Backlog OBC job quotas to be kept out of 50% ceiling:Cabinet

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New Delhi, June 26 (UNI) The government today announced that backlog reserved vacancies of OBCs would be treated as a separate and distinct group not subject to the limit of 50 per cent reservation in a year.

The decision taken at the weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would pave the way for launching a special recruitment drive for filling up such vacancies, which stood at 28,670 as on March 31, 2006.

Briefing reporters, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in the PMO, said the move would nullify a Supreme Court order that had set the 50 per cent ceiling.

GIRLS: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave approval for implementation of the centrally-sponsored scheme for ''Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education'' with a total expenditure of Rs 1,500 crore during the 11th Plan.

The scheme will cover all SC/ST girls who pass class eight and girls who pass class eighth examination from Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalayas (irrespective of whether they belong to SC or Tribes) and enroll for class nine in state/UT government, government-aided or local body schools in the academic year 2008-09 onwards.

ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE: The CCEA approved a proposal for merger of the schemes for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse and General Grant-in-aid programme for financial Assistance in the Field of Social Defence Services. The combined scheme would now be called Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse and Social Services.

MEDICINAL PLANTS: The CCEA also approved implementation of the existing Central Sector Scheme with a total outlay of Rs 321.3 crore in the 11th Plan in the modified form to promote documentation, mapping and dissemination of information on medicinal plants through a clearing house approach and setting up MPCAs/field gene banks. It would also help conserve endangered species and enhance primary processing and value addition at JFMCs level. Under the scheme, home/school herbal gardens would be set up.

RURAL GODOWNS: The committee gave approval for implementation of the revised scheme, Capital Investment Subsidy for Construction/Renovation of Rural Godown during the Ninth plan period with a total outlay of Rs 450 crore, after incorporating some modifications.

AGRO MARKETING: It approved revision and continuation of the Central Sector Scheme, Development/Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardisation during the Ninth Plan period with a total outlay of Rs 706.4 crore with suitable modifications in its operational guidelines.

PHARMA: Approval was also given for extending grants-in-aid to Indian pharmaceutical industry for R and D projects involving clinical trials (phase I, II and III) to develop new drugs for neglected diseases of tropical region under drugs and pharmaceuticals research programme of the Department of Science and Technology.

An amount of Rs 45 crore during the current plan has been earmarked to help the pharma industry. It would help in developing new drugs for the neglected diseases of tropical region such as tuberculosis, malaria, kala-azar and filariasis.

UNI SN PK DS1513

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