The Assam Cabinet on Saturday approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the environment and forest department of the state and Agence Francaise de Development, a French funding agency, to foster bilateral dialogue in the field of environment.

The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, approved the MoU which will enhance cooperation between the forest department and international stakeholders of Africa, Asia and France regarding biodiversity conservation in the Indo-Pacific region, Water Resources Minister and government spokesman Pijush Hazarika said.

The Cabinet also approved the modified guidelines for issuance of caste certificates, including the nature of documents required for establishing eligibility for getting such documents for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes and more other backward classes.

According to the guidelines, no National Register of Citizens (NRC) document would be asked for the application for a caste certificate and no inquiry would be required if the authorities are satisfied with the certificate of the applicant’s father. If any inquiry is required, it will be limited to caste status only and will be completed within 45 days, Hazarika said.

The council of ministers also approved raising of Rs 170.15 crore as loan assistance from NABARD for 15 projects of the Public Works Department (Roads).

The projects include 12 embankment cum roads and three rural bridges in Golaghat, Barpeta, Darrang, Dhemaji, Goalpara, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, West Karbi Anglong, Charaideo and Baksa districts, Hazarika said.

The Cabinet also decided to set up 13 ‘Adarsha Vidyalayas’ to increase coverage of schools and 97 model schools to improve education in tea garden areas.

Also read | NRL presents interim dividend of Rs 95.63 crore to Assam government

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