In a step towards further empowerment of women, the Amarinder Singh government on Wednesday approved 33 per cent reservation for women in direct recruitment for the Punjab civil services, boards and corporations. The state cabinet, at a meeting presided by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, approved the 'Punjab Civil Services (Reservation of Posts for Women) Rules, 2020' to provide such reservation for women for direct recruitment to posts in government, as well as in recruitment to Boards and Corporations in Group A, B, C and D posts, an official spokesperson said.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to a bill to replace the 'Punjab State Vigilance Commission Ordinance, 2020'. It will be introduced in the next Assembly session. "The establishment of the multi-member Commission, aimed at bringing in more transparency and check corruption among public servants, was approved by the Cabinet last month through the ordinance.
"It is in line with the vision of Captain Amarinder Singh, who had steered the constitution of a similar commission back in 2006," the spokesperson said. The Commission was scrapped by the Akalis when they came to power in 2007. The Commission has been visualised as an independent body to exercise more effective superintendence over the functioning of the Vigilance Bureau and all departments of the state government in order to provide clean, fair and transparent administration, the spokesperson said. The Punjab State Vigilance Commission shall review the progress of investigations conducted by the Vigilance Bureau and cases of prosecution sanction pending with various departments of the Government.
"The Vigilance Commission shall tender advice to the various departments of the Government, and other investigations on Vigilance matters. It has been empowered to give directions to the Vigilance Bureau for discharging the responsibility entrusted to it. "It has also been empowered to inquire or cause an inquiry/investigation to be made in respect of allegations made under the Prevention of Corruption Act and other relevant offences against public servants," the spokesperson said. The Cabinet cleared the decks for the state to launch its own SC Post Matric Scholarship Scheme, in place of the Centre's scheme, in order to facilitate SC students to pursue higher education in government and private institutions.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also announced raising the cap in income criteria from earlier Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh to accommodate more students. The new scheme will be known as Dr BR Ambedkar SC Post Matric Scholarship Scheme and it will be effective from academic session 2021-22, the spokesperson said. The total financial implication of the proposal is estimated to be about Rs 600 crore. "The scheme will come as a relief to hundreds of thousands of SC students who were deprived of the opportunity to pursue higher learning after the Government of India suddenly withdrew from its Post Matric Scholarship Scheme in 2018," the spokesperson said.