March 6, 2013
Chief Minister announces three historic, revolutionary and bold decisions
The Chief Minister wrote on her Facebook page:
`Today our Government has taken three historic, revolutionary and bold decisions.
The first one is about our commitment to promote education, health and overall wellbeing of the women in the State. International Women`s Day is on 8th March. On the eve of this occasion, I salute all my mothers and sisters and that is why we are introducing a novel scheme in the State ` Kanyashree`.
All girls studying in classes VIII-XII, falling under annual family income of Rs. 50,000/-, will get scholarship of Rs. 500/- per year. In addition, unmarried girls belonging to families with annual income of Rs. 50,000/- and attaining the age of 18 years will receive one-time assistance of Rs. 25,000/- for their economic empowerment.
Another landmark decision is introduction of reservation for SC (22%), ST(6%) and OBC(17% – including minorities) students in higher educational institutions for the first time in the State. We have already provided reservations for OBCs in jobs. In order to complement jobs with higher education, this step will go a long way in uplifting the lives of SC, ST & OBCs in the State.
This reservation will not affect the existing seat availability for General Category students. For this reservation, extra/additional seats and infrastructure will be created to provide higher education facilities for SC, ST and OBC students, over a period of six years.
The third vital decision is regarding introduction of a Bill for the benefit of the citizens of the State. The `West Bengal Right to Public Services Bill, 2013` is being introduced for the first time to strengthen and improve public service delivery mechanism and to reduce corruption. If the citizens are not provided specific services within prescribed time period, the designated officer may be penalized ranging from Rs. 250/- to Rs. 1000/-. Some of the services that have been identified so far are issuing of Driving License, Mutation, Birth Certificate, Ration Card, BPL Card, Electricity Connection, service to the farmers, health services, etc. The list of services will be expanded from time to time.
All the three momentous decisions will have far-reaching implications in enhancing the socio-economic status of the State and will cover all communities, caste and creed in the society`.