New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil on met over 150 tribal students from Maoist-affected areas of Chhattisgarh who have cleared IIT-JEE and AIEE exams. The students were brought from the state to the national capital by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh for meetings with the President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"These 151 students from Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas of Chhattisgarh have cleared IIT-JEE or All India Engineering Entrance Exams (AIEEE) in 2012 for getting admission into various national engineering colleges," according to an official release.

The President congratulated the students on their achievement and wished them success in all their endeavours. During the meeting, the Chief Minister told the President that the students were part of the first batch of students of 'Prayas', a special initiative of the state government.

Elaborating on the 'Prayas' programme, he said a residential school-cum-coaching institute was set up in 2010 by the State Tribal Welfare department to provide opportunity to meritorious students from the LWE districts and other tribal areas of the state to prepare for examinations of premier institutes along with the regular studies at the higher secondary level.

He said the main objective of the programme was to encourage the potential of tribal students and connect them to the mainstream.

(Agencies)

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