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Higher education to be free for poor students

60,000 students with annual family income below Rs 1 lakh to benefit in first year of scheme, Assam government to reimburse Rs 70 crore to colleges within two months of admission, declares Himanta

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, June 11: Higher education after school will be free for poor students in Assam from this year, the State government announced today, stating that the scheme will benefit around 60,000 students in the first year itself.

Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said students of families with annual income below Rs 1 lakh can avail of the scheme.

In the first year, the government will have to spend Rs 70 crore to reimburse the revenue loss that will be incurred by colleges while implementing the scheme.

“Around 310 government and provincialized colleges will offer the scheme. Salary slips, certificates from the employer, circle officer and mauzadar will be accepted as proof of income. In case, a student can’t produce these documents, he or she can testify before the college principal or the admission committee and convince them to avail of benefit under the scheme,” Sarma said.

The Education minister said that college principals have been told that the revenue loss the institutions will incur will be reimbursed within two months of completion of the admission process.

“The government will refund the admission fees of those students coming under the category, who have already taken admission,” he said.

Sarma said a similar scheme for students in universities, medical and engineering colleges in the State is in the pipeline.

Meanwhile, the minister said that the Pension department has been directed to clear 1,500 pending files by 7th of every month. In this way, Sarma hoped that the backlog of 8,000 pension applications will be cleared by December.

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Ankur Kalita