For the academic year 2022–2023, the Assam Cabinet has decided to increase the number of reserved seats for each of the six communities demanding Scheduled Tribe status in medical education by two. Six communities—the Tea Garden Tribes, Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Matak, Moran, and Chutia—that are currently defined as Other Backward Communities (OBC) have seats reserved for students from those communities in the MBBS programme, according to Tourism Minister Jayanta Malla Baruah at a media briefing after the cabinet meeting late on Friday night.
The tea garden tribes will now have 26 reserved seats, the Koch Rajbongshis 10, Tai Ahom seven, Chutias six while Matak and Moran will have five each, he said. Three seats will be reserved under the ex-servicemen quota for Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) studies. In the meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, it was agreed upon to increase the upper age limit at entry-level posts in medical colleges from 38 to 40 years for the general category, 41 to 43 years for OBC and More Other Backward Class (MOBC) and 43 to 45 years for SC/ST category applicants to motivate PG doctors to offer their services as faculty in the medical colleges.
Additionally, the cabinet decided to simplify the process of laying the City Gas Distribution Pipeline (CGDP) by allowing the Deputy Commissioners to give permission for the right of way, preferably within 15 days and not exceeding 30 days from the submission of a detailed plan.
The meeting also decided to lease land to the All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU) for setting up an Academic Research and Career Information Centre at Betkuchi village in Kamrup Metro district, Baruah said. It was also arranged that the state government will release Rs 18.02 crore as a loan to Assam Tea Corporation Limited for payment of bonuses to its employees/workers for the upcoming Durga Puja.
The installation of floating solar power plants and the user rights of the water bodies under the Assam Fisheries Development Corporation Limited (AFDCL) will be transferred to Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) according to an agreement between both parties. It was decided in the cabinet, that the Assam Fodder Mission will be set up for a period of seven years with a proposed budget of Rs 120.20 crore for training and capacity building of 40,900 beneficiaries and to create employment opportunities for 85 dairy farmers in the advanced feed processing sector.
The cabinet further decided to allocate an additional Rs 4,638 crore for the completion of large multi-village schemes under the Neer Nirmal Pariyojana in the three districts of Kamrup Metro, Jorhat and Hailakandi. They would also roll out Category II of the Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme with six amendments to existing guidelines and approval of financial aid of the required amount to the beneficiaries by October 2022. Category II includes borrowers whose payments are outstanding by one to 89 days and the rollout will include 1.07 lakh beneficiaries, Baruah added.