Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday kick-started the distribution of scooters to meritorious students who cleared the last higher secondary examinations.
The scheme was implemented through the Dr Banikanta Kakati Merit Award, under the Pragya Bharti scheme, to a total of 35,800 beneficiaries, of whom 6,052 are boys and 29,748 are girls.
To be eligible for the award, boys had to score a minimum of 75 per cent in the higher secondary examinations conducted by the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council, while that for girls was 60 per cent.
The central event at the state capital witnessed the distribution of scooters to the students of Kamrup Metropolitan and Kamrup districts. Distribution in the rest of the districts shall be done within December, an official said.
Speaking at the event, Sarma said, "It is a historic milestone in the lives of those who made it to the list of eligibles for Dr Banikanta Kakati Merit Award. It is a gift and blessing from the society for their hard work and dedication towards the study."
Stating that digitisation will be the mantra for development over the next few decades, he asked the students to focus on innovation, which will ensure that one becomes an employment provider rather than remaining an employment seeker.
"Meritorious students should always aim to touch the sky. It will be a waste of talent if you are to limit your aspirations to grade-3 and grade-4 jobs in the days to come," Sarma said.
The government shall explore the possibility of distributing electric scooters to awardees from next year and this will do away with students having to spend money on fuel, he added.
The chief minister also spoke about an upcoming scheme through which girl students pursuing post-graduate programmes in educational institutions of the state will be provided a yearly stipend of Rs 10,000 each.
"This will be helpful in covering their commutation and other related expenses," he said, appealing to women pursuing post-graduate programmes to apply for the same in the portal to be launched by the Department of Education in a few weeks.
-With PTI Input