As and when Martina Kashyap drives her scooter across her village Korora, what she will leave behind for others to look at is her merit. She is a proud beneficiary of a two wheeler under the Banikanta Kakati Merit Award instituted by the Government of Assam’s under the Pragya Bharti scheme. She scored 91.8% in her Higher Secondary Examination for the academic session 2021- 2022 thereby making her alma mater Korora Higher Secondary School proud of her achievement. She is now preparing for a seat in a medical college with the objective to serve humanity.
She is a determined student who is not afraid to speak her mind. “I thank the Government of Assam for instituting this idea. It will certainly motivate students like me. However, I would suggest that the Government should have given us an option of cash award or two wheelers. This would have helped many poor students to give something back to their families,” she tells Asom Barta.
She was one among the 35,800 students who will benefit from this scheme inaugurated by the Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on November 30 with a ceremonial distribution of two wheelers to these meritorious students who cleared the higher secondary examinations conducted by the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council ( AHSEC) with percentage above a certain threshold. The ceremony was held at the Veterinary College Playground in Guwahati which was full to capacity.
Out of the beneficiaries, 6,052 are boys and 29,748 are girls. To be eligible for the award, male candidates had to score a minimum of 75% while the percentage for female candidates has been fixed at 60%.
Also among the beneficiaries from Kamrup (Metropolitan) district is Basudev Mondal, a student of KC Das Commerce College in the city. He scored 90.2% in Higher Secondary examinations and is already riding his way to the college. “My college is quite far from my residence.
Hitherto, I had to ride multiple modes of transport to reach my college. This scooter has come as a manna from heaven for me. I now drive to my college. In the process, I save time and money,” he tells this reporter, while cautioning others that with the two wheeler comes the additional responsibility of driving safely.
Parag Sarma who scored 92% in his Higher Secondary is now pursuing his Bachelor in Arts from Cotton University was all praises for this initiative of the Government. He, too, echoes the same sentiment as Basudev on the time and money saved.
The central event of the Scheme’s launching witnessed the distribution of scooters to eligible students of Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup districts, while those from other districts are receiving their due as Scooters for those who belong to the rest of the districts have been covered within December.
Speaking at the event, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said that November 30, 2022 was a historic milestone in the lives of those students who made it into the merit list under the scheme.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for youth-led developments and growth, the Chief Minister appealed to these students of Assam to walk together with their counterparts in other States so that they, too, can reap the benefits of the opportunities a new and resurgent India is offering.
Adding that digitization would be the mantra for development for the next few decades, the Chief Minister asked them to focus on innovation, as the world of innovation offers tremendous opportunities for all to thrive and grow. “Innovation would ensure one becomes an employment-provider, rather than remaining an employment-seeker,” the Chief Minister remarked.
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 the days to come.
Dr. Sarma also spoke about an upcoming scheme through which female students pursuing postgraduate programmes in educational institutions of the State would be provided an annual stipend of ₹10,000 each. He appealed to them to apply for it through a portal to be launched soon by the Department of Education.
The event was also attended by Education Minister Dr. Ranoj Pegu, Ministers of Assam Cabinet Chandramohan Patowary and Atul Bora, among others.