Guwahati: Assam’s health and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday announced that this year, students from higher secondary to the postgraduate level will get absolutely free admission in all the provincialised colleges and other institutions of higher education in the state for the academic year 2020-21.
Sarma said that the decision was taken owing to the Covid-19 induced economic depression among the parents. “After assessing the Covid-19 impact in the state, we have decided to ensure 100 percent free admission for the students irrespective of their parents’ economic status; either from above or below the poverty line,” the minister said.
According to the minister, the provision of free admission will be accessible in all the disciplines including medical, engineering, professional and non-technical courses.
The minister said, ‘We will issue directives to all the principals of the colleges not to charge any fee for admission. The process of enrolment of the students must be absolutely free. Even the students will not be asked for the prospectus fee and other occasional contributions like various festivals and events normally observed in the institutional premises.’
Sarma stressed that the state government will reimburse Rs 1,000 of the mess fee for each month to those students who will take admission in the hostels. ‘Altogether, we will refund a sum of Rs 12,000 a year to all the hostel boarders. We will also repay Rs 1,000 for purchasing of textbooks at the graduate level,’ the minister said.
To implement the course of action without any gap, Sarma urged all the principals and other heads of various higher educational institutions of the state to collect the bank account numbers of all the students at the time of admission. ‘The directorate of a public institution and directorate of secondary education will monitor the process,’ Sarma said.
Notably, a three-member central team has already been in the state since Thursday last and assessing the recent upsurge on the number of COVID-10 positive cases.
The state’s COVID count reached 2565 with 1943 active cases till the filling of this report. Four persons have died so far.