Updated: June 4, 2021 7:33:29 am
In what could be a first for any state, the Bihar government has proposed to reserve 33 per cent seats to girls in medical and engineering colleges.
The government has been planning to bring two new Bills — the Bihar Engineering Universities Bill and Bihar Medical Education Bill — in the next Assembly session to give formal shape to the proposal.
The state has 2,035 engineering seats and 1,330 medical and BDS seats in the 11 medical and 38 engineering colleges it runs. A government official said while there are 30 per cent girls in government medical colleges, their representation in engineering colleges is only about 15 per cent.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said at a review meeting on Wednesday, “Let us reserve one-third seats in medical and engineering colleges [for girls]. This will increase the number of girls in technical education. It will be a unique thing. Engineering colleges are being opened in every district and medical colleges have been also opened in some districts. The whole idea is to ensure that Bihar students do not have to go out of the state for technical education”.
The review meeting also discussed a proposal to set up exclusive engineering and medical universities in the state. The CM said this would help in better management of medical and engineering colleges. The state government has proposed to set up four new universities.
The move to reserve seats for girls is being seen as another political masterstroke of CM Nitish Kumar to consolidate his “caste-neutral” constituency of women.
The Nitish-led government had in 2006 reserved 50 per cent seats for girls in primary schools and 35 per cent in secondary schools at the panchayat levels. The state has also reserved 35 per cent jobs for women in the police and 33 per cent in other government jobs.
To encourage girls to pursue higher education, the state gives a cash incentive of Rs 50,000 to those who pass their graduation.
Women-centric schemes such as bicycles and school uniforms for girls were hugely popular and had later been extended to boys as well.
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