradesh with a 100 percent tribal population in the list of tribal states.I am open to criticism as well as suggestions from the opposition members, but the MPs should not criticise just for the sake of it, Munda said.Earlier, resuming the debate on the working of the Ministry of tribal Affairs, CPI MP Binoy Viswam said that Father Stan Swamy fought for the rights of the tribal communities. "He was tortured to death in a prison cell. Why? He always fought for the rights of the tribals by giving a call for their 'Jal, Jameen, Jangal'.Talking about Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) he said that the government has brought FDI, particularly in the field of mining in lands that belong to the tribal communities in Odisha and Jharkhand.At the beginning of the debate on Wednesday, BJP lawmaker Suresh Gopi urged the Minister to direct the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to visit tribal hamlets in Kerala.