Government schools in Punjab will not charge any admission, re-admission and tuition fee for 2020-21 academic session. This was announced by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday.
As far as fee charged by private schools was concerned, the state government had already moved the court, but for government schools no fee would be charged at all for the full year, the CM said.
The CM also announced provisional admission in Class XI for the 31,000 Class X students in the open school system, who could not be promoted amid the Covid crisis based on internal assessment, as no such assessment exists for them. To ensure that their future is not adversely affected, the state government has decided to allow them provisional admission in Class XI, but they will be required to take examinations once things normalise, he said.
Amarinder made these announcements during Saturday’s edition of #AskCaptain. He also announced a cash prize of Rs 5,100 each to 335 students who have scored over 98% in Class XII.
Congratulating the government schools on outscoring private schools again this year, the CM pointed out that the 94.32 per cent pass percentage in government schools is the highest ever in the school board history. Giving credit to the teachers, staff and students who worked hard despite the adverse situation.
WARNS OF INCREASING FINES
The CM warned that he would be forced to enhance fines on those not wearing masks. He said social distancing and masks were necessary even at religious places.
He further said that his government had been forced to impose additional fines due to frequent violations and, if necessary, would increase penalties even on wearing of masks and spitting of fines if norms are not adhered to.
Citing numbers, Amarinder said Punjab was currently at the 18th position in terms of Covid cases in the country but with an average of 400-odd cases per day for the last two days, the situation was a cause for concern.
70,000 BENEFICIARIES REMOVED
The CM said 70,000-odd beneficiaries removed from the ambit of social security were fraudulent cases, who were drawing benefits at the cost of genuine ones, and the Rs 162.35 crore that he had ordered to be recovered from them will now go into raising the amount of financial assistance to deserving beneficiaries.
In fact, his government had added 6 lakh genuine beneficiaries to the list since taking over the state’s reins while weeding out the ineligible ones, who were fraudulently getting social security benefits under the patronage of the erstwhile SAD-BJP government, said Amarinder.
Later, a government statement said that as many as 70,137 fake social security beneficiaries have been weeded out after a thorough verification and re-verification exercise conducted by the Social Security and Women & Child Development Department on the directives of the CM.
Pointing out that most of these ineligible beneficiaries were from the constituencies of the Badal clan, the CM later lashed out at the SAD leaders for “bribing” voters with bogus social security pension/financial assistance in the run-up to the 2017 Assembly elections.
CM COVID RELIEF FUND
Reacting to the Akali attack on his government on the CM Covid Relief Fund, Amarinder once again expressed shock at the “petty politics being indulged by the Akalis in the state at a time when people were dying.”
He said the Rs 64 crore lying in the CM Relief Fund was meant for Covid relief and will be spent on it. Pointing out that the disease had still not peaked, the CM said his government had already spent over Rs 300 crore on Covid care, treatment and other related expenses, and expected to spend another Rs 200 crore at the minimum. The Rs 64 crore will be spent for Covid care, he asserted.
APPEALS TO PEOPLE TO DONATE PLASMA
He appealed to recovered Covid patients to come forward to donate plasma, for which two more banks would soon be opened, in Amritsar and Faridkot. Even in Patiala, where the state’s first plasma bank is functional, only 7 of the 17 donors who came forward were found eligible to donate plasma, he said, pointing out that the drawable rate was only 40% with others not having enough anti-bodies to be able to give their plasma.
The CM pointed out that around 250 police personnel in Punjab had been infected so far. Testing of the frontline workers was of paramount importance and the state government was focusing on that, he added.
JALLIANWALA BAGH PICTURES CONTROVERSY
Regarding a question on objectionable pictures at Jallianwala Bagh, the CM said the historic place was under the control of ASI and the Government of India. The state government had brought the issue to the Centre’s notice and the pictures in question were being removed, he added.
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