Just few days ahead of Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel's proposed hunger strike, the Gujarat Government, on Saturday, announced various schemes for students and young entrepreneurs from economically backward sections of general category communities who do not get benefit of reservations.

Who are eligible? 

To qualify for 'economically backward' category, the person's family income should not exceed Rs 3 lakh per annum.

The schemes were devised by the Gujarat Unreserved Educational and Economical Development Corporation (GUEEDC), set up by the BJP government in the state this year in the wake of Patidar quota agitation.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the schemes were approved by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani yesterday.

Under the schemes, students wanting to take admission for self-financed medical, engineering, pharmacy, nursing, architecture and other technical courses will get educational loans upto Rs 10 lakh at 4 per cent interest from GUEEDC, he said.

Students applying for these loans must be from a non-reserved caste, and his/her family income should not be more than Rs 3 lakh per annum.

GUEEDC will also provide educational loans up to Rs 15 lakh at 4 per cent interest to those wanting to pursue higher studies in foreign countries. For this, the family income limit has been set at Rs 4.5 lakh per annum.

General category students with family income of less than Rs 3 lakh per year and staying in private hostels will get a monthly assistance of Rs 1,200 for 10 months a year.

Those who have scored over 70 per cent in Class 10 and who are studying in science stream in Class 11 and 12 will get Rs 15,000 per month towards tuition fees from the corporation.

Science stream students of Class 12 can avail of yearly "coaching assistance" of up to Rs 20,000 for preparation of entrance exams such as NEET and JEE.

For graduate students preparing for UPSC and other competitive exams, the corporation will provide Rs 20,000 towards coaching fees.

For members of general category communities who want to start their own business such as grocery trade or transportation, the government will provide loans of up to Rs 10 lakh at five per cent interest. For women entrepreneurs, the interest rate will be 4 per cent.

For professionals such as doctors and advocates in the general category, the government will provide loans of up to Rs 10 lakh to start own clinics or offices.

Patel said these schemes will help a large section of society.

"In Gujarat, 58 castes fall in non-reserved category and their population is around 1.5 crore. The schemes will be applicable from this year. The students who have already taken admission can also avail of them," he said.

The government has rolled out these schemes two weeks ahead of an indefinite hunger strike announced by Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel to press the demand of quota.

Hardik Patel had said he would sit on a fast unto death from August 25, the third anniversary of his mega rally for Patidar quota here in 2015.