Government of Kerala is all set to launch an online taxi service scheme, aimed at creating job opportunities for youth from SC\/ST community in the state. \n\n\n\nThe government will provide a total of 150 taxis for eligible beneficiaries from across the state. It will provide Rs 1 lakh in grant and the rest of the amount will be granted by the Kerala State Development Corporation for Scheduled Caste and Tribe Ltd as loans with minimal interest rates. \n\n\n\nThe beneficiaries can acquire the taxi by repaying the loan over a period of two years.\n\n\n\nThe first phase of the scheme, titled \u2018Steering\u2019, will be implemented in five districts- Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Thrissur and Kozhikode. There will be 30 taxis in each district during the first phase of the project. \n\n\n\nConsumers can utilize the service using a centralised call centre or a smartphone app.\n\n\n\nMembers of the SC\/ST community, aged between 18 and 35 and those with a driving license can apply for the service.\n\n\n\nThe taxi service scheme comes less than three months after the government launched the \u2018Amazon Shell\u2019 programme to help women entrepreneurs in the state. \n\n\n\nUnder the scheme launched by Kudumbashree, a poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission of the Kerala Government in partnership with e-commerce giant Amazon, or pioneering Kudumbashree\u2019s scheme called \u2018Amazon Shell\u2019. Under the scheme, Amazon India said that it will support, train and empower women entrepreneurs associated with the organisation and provide a marketplace for them to showcase their products to Amazon customers across the country.\n\n\n\nKerala government\u2019s taxi service scheme comes less than a year after Karnataka government launched its first-of-its-kind strategic livelihood programme, called \u2018Airavata\u2019. \n\n\n\nThe Karnataka scheme, launched in partnership with Uber in September 2018, aims to provide employment opportunities for SC\/ST youth. It involves partnering with service providers and aggregators to create job opportunities for members from SC\/ST community ownership of cabs and taxis.\n\n\n\nThe announcement comes days after the Left Front govt got a severe drubbing in general elections as minority voters consolidated behind the Congress Party and a part of the Left's Hindu voters shifted to the NDA.