The State Cabinet that met on Friday afternoon under Chief Minister Pema Khandu made several landmark decisions, some of which were pending since years.
The most notable decisions taken by the Cabinet fulfill the aspirations of the people that were pending for long and that would usher in a fresh chapter of transparency, accountability and responsibility of the government and its agencies, besides checking corruption. These two important decisions are immediate setting up of the Arunachal Pradesh State Human Rights Commission (APSHRC) and set the ball rolling for establishment of the State Lokayukta.
The Protection of Human Rights Act 2006 provides for creation of a State Human Rights Commission. The Commission will be mandated to enquire into any human rights violation related to subjects covered under State list and Concurrent list in the seventh schedule of the Indian Constitution. The establishment of the Commission would come as a huge relief to the citizens in safeguarding them from violation of their human rights and fill up the long felt vacuum. The Cabinet further approved creation of 30 posts to run the Commission.
In the other landmark decision the Cabinet fixed a concrete timeline for getting functional the state Lokayukta by constituting three committees viz, Drafting Committee, Search Committee and a Selection Committee.
The Drafting Committee will have to submit a comprehensive draft Rules required for carrying out the provisions of the Act to the Government within 60 days. While the Rules being framed by the Drafting Committee are finalized, a Search Committee – members of which will not be state government employees – will search, finalize and submit a panel of names to be appointed in the Lokayukta to the government within 12 weeks.
Finally, the Selection Committee, which would be headed by the Chief Minister as the Chairperson with Leader of the Opposition, Chief Justice of Guwahati High Court or a Judge nominated by the Chief Justice and Chief Secretary as Members will recommend the names to the Governor for appointment as the Lokayukta Chairperson and Members within 30 days from the date the Search Committee submits the panel of names.
In an equally important decision that would be a major blow to corrupt practices in recruitment, the Cabinet unanimously scrapped the practice of ‘interview’ in recruitment for lower level posts in all government departments. The objective of discontinuation of interview in selection process at lower level posts is to curb corruption, more objective selection in transparent manner and substantially easing the problems of poor aspirants.
While the state government would benefit economically by way of savings on account of non-application of Travelling Allowance/ Daily Allowance and other expenditure involved in calling candidates for interview, local aspirants too will benefit by saving the expenses on travel and lodging accrued while appearing for interviews.
The Cabinet also approved the MOU of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) to be signed with Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to operationalise air services for civilian purposes at Ziro, Pasighat, Aalo, Tuting, Mechuka, Walong, and Tezu airports besides some other helipads as and when helicopter service under RCS is implemented.
For facilitating the Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) to start its courses from next year, the Cabinet approved department-wise creation of 228 technical posts.
Other important decisions taken were approval of the Arunachal Pradesh State Higher Education Council Bill, 2017 for placing in the Assembly and scrapping of the no-detention policy in school education, which has adversely affected the education scenario in the state. Further the examinations for class V and VIII shall be conducted under the State Board. The Cabinet also approved the proposal for amendment of recruitment rules for the post of Under Secretary, Group A (Gazetted), Arunachal Pradesh Secretariat Service.