The Punjab government has decided to extend the additional weightage given to rural students in education sector jobs to all departments in the state. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has shot off a letter to the chief secretary of Punjab,directing him to make a recent high court judgment,upholding the additional weightage to rural students,applicable to all departments.
The letter has already been circulated to all departments,officials said.
On April 20,a division bench comprising Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Jasbir Singh upheld the decision to award five additional marks to rural students at the time of recruitment in the education sector.
Expressing deep concern over the extreme disparity between the education standard in villages and cities,Punjab Advocate General H S Mattewal had appealed to the chief minister to consider allotment of additional marks to rural students not only in education department jobs but in all sectors. Mattewal had written the letter on January 13 this year,prior to the high court verdict.
Based on the findings of a study titled Rural students in Universities of Punjab: An exploratory study,conducted by Punjabi University,Patiala,in September 2006,Mattewal had written to Badal: It may be legally permissible to give appropriate weightage in matters of public employment to candidates who have done their basic education from rural areas. The study had found that the proportion of rural students in the universities of Punjab was a mere 4.07 per cent during the academic year 2005-06. Consequently,job opportunities for them were very limited. The study revealed infrastructural and basic social inequalities in rural and urban life.
In his April 20 order,Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal held: In our view,weightage to a rural candidate would achieve such a purpose to neutralise the disadvantages suffered by a rural student and achieve equality by bringing unequals at par.
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