Guwahati : Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in the budget for the year 2017-18, announced a host of new projects to boost education and skill development in state with a special focus towards women and OBC communities.
He admitted that implementation of the schemes would be a big challenge but “we will make sincere efforts involving everyone in the true spirit of ‘Team Assam’ so that the fruits of the programmes announced in the budget reach the common people. The endeavor of the government is to serve the 3.25 crore people of the State and to mitigate their plight to take them to newer heights of development.”
He proposed to allocate special grant amounting to Rs 667 crore for infrastructure development of colleges and universities to be spent over a period of three to four years. In this regard, he listed names of 31 professional colleges and universities to be included in the scheme. Under the scheme, Rs 100 crore each would be provided to three medical colleges of the State and these colleges will get Rs 30 crore each in the coming financial year.
The Finance Minister proposed to start eight women’s colleges in the minority dominated areas, three government degree colleges, three polytechnics, 20 BEd colleges, 33 skill development centres, one dairy science college at Sorbhog, one agro-forestry and biodiversity college in Kukilabari, a cultural university in Majuli, a university of veterinary and life science by carving out a separate institute from the Assam Agricultural University, and three new universities in Hojai, North Lakhimpur and Barpeta districts.
Sarma proposed to start a new department of sports medicine in the Guwahati Medical College and said that with the functioning of the new medical colleges the target of producing 1,200 doctors annually will be realized. He also proposed to increase the reservation of OBC candidates in MBBS and other courses from 15 per cent to 29 per cent.
Legislation would be brought in the State Assembly to ensure that all students of the State are taught one local language by all schools up to class VIII, he added.
He also proposed to provide two-wheelers to top thousand girl students, who pass Higher Secondary examination 2017 and an amount of Rs 5 crore has been allocated for the purpose, while he also proposed financial support of Rs 50 lakh each for infrastructure development of deserving secondary schools which are more than 100 years old.
The government has also proposed to set up 23 district science centres, while a mega science project is being implemented at Sonapur. Six more new planetariums have been planned to be set up in Majuli, Kaliabor, Amingaon, Bongaigaon, Diphu and Silchar.
The Finance Minister proposed to set up one State School of Drama in the line of the National School of Drama and an amount of Rs 2 crore has been allocated for starting the work. Another amount of Rs 2 crore has been allocated for a new art auditorium in the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra.
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