The cabinet has decided to develop 19 colleges into centres of excellence at an estimated cost of Rs 19.42 crore in the first phase.
Cabinet coordination department principal secretary Ravikant said the 19 colleges would be AN College, Patna, College of Commerce, Patna, JD Women’s College, Patna, College of Arts and Crafts, Patna, Government Women’s College, Gulzarbagh, Government Women’s College, Gardanibagh, ANS College Barh (Patna district), LS College, Muzaffarpur, SM College, Bhagalpur, HD Jain College, Ara, Gaya College, Gaya, Rajendra College, Chhapra, RM College, Saharsa, RK College, Madhubani, Purnea College, Purnea, CM Science College, Darbhanga, MS College, Motihari, MJK College, Bettiah and RD&DJ College, Munger.
All these colleges are considered as the best academic institutions in their respective district. Of the 19, only two women’s colleges — at Gulzarbagh and Gardanibagh — function directly under the state government, while the rest are affiliated to state universities.
The funds would be spent for infrastructure development, including construction of new academic blocks, renovation of college buildings, constructions of auditorium, examination hall and stadium among others.
In another decision, the cabinet also increased the rate of entry tax from four to five per cent in conformity with the value-added tax (VAT) rate on various products. The products on which the rate of entry tax would be increased include all types of coal, computer hardware, steel and plastic, iron and steel, vanaspati (edible oil), telephone sets and its spare parts, stone chips, boulder, tractor and plyboard.
The cabinet also gave its nod for issuing a notification for filling up 1,917 vacancies in the three-tier gram panchayat, Ravikant said. He added that all these posts would be filled through by-elections to be held on December 20. The counting of votes would be held on December 21. There are altogether 343 vacant posts of gram panchayat member, 1,444 posts of gram kucthery panch, 43 posts of mukhiya, 39 posts of sarpanch, 42 posts of panchayat samiti member and six posts of district board member, he said.
It also approved amendments to the Bihar Khas Mahaal Policy, 2011, under which any major non-profit organisation having worked over the past four decades can be given land on lease, provided its availability.
The amendment also empowered the divisional commissioner under civil procedure code to issue notice and enforcing the same for hearing the case.
According to the amendment, a person constructing building on khas mahaal land would have to get the map passed by the municipal corporation, which would be ratified by the district magistrate before starting construction.