Assam clears medical seat quota for crucial ‘tea tribes’ community

Seats for MBBS and BDS reserved for the tea garden communities have been proportionately divided between Brahmaputra Valley and Barak Valley.

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The tribes associated with tea plantations are considered a crucial votebank in the state. (Photo: PTI)

The Assam Cabinet on Thursday approved reservation of seats for students from the “tea tribes” community in state-run medical colleges.

The cabinet has reserved 24 MBBS and three Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) seats for the tea garden community working across 803 major estates and small tea gardens.

“Seats for MBBS and BDS reserved for the tea garden communities have been proportionately divided between the Brahmaputra Valley and the Barak Valley,” chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was quoted as saying in media reports.

For the Brahmaputra Valley students of the community, 18 seats have been reserved, and for the Barak Valley, six have been reserved. Similarly, two BDS seats are for the Brahmaputra Valley and one for the Barak Valley. Assam has eight government medical colleges.

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The tribes associated with tea plantations are considered a crucial votebank in the state and have over the years shifted from the Congress to the BJP, which is now in power in Assam.

In other decisions, a one-time grant of Rs 15,000 to priests and “namghorias” (people associated with Vaishnav prayer halls) has been allowed. The Assam Migrant Workers’ Food Security Scheme has been cleared to provide dry rations to migrant workers affected by COVID.

The Assam Cabinet also approved the conversion of a land allotment certificate to a periodic “patta” (title deed to a property) within three years of allotment in rural areas.

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