Assam budget unveils initiatives for social equity in govt recruitment

GUWAHATI: The Assam government is set to implement a policy aimed at ensuring social equity in government recruitment by providing a 5% weightage in total marks for candidates from families without any government service member.Announcing the decision during her budget speech in the Assembly on Monday, the state’s finance minister Ajanta Neog said this would be applicable in recruitment of all Grade-III and Grade-IV posts without compromising the quality of selection. Additionally, the government plans to introduce legislation to formalize this policy within the current year.“We often see many government jobholders in one family while some families do not have even a single government employee. The presence of government employees in as many families as possible would augur well in terms of social equity in government recruitment,” Neog said.She said the present government, which recruited 94,506 youth till January this year, published advertisements for recruitment to 35,910 posts. She said the government is keen to see the benefits of these jobs accrued to as many families as possible bringing social equity.She announced that 10 lakh girls would be supported with financial grant as admission incentive so they can continue with their education to higher secondary, graduation and post-graduation levels. The move under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Nijut Moina’, which is aimed at eliminating child marriages, however, comes with a rider. Only unmarried girls will be eligible and they must study in any government educational institution. “Apart from punitive and regulatory measures, we need to empower girl child to decide about when to marry. If 10 lakh girl children are encouraged to study till graduation and post-graduation, this will also increase the percentage of girls educated beyond matriculation,” the minister said.An admission incentive of Rs 10,000 will be paid to each girl student when she joins Class XI, Rs 12,500 in the first year of graduation and Rs 15,000 in the first year of postgraduation. This is in addition to the existing benefits like free admission, provision of scooty etc as applicable. To safeguard the cultural significance of iconic and heritage locations in Barpeta, Majuli, Batadrava and Narayanpur, the government decided to bring in a legislation to ensure that the land surrounding these locations is transferred only to indigenous persons/institutions.The government further decided to set up ‘Mukya Mantri Sangrahalaya’ to document the legacies of all former chief ministers of the state. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state-of-the-art museum in Guwahati would preserve the past and inspire the future.Under ‘Three Legend Nights’, the government will celebrate the contributions of great souls who left their indelible impressions on the conscience of the Assamese society.Three separate Legend Nights will bring together artists spanning various generations from all corners of the state to create a musical odyssey and pay tribute to the legacies of legendary singer, lyricist, composer Bhupen Hazarika; Jayanta Hazarika whose pioneering fusion and music echoed Assam’s spirit, Bishnu Rabha, a multifaceted artist and champion of social change; and Jyoti Prasad Agarwala who, through his cinematic lens, immortalised the state’s cultural essence, paving the way for a thriving film industry.Earlier in the day, Neog tabled a Rs 2.9 lakh crore budget for 2024-2025 with a deficit of Rs 774.47 crore. The government proposed no new tax.

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