Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Constitutional amendment to provide 10 per cent reservation to economically poor in the general category was achieved due to the political will of his government and would be implemented from this academic year.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the 1,500 bed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Medical Science and Research, Modi said the economic reservation has been given without impacting the existing social reservations.
"The new reservation will be implemented in 40,000 colleges across 900 universities in the country from this academic year. The number of seats will be increased by 10 per cent," he said.
Modi said his government was committed to provide equal opportunities to all sections of the society.
The Institute will be linked to the Ayushman Bharat scheme so that poor people can avail medical facilities free of cost, he said.
In 100 days, seven lakh poor people have received treatment under the Pradhan Mantri Ayushmaan Bharat scheme, he said.
This will be the first government hospital to have a helipad, he said, adding the new medical facility will help boost health sector in the state.
"Cleanliness and health-care has always been the prime agenda of Ahmedabad municipal corporation since the time Sardar Patel was the mayor. The hospital project started in 2012 and I am mesmerised by the way it has turned out to be," he said.
Modi also said that his government has helped create crores of employment opportunities across sectors in the last four and a half years.
The remarks assume significance as they come after the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, an independent think tank, recently estimated that 11 million jobs in the country were lost in 2018, with the rural sector being the worst hit.
"Be it tourism, manufacturing or the services sector, crores of employment opportunities have been created in the last four and a half years," Modi said, after inaugurating a shopping festival in Ahmedabad.
In 2017, the then Union labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya had said the growth of the Indian economy was not translating into more employment.
Modi said the government is helping the micro, small and medium enterprises in every possible way and cited a list of initiatives taken by it in this segment.
The move to increase interest subvention to 5 per cent and including merchant exporters in the scheme's ambit is likely to benefit exporters by Rs 600 crore, he said.
Modi said the government has created the GEM (Government E Marketplace) portal for smaller enterprises. The platform has witnessed trade of Rs 16,500 crore till now, he said.
The country is now moving towards a system where banks will extend credit based only on GST returns, Modi said.
Efforts are on to streamline the indirect taxation reform, he said.
Modi also inaugurated a statue of Indian Space Research Organisation founder Vikram Sarabhai, and said instilling scientific temper in more people will be the real tribute to the scientist.