New academic year from April to March

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Cabinet passes MSME Ordinance, proposes International Multi Modal Logistic Hub in Jogighopa

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, June 29: Assam government has decided to shift the academic year of schools to April-March from January-December to make-up for academic loss caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to COVID-19 this decision has been taken after taking opinions from the people. This academic year will be from April to March. Earlier our academic session was from January to December, now it will begin in April and end in March,” said state parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary after a meeting of council of minister held at Assam Administrative Staff College here Monday.

Earlier, the Board of Secondary Education Assam (SEBA) had started a portal where education stakeholders had been asked to submit their suggestions regarding the change of academic sessions in schools.

“We have asked people to submit their suggestions on starting the academic year…this will make-up for the COVID-19 lockdown loss…we will make a decision in the first week of June,” the state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had told reporters on May 23.

The state cabinet has finalised the decision.

“As of now we have not decided permanent or temporary. Calendar has changed,” Sarma said on social media.

All schools and educational institutions in the state have been closed from March 15 and a decision over reopening of schools is awaited amidst rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and the recent flood that has affected most of the districts. The state capital Guwahati is currently under lockdown.

“Due to (the) COVID-19 pandemic, educational Institutions are closed from March 15. In order to compensate the loss of academic days, after due consultation with stakeholders, Cabinet has decided to revise the academic session of schools from 1st April to 31st March,” Sarma said on social media.

The state cabinet also passed the MSME Ordinance which puts an end to the process of taking multiple permissions for setting up MSMEs in the state for next 3 years in a bid to boost Aatma Nirbhar Assam.

Paving the way for new investments, employment and trade, the cabinet allocated 200 bigha of Ashok Paper Mill at Jogighopa for India’s first International Multi Modal Logistic Hub.

The meeting also approved loan of Rs 338.28 crore from NABARD for development works in various sectors.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cabinet has passed an ordinance for extension of dates of GST return.

The cabinet also approved 15th Finance Commission Grant 70% for Gaon Panchayat, 15% for Anchalik Panchayat and 15% for Zila Parishads.

The cabinet also decided for reduction in earnest money deposits (EMDs) for mines auction to 0.5% for general category and 0.25% for SCs/STs.

The cabinet has also decided that from now onwards, employees of Assam Bhawans will be transferable.

The cabinet also amended the Assam College Employees Provincialisation Act 2005 to enable retired employees to receive pension in return of their CPF.

It has amended the Bengal-Agra-Assam Civil Court Act 1887 by which financial limit of cases has been increased in lower courts from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh.

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