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Assam approves medical seat quota for ‘tea tribes’

Adivasis associated with tea plantation are a major vote bank that swung from Congress to the BJP

November 05, 2021 11:33 am | Updated 12:34 pm IST - GUWAHATI:

Adivasi women plucking freshly grown tea leaves in a tea garden in the outskirts of Guwahati. File

Adivasi women plucking freshly grown tea leaves in a tea garden in the outskirts of Guwahati. File

The Assam Cabinet on November 4 approved the reservation of seats in the State-run medical colleges for students from the “tea tribes” community.

Assam has eight Government medical colleges. Adivasis associated with tea plantations are considered a major vote bank that swung from the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Seats for MBBS and BDS [Bachelor of Dental Surgery] reserved for the tea garden communities have been proportionately divided between the Brahmaputra Valley and the Barak Valley,” Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

The Cabinet decided to reserve 24 MBBS and three BDS seats for the tea garden community working across 803 major estates and numerous small tea gardens.

While 18 seats have been reserved for the Brahmaputra Valley students of the community, six have been reserved for the Barak Valley. Likewise, two BDS seats are for the Brahmaputra Valley and one for the Barak Valley.

The Cabinet also approved the conversion of a land allotment certificate to a periodic ‘patta’ (title deed to a property) within three years of allotment in the rural areas.

“Cases of conversion that have not completed the mandate period of the years for receiving the periodic ‘patta’ would be included under Mission Basundhara, subject to the condition that the land allotted hasn’t been transferred and used only for the purpose it was allotted for,” the Chief Minister said.

Mission Basundhara, launched a few weeks ago, seeks to streamline, resolve and make land revenue services more accessible to the people. A portal for this mission handles nine land-related services such as mutation by right of inheritance, mutation after deed registration, partition for undisputed cases and reclassification of agricultural land less than one ‘bigha’ to non-agricultural land.

The other Cabinet decisions included assistance to priests and ‘namghorias’ (people associated with ‘namghars’ or Vaishnav prayer halls). This entails a one-time grant of ₹15,000 to these categories of people.

The Assam Migrant Workers’ Food Security Scheme was also approved to provide dry ration to migrant workers affected by COVID-19. The district authorities would be tasked with distributing dry ration based on the data of migrant workers available on the e-SHRAM portal and other available resources, a Government spokesperson said.

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