GUWAHATI: In a significant development under Assam's Pragyan Bharati scheme, thousands of meritorious students joyfully received brand-new scooties, marking a milestone for education and empowerment. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, present at the event in Guwahati, announced the scheme's expansion to include free textbooks and subsidised hostel fees shortly.
The distribution ceremony, held at the Veterinary College Field in Khanapara, witnessed Chief Minister Sarma playfully cautioning the recipients to adhere to traffic rules while enjoying their new scooties. Addressing the gathering, he reminisced about the scheme's inception in 2017, where only 1,000 students received scooties. This year, a remarkable 30,200 female students and 5,567 male students will benefit from the scheme, with the government allocating Rs 260 crore for this initiative.
Assuring students, CM Sarma mentioned that if any student is unintentionally left out, they can contact the higher education council through their principals for resolution. Furthermore, he unveiled upcoming additions to the scheme, stating that in the coming days, Rs 1,000 will be transferred to every student's bank account for purchasing textbooks. Additionally, plans are underway to provide subsidised government hostels, with the aim to transfer funds directly to beneficiaries' accounts by February of the following year.
The Pragyan Bharati scheme, designed to alleviate household expenses related to higher education, aims to extend its support by offering free scooties, textbooks, and subsidised hostel fees. CM Sarma emphasized the commitment to merit-based progress, highlighting that in the last two years, over 90,000 jobs have been allocated in Assam based on merit, particularly in fields such as medical, engineering, and public service.
Education Minister Ranoj Pegu, also present at the event, shared that this year witnessed a substantial increase in candidates for the Higher Secondary Leaving Certificate (HSLC) and Higher Secondary (HS) exams. The scheme benefited 35,770 students this year, emphasizing the criteria of achieving 75% marks in higher secondary examinations for boys and first division marks for girls.