Close to eight lakh students belonging to minority communities would get scholarships this year itself under the Prime Minister's new 15 point programme for the welfare of minorities.
Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, President Pratibha Patil on Thursday said that the coverage would go up to nearly 40 lakh students over the next four years.
The government set up the new Ministry of Minority Affairs and announced the Prime Minister's new 15 point programme for the welfare of minorities to further strengthen their social and economic inclusion, she said.
More than 10,000 new primary schools and upper primary schools have been set up in areas that have substantial minority concentration, she said.
She said entrepreneurs from minority communities have been provided assistance under the Swarna Jayanti Grameen Swarozgar Yojana and the flow of credit to minorities has increased sharply and was expected to go up to 15 per cent.
"With a view to bridging the development gaps in socio economically backward districts with minority concentration a Multi-Sectoral Development Programme has been launched to cover 90 minority concentration districts of the country," she added.