Guwahati: Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday Inaugurated the ceremonial distribution of scooters to deserving candidates who cleared the last higher secondary examinations. The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council conducted them with a percentage above a certain threshold at a ceremony held at the Veterinary College Playground, Khanapara.
Dr Banikanta Kakati Merit Award, under the Pragya Bharti scheme, this year is being awarded to 35,800 beneficiaries, of which 6,052 are boys, and 29,748 are girls. To be eligible for the award, the male candidates of higher secondary examinations conducted by the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council had to score a minimum of 75%. In comparison, to that for female candidates had been fixed at 60%. Today’s main event witnessed the distribution of scooters to those eligible who belong to the Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup districts. Scooters for those who belong to the rest of the sections shall be distributed within December.
Speaking at the event, Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said today was a historic milestone in the lives of those eligible for Dr Banikanta Kakati Merit Award. He termed the award a gift and blessing from society for their hard work and dedication towards the study.
Referring to Dr Banikanta Kakati, after whom the award has been named, as a “boudhik jagatar ujjwal nakshatra” (a bright star of the intellectual world). The Chief Minister exuded confidence to the meritorious students chosen in the final list of awardees too would shine in their respective fields and bring glory to the State and the Nation.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to his fellow citizens to treat the next 25 years as Amrit Kaal, the Chief Minister requested the deserving students to dedicate every moment of their lives to the country’s betterment. Referring to them as, Amrit Santan of Amrit Kaal, Chief Minister Dr Sarma asked the students to utilise their abilities and capabilities to ensure the nation reaches its rightful status on its 100th year of Independence, which will culminate with the end of the Amrit Kaal.
Also, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for youth-led developments and growth, the Chief Minister appealed to the meritorious students of Assam to ensure they walk hand-in-hand with their counterparts in other States so that they too can reap the benefits of the opportunities a new and resurgent India offers.
He further added, that youths of Assam must have at least the basic idea about new-age technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, block chain, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, big data, advanced genomics, etc. Remaining ignorant of these would be detrimental to their career, in the long run, the Chief Minister said, adding youths of States such as Karnataka and Maharashtra have already made themselves a part of this technological revolution.
Meritorious students should always aim to touch the sky, the Chief Minister said, adding it would be a waste of their talent if they were to limit their aspirations to Grade-3 and Grade-4 jobs in days to come. The government of Assam shall explore the possibility of distributing electric scooters to awardees of Dr Banikanta Kakati Merit Award from next year, Dr Sarma said. He added that this would do away with students having to spend money on fuel.
Chief Minister Dr Sarma also spoke about an upcoming scheme through which females pursuing post-graduate programmes in educational institutions of the State would be provided with a yearly stipend of ₹10,000 each. This would help cover their commutation and other related expenses, he said. He appealed to those females pursuing post-graduate programmes to apply for the same in the portal to be launched by the Department of Education for that purpose in a few weeks from now.