UDAAN scheme has been designed by Central Board of Secondary Education to mentor girl students to compete for admission to premier engineering institutions like Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) by providing 1,000 selected students of Classes XI and XII special online and direct coaching.

In a letter to Modi, Chief Minister O Pannerselvamsaid that as per the programme, only two cities have been  nominated for mandatory contact classes with the capital Chennai being left out.

"Two centres in a large state with substantial girl student population in the Science stream is very inadequate and this by itself would act as a dampener for participation by girl students.

"Apprehension about having to travel long distances to go to contact classes, will undoubtedly reduce response from eligible candidates," he said.

"Even more surprising is the fact that Chennai, which is the largest city in Tamil Nadu and a leading metropolis, does not have a contact centre unlike other large Metropolitan cities," Panneerselvam added.

This will also deprive a large number of eligible girl students of an opportunity to participate, he said adding, eligible ones may be allowed to opt for contact class centres at their respective district headquarters.

"I request you to kindly have these design flaws in the UDAAN scheme examined and increase the number of contact centres in Tamil Nadu including one in Chennai," he said.

He also appealed to the Prime Minister to extend thelast date for applications for the programme to at least  November 30 from the present November 4, to enable eligible girl students from the state to apply.

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