SHILLONG, Jan 19: Jobseekers in Meghalaya may feel relieved as the state Cabinet has decided to relax the upper age limit for candidates applying for government jobs by five years.
Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma described the decision as “historic”.
After a meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday, he told reporters that the age relaxation has been increased from 27 to 32 years for general category candidates and 37 years for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates.
The relaxation, however, will not apply during recruitment for the uniform posts in Home (police) department, Prisons department and Forest department as they require physical fitness as a criterion, the CM said.
“The uniform posts that require a slightly more physical work will have the same age limit as before,” he said.
In the last Cabinet meeting, the government had deliberated the issue of extending the upper age limit for recruitment to various government jobs but the decision was deferred.
The state Cabinet also approved the establishment of Village Health Councils (VHCs) with the objective of focusing on health sector at village level.
Sangma said the establishment of VHCs in every village and urban localities is envisaged as a key means to improve community engagement in the healthcare system in order to achieve the goals of the State Health Policy, which was passed last year.
The VHCs will be local bodies dedicated to creating an enabling atmosphere for extending the provisions of the MOTHER policy to the last mile, and positively impacting people’s health behaviour while increasing life expectancy as a whole.
Sangma said the VHCs will be created in coordination and cooperation from headman, Rangbah Shnongs and Nokmas and they will focus on important health issues.
Each VHC will be a point for contact for basic healthcare services and other health-related issues, he added.
The chairperson of each VHC will be the headman and it will have a minimum of 10 members. Half of the executive committee of the VHCs will be reserved for women and each will also have ASHA workers as members.
The Cabinet further approved the adoption of the National Highways Act for quick land acquisition and construction of national highways in the state. Sangma said the Centre had wanted the state government to adopt the Act.
It will be applicable only for national highway projects while in the case of other projects, the normal land acquisition will be applicable. Taking advantage of the Act, the government expects to complete land acquisition for the national highways within a year instead of the existing three years’ time.