Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has written to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urging him to exempt the state from conducting Common University Entrance Test (CUET).
In a letter dated March 7, the Chief Minister said, "The State of Meghalaya has recently undergone a Legislative Assembly Election the results of which have been declared last week. This has resulted in the delay of State Board examination and in this regard, students are facing unprecedented challenges to attempt the CUET for the State level undergraduates institutions."
"In light of the above, and as most of the colleges in the state are affiliated to the North Eastern Hill University, I request your good office to kindly exempt the State of Meghalaya from conducting the CUET," he added.
Mr. Sangma further said that he is grateful that the National Testing Agency (NTA) as a premier autonomous and self-sustained testing organization is conducting an entrance examination (CUET) for admission/fellowship to higher educational institutions to assess the competence of candidates for admissions which has always been a challenge.
"Last year we had requested the Ministry of Education your good offices to kindly exempt Meghalaya from the purview of the CUET through letter DO.CM/PER-UM/2022/48 dated Shillong, the 25th of April 2022, to which you had graciously agreed through your letter DO.No.65-4/2020-CU. dated 11th May 2022," Mr. Sagma said.
The Chief Minister also informed that the steps were taken to create a State University, for which the government will soon receive approval of the Governor of Meghalaya. Notably, Meghalaya Chief Minister on March 9 chaired the first cabinet meeting of the newly elected Government in Meghalaya.
The Cabinet Ministers were also given their respective portfolios by Chief Minister. Mr. Sangma kept Cabinet Affairs, Elections, Finance, Forests and environment department, Home (political) department, Information technology and communication department, Mining & geology department, Personnel & AR department, Planning investment promotion & sustainable development department, Programme implementation & evaluation department, and any portfolios not allotted to any other Ministers.
Prestone Tynsong, Deputy CM was given the charge of District Council Affairs department, Home (police) department, Parliamentary Affairs department, Public Works department (R), Public Works department (B).
Sniawbhalang Dhar, the other Deputy CM, was allocated Commerce & Industries department, Department of Prisons and Correctional Services, Transport Department, and Urban Affairs department. Meanwhile, Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh, the only woman in the State Cabinet, was allocated Health and Family Welfare, Law, Information and Public Relations, and Agriculture departments.
BJP minister Alexander Laloo Hek was given Veterinary, Fisheries, Printing and Stationery, and the Secretariat Administration departments while UDP's Paul Lyngdoh was given the charge of Social Welfare, Tourism, Arts and Culture departments, while his party colleague Kyrmen Shylla was allocated Excise, Revenue and Legal Metrology departments.
Notably, Mr. Sangma's NPP won 26 seats in the Assembly elections and he became the Chief Minister for a second consecutive term.
Conrad Sangma won from the South Tura constituency with a margin of 5,016 against Bharatiya Janata Party's Bernard N Marak, as per the data shared by the Election Commission of India on March 2. BJP and NPP were partners in the outgoing government but fought the Assembly polls separately. Conrad Sangma on March 7 took oath as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya for the second consecutive term.
Thomas A Sangma of the ruling National People's Party (NPP)-led coalition government on March 9 was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 11th Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.