GUWAHATI: The Assam government on Wednesday decided to bring in an ordinance to accord Bodo as an associate official language of the state.
At a meeting in of the state Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal this evening, a number of decisions were taken related to the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) and the Bodo people residing across the state.
On the backdrop of massive controversy over the Assam Police job exam paper leak scandal, the Cabinet decided that all future job examinations of any department will be conducted by the government or central university.
"Decision taken to make Bodo associate official language in Assam through an ordinance," a communique from the Chief Minister's Office said.
On the other hand, the Cabinet has also asked the BTC authority to extensively use Assamese along with Bodo and English on signboards across the BTR, which was earlier known as Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).
The meeting approved an ordinance to form Bodo-Kachari Welfare Autonomous Council in Bodo dominated villages outside the Sixth Schedule areas, while the ceiling for maximum number of members in Development Councils was increased to 45 from 25.
The Cabinet also decided to request the State Election Commission to schedule the postponed BTC election in December 2020.
The election to the 40-member BTC was scheduled on April 4, but it was postponed indefinitely due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Subsequently, Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi assumed administration of the Council on expiry of its five-year term on Apr 27, 2020.
During the Cabinet meeting, the state government took an important decision regarding all government job examinations to avoid any controversy or irregularity.
The CMO note said that no private agencies will be involved in government recruitment process henceforth and the departments themselves will hold the exams or it will be conducted by the state or central universities.
On September 20, the question paper of the written examination for 597 posts of unarmed sub-inspectors in Assam Police got leaked and the test was cancelled minutes after it had commenced across the state.
Already 36 people, including a retired DIG and a BJP leader, have been arrested by multiple agencies of Assam Police across the state and outside for their alleged role in paper leak scam.
The Cabinet committee also decided to regularise the jobs of 4,534 teachers, who were appointed irregularly, the CMO said.
Besides, the government will provide day boarding and free uniforms for children in 428 tea garden managed schools across the state.
The state government also decided to raise the remuneration of 'Gaon Burhas' (village heads) to Rs 9,000 from Rs 6,500 with effect from April 1 this year.
"Students of Barak Valley who have not studied Assamese, Bengali or Bodo need not appear in qualifying languages in APSC Combined Civil Services Examination," the release said.
The government also took a host of decision for the tea sector like raising of assurance benefit payable under Assam Tea Plantations Provident Fund Scheme to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1 lakh and adoption of the Assam Tea Industries Special Incentives Scheme 2020.
Under the Scheme, there will be three per cent interest subvention of working capital, a subsidy of Rs 7 per kg for orthodox or specialty tea production, a 25 per cent subsidy on cost of plant and machinery of orthodox or specialty tea and a three-year tax holiday on agriculture income, the CMO said.
Besides, under the Vistarita Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Yojana, Rs 50,000 capital subsidy will be offered to eligible self help groups, it added.
"Assam Hydrocarbon and Energy Company -- a state PSU -- to acquire 10 per cent participating interests in exploration cum production of an OIL Block at Namrup allotted to Oil India Limited for around Rs 30 crore," the cabinet decided.