BJP's Assam govt combines consevation with free education, offers to waive off fees for planting a tree

"Plant a sapling and study for free" — this is a new scheme launched by the education department of Assam government. Himanta Biswa Sarma, the education minister of the BJP-led dispensation announced the scheme in a review meeting with college principals at Cotton College in Guwahati on Monday, The North East Today said.

Himanta Biswa Sarma

Himanta Biswa Sarma

The announcement that came just before the commencement of higher secondary and degree admission process is likely to benefit more than nine lakh students who will plant an equal number of saplings to avail the benefit of the scheme.

While explaining the details of the plan, the education Minister said, "They will have to click pictures to show the growth of the tree during the year. Only then, their admission fee in the second year will be waived."

He also said in the meeting that the students can choose the location to plant the tree according to their wish.

"They can plant the tree in their neighbourhood, premises of their homes, colleges or along the road," the Minister told Firstpost.

He further added that this scheme is applicable to students who take admission in first year higher secondary after passing Class 10 exam and those taking admission in a three-year degree course after passing out Class 12 exams.

However, only those students whose parents earn less than Rs 1 lakh a year will be considered in this scheme, Sharma said.

He also added that to avail the benefit of the scheme the student has to submit a photographic evidence of planting a tree to the college authorities at the time of admission.

"This year nearly 4.5 lakh students are going to take admission in first year higher secondary and in first year degree courses. Nearly that number of students are going to avail this benefit by planting the same number of saplings," he claimed.

He also maintained that the same number of students are going to take admission in second year higher secondary and second year degree courses, and the scheme will be extended to them as well, thus covering a total of 9 lakh students, all of whom could plant an equal number of saplings.

“The photograph of the planted sapling submitted at the time of admission will be stored by the college authority. To avail free education in the subsequent years, the student will have to provide evidence that the sapling has grown,” he says.

Narrating the objective behind the scheme, Sharma said, “The BJP vision document for Assam speaks of providing free education. But providing free education without any conditions attached looks like distributing dole. So, I felt that it should be linked to something new."

He also said that planting and taking care of a sapling not only generates a kind of positive emotion but also creates an awareness to conserve the environment.

Last year, the BJP-led government in Assam announced free higher education to students from poor families.

With this scheme, the Government of Assam provides free education for students studying higher secondary, three-year degree, polytechnic and diploma courses free, thus making Assam the first state to provide free higher education to students.

Updated Date: May 02, 2017 22:46 PM

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