GUWAHATI/BONGAIGAON: The State Cabinet took a slew of crucial decisions – right from education to up-skilling youth – at Bongaigaon today.
Talking to the media after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "An allegation is doing rounds that xatra lands are under encroachment in the state. However, we have no exact areas of xatra land under encroachment. The Cabinet decided to form a committee with MLA Pradip Hazarika as the chairman for specific information on encroached xatra lands. A team from the Revenue Department will accompany Hazarika while visiting every xatra. He will study landed properties of xatras, their land under encroachment and the identities of the encroachers. The government will act after getting the report from this committee. We have given one-year time to the committee for this task.
"The State |Education Department restructured the education system in sync with the New Education Policy. The Cabinet has approved the restructured education system. The new structure has divided the entire system into four categories – foundation, preparatory, elementary and senior secondary. The system has 15 classes up to Class 12th standard. It has clubbed classes IX-XII, VI-VIII and preparatory-V separately. The New Education Policy will start from January 2023.
"The Cabinet decided to form a youth commission to coach the youths for all-India examinations, including that of medical, engineering, IAS, IPS etc. Initially, the government will coach 100 students and engage reputed coaching centres for that purpose. This move aims at arresting the falling percentage of candidates from Assam cracking all-India competitive examinations.
"The Cabinet withdrew the mandatory language paper (Assamese and English) for ACS and APS candidates as that troubles Assamese candidates schooled in English medium. Now on the language will be an oral paper. The Cabinet has set three conditions – candidates taking these two examinations should register their names in any of the local employment exchanges, should know any of the associate-official languages of Assam, including the indigenous languages and Hindi. The candidates should be permanent residents of the state.
"According to the existing rule, e-tendering is mandatory for any project with an estimated cost of Rs 50 lakh or more. However, the Cabinet today reduced the amount for e-tendering to Rs 25 lakh or more, barring the tendering of the autonomous councils.
"The Cabinet decided to pay compensation for land acquisition to those who occupy lands also, not only pattadars. This move is to do away with land acquisition hiccups that delay project works in the state under its Asom Mala Scheme.
"The existing rule is that a person occupying land in urban areas can apply for land allotment only after the twenty-year occupation of the land. The Cabinet today reduced the land-occupation period to ten years for becoming eligible for allotment.
"The Government has formed a welfare trust for the families of those injured in the Assam Agitation. And the government will extend the Rs 5-crore corpus fund for that purpose.
"The Cabinet has increased the number of postgraduation seats in medical colleges to 40 from the existing 23. It has also amended a rule relating to doctors working in Assam for a certain period after their postgraduation.
"The Cabinet has decided to hike excise duty. It has, however, reduced the VAT for air-fuel to 1 per cent from the existing 23 per cent for flights flying in the regional air routes.
"The Cabinet decided to give special vacation leave for employees to let them meet their parents or in-laws. This leave is on February 6 and 7 in 2022. Since February 8 and 9 are the second Saturday and Sunday, the employees can avail a four-day vacation. Right from fourth-grade employees to IAS and IPS officers can avail themselves of this vacation. The ministers can also avail this even though they have no official leave. "The 400th year of Lachit Barphukan has set in. The government will hold seminars, symposiums etc., on Lachit Barphukan throughout the year to popularize him at the national and international levels. The Cultural Affairs is the nodal department for this.
"The Cabinet decided to upgrade Bongaigaon College to a university. NABARD has approved Rs 550 crore for this, besides the approval of Rs 50 crore by the Cabinet today. The government approved Rs 25 crore grant-in-aid to give Bognaigaon stadium a new look."