GUWAHATI: In a significant move aimed at bolstering student nutrition, the Assam Cabinet has approved the provision of three eggs per child each week as part of the Mid-Day Meal program. This initiative is specifically tailored to benefit eligible students attending schools in tea garden areas and falls under the PM POSHAN scheme.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma highlighted the positive impact of this decision, anticipating increased attendance and retention rates in schools, along with a reduction in dropout rates. ''Eggs being a good source of high-quality protein will boost physical growth while countering other adverse effects of malnutrition related to cognitive development. This will have a positive impact on increasing the attendance and retention of the children in schools and decreasing the dropout rate,'' he highlighted the key decisions of the Cabinet meeting.
Moreover, the Assam government has taken steps to prioritise road development, categorizing roads into Priority 1, Priority 2, and Priority 3 lists for short-term, medium-term, and long-term periods. This comprehensive road plan aims to reduce road user costs, enhance transportation efficiency, stimulate economic growth, and generate employment opportunities, with projections of creating employment for 13 lakh people through road works over the next two decades.
''The proposed plan will bring down road user costs through efficient transportation and stimulate economic growth for the state, generating employment for 13 lakh person months from road works over next 20 years,'' he added.
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Sarma on July 12, also gave the green light to the Assam Road Network Master Plan (RNMP) for long-term connectivity requirements, further bolstering employment prospects for 13 lakh individuals.
Furthermore, the Cabinet approved the 'Sugam to Durgam' scheme, emphasizing citizen-centric governance and service delivery. This scheme mandates government employees, regardless of their class, to serve in designated 'Durgam' areas for a period of 3-5 years during their tenure.
To promote equity and representation, the Cabinet sanctioned an increase in OBC/MOBC (Other Backward Classes/Morans, Koch-Rajbongshis) reservation in higher education institutions from the existing 15 per cent to 27 per cent.
In a bid to enhance administrative efficiency, the Cabinet also approved amendments to the Assam Secretariat Service Rules, 2019, and Assam Subordinate Service Rules, 1963. These changes include the re-designation of Senior Administrative Assistants as Assistant Section Officers and Superintendents as Section Officers of the Assam Secretariat Service, aligning them with central secretariat norms.
Chief Minister Sarma emphasised that these reforms are in line with ongoing changes in subordinate services and are consistent with those at the central level.