Monday, September 10, 2007

Next on Bihar govt's agenda: An all-women battalion

The Bihar government is planning an all-female battalion to fight crime in the state.

"Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has approved the proposal put forward by the Police Department. The appointments will begin next month or by November this year," Bihar's Director General of Police A R Sinha told in Patna on Monday.

Sinha added that the battalion will comprise over 800 women constables, commandents, deputy commandents and other officers.

The Nitish Kumar government has also decided to launch a scheme for the benefit of girls belonging to families living below the poverty line. The state government is going to desposit Rs 2,000 in the name of each girl child born in a BPL family.

"The government has approved this scheme and it is likely to be launched by the year end," said a source in the chief minister office.

Approximately 5,00,000 girls are born every year in BPL families and the annual expenditure on this scheme will be around Rs 100 crore .

The state government has also taken steps to prevent the misuse of this financial assistance. "The money deposited in the name of the girl cannot be withdrawn by her parents till she turns 18," said the official.

Earlier, the state government had provided school uniforms, books and cycles to school-going girls as incentives to continue their education. The literacy rate among women in Bihar� an abysmal 33.1 per cent -- is the lowest in the country.

Thanks to the reservation policy implemented last year, women occupy 50 percent seats in village panchayats, block development committees, district boards and urban civic bodies in Bihar. This was followed by 50 per cent reservation in the recruitment of teachers in government-run primary and secondary schools.

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