Updated: August 15, 2021 1:08:23 pm
With almost all Opposition parties and BJP’s key ally, JD (U) mounting pressure on the Centre to do caste-based counting of the population in the 2021 census, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday announced that the state government’s incentives to other backward classes (OBC) and economically backward classes (EBC) for Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations would now be extended to all sections of the society. Under this scheme, the government gives Rs 50,000 to candidates who clear BPSC examinations prelims and Rs 1 lakh to those who clear UPSC prelims.
During his Independence Day speech, Nitish Kumar also announced that the annual income slab of Rs 2.5 for SC/ST/OBC/EBC students to avail the Centre’s post-matric scholarship would be increased to Rs 3 lakh. The Indian Express had reported how the Bihar government could not invite any application for the Centre’s flagship scheme for the last three years because of a technical snag with the national scholarship portal and also because of lack of coordination between SC/ST welfare and education departments of the state government.
The chief minister also announced the increase of dearness allowance for state government employees and pensioners from 17 per cent to 28 per cent with effect from July 1, 2021.
Announcing the opening of three new agriculture colleges, Nitish Kumar said, “College of Agriculture Technology, Sabaur, College of Agriculture Engineering, Bhojpur and College of Agriculture Management, Patna, will open under Bihar Agriculture University, Sabaur, Bhagalpur”.
The CM said agriculture market committees would be revamped and developed in a phased manner to avail markets for agriculture produce. “There would be separate markers and storage facilities for fish, fruits and vegetables at Rs 2,700 crore”, he said. Bihar had done away with agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) in 2006.
The Bihar CM said all Bihar villages would be covered under milk cooperative societies in the coming four years and 40 per cent of these committees would have women as members.
Nitish Kumar, who has been constantly under attack for lack of quality education at primary till higher secondary school levels, said,” there is a need for efficient and effective leadership to ensure the quality of education. There would now be a principal teacher cadre for schools. Principal teachers will now be appointed through competitive examinations.”
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