Covid surge: Cabinet approves recruitment of 473 staff nurses
To effectively combat the Covid-19 emergency situation across the state, the Punjab cabinet granted approval for recruitment of 473 staff nurses in Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, and Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, through a written test. These posts will be taken out of the purview of the Punjab Subordinate Service Selection Board.
A spokesperson of the chief minister’s office said the basic pay of these newly recruited staff nurses would be ₹29,200 per month. These posts were created under the state government’s plan of restructuring to bring far more efficiency in the functioning of the medical education and research department.
2.15 lakh students to get smartphones
The cabinet also approved the modalities for the distribution of mobile phones to nearly 2.15 lakh students of Class 12 for the academic session 2021-22 under the “Punjab Smart Connect Scheme”. The state government has allotted a budget of ₹100 crore to the school education department for the scheme for the current financial year. As many as 1,75,443 regular students (boys and girls) studying in Class 12 in government schools were given mobile phones last year.
The spokesperson said that realising the benefit of imparting online education remotely to the students through the distributed smartphones, particularly in the adverse pandemic situation last year, the government decided to extend the scheme to the students to be admitted in Class 12 of the academic year 2021-22.
Nod to amend service commission regulation
To further speed up the process to fill nearly 1 lakh vacancies in various departments, boards, corporations and agencies of the state government, the cabinet also gave post-facto approval to amend Part-II B of the Punjab Public Service Commission (Limitation of Functions) Regulation, 1955, by putting these posts into commission’s purview.
The Punjab Public Service Commission had brought to the notice of the state government that departments have sent their requisitions to it for direct recruitment of those vacancies that were earlier covered under Class III rules and which have been notified.
Nod to develop, operate circuit houses
To improve efficacy of available resources and optimise the utilisation of assets, the cabinet gave approval for redevelopment, operation and maintenance (O&M) of circuit houses at Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar in public private partnership (PPP) mode.
A spokesperson of the chief minister’s office said that Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) being the nodal agency of the state has been authorised for taking necessary action in this regard. The general administration department (GAD) intends to develop and operate circuit houses at Ludhiana and Jalandhar in PPP mode to be operated as circuit houses-cum-hotels.
The department operates 10 circuit houses in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Patiala, Gurdaspur, Chandigarh and Shimla. In addition, there are two Punjab Bhawans in New Delhi and Chandigarh. These circuit houses were developed for stay of government officers/officials visiting different district headquarters for official work. “However, over a period of time on account of recurrent expenditure on maintenance and updating of the facilities of circuit houses led to financial burden on the state government. The quality of services has also gone down significantly,” an official spokesperson said.