The Bihar government today approved a scheme for providing financial assistance to candidates belonging to the Extremely Backward Classes (EBC) who crack the civil service preliminary tests conducted by the UPSC and the state public service commission. The scheme – “Mukhyamantri Atyant Pichhda Varg Civil Seva Protsahan Yojana” – was approved at a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. “Under the scheme, EBC candidates cracking the civil services PT conducted by UPSC will be provided a grant of Rs one lakh while those from the social group clearing the preliminaries held by the BPSC will be given Rs 50,000”, Prem Singh Meena, Secretary, department of welfare of OBCs/EBCs, told reporters.
He said another decision okayed by the cabinet was to provide Rs 1000 per month to boys and girls pursuing studies while staying at hostels meant for the OBCs and the EBCs. Notably, the schemes have been rolled out exactly a week after similar doles wer announced by the state government for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The move had drawn flak from opposition parties like the Hindustani Awam Morcha which had accused the Nitish Kumar government of trying to buy Dalits by throwing crumbs at them. Speaking at the same press conference, Principal Secretary, Minority Affairs, Amir Subhani said the cabinet also gave its nod to a scheme for providing a monthly assistance of Rs 1,000 to boys and girls living in “Alpasankhyak Kalyan Chhatravas” hostels, which are run by the department.
The scheme – Mukhyamantri Alpasankhyak Kalyan Chhatravas Yojana – aims at encouraging higher studies among the minority communities, Subhani said adding that at present 3350 boys and girls were pursuing their education at 33 hostels and their number was likely to cross 5,000 with the completion of construction of another 11 complexes.