Ranchi, Feb 12 (PTI) The Jharkhand Cabinet on Monday approved the proposal to provide scholarship to girl students to pursue technical education.

Under the 'Manki Munda' Scholarship scheme, a girl student will get Rs 15,000 scholarship per annum for pursuing diploma courses, while Rs 30,000 annually for engineering courses.

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The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Champai Soren.

Cabinet Secretary Vandana Dadel said the scholarship scheme was introduced to encourage girl students for technical education in the state, as boys and girls ratio in state technical institution is 6:1.

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"Around 3,000 girl students pursuing diploma courses will benefit from the scheme in the first year. Similarly, 1,200 students will get the benefit for the first year in engineering courses", she said.

To avail the benefit in the next academic session, the student will have to pass the examination with 50 per cent marks in aggregate without any back paper, she said.

The Champai Soren government has also decided to provide interest-free loans to Jharkhand farmers, provided they return the loan within the stipulated period. The cabinet approved the proposal of interest subvention of 4 per cent from the existing 3 per cent, Dadel said.

Currently, farmers are charged 7 per cent on loan in the country. Centre and state each offer a 3 per cent interest subvention, bringing down the loan interest to farmers at 1 per cent. "Now, Jharkhand has decided to increase the interest subvention to 4 per cent, which means farmers will get interest free loan in Jharkhand", state agriculture secretary Aboobacker Siddique told PTI.

As many as 25 agendas were cleared by the cabinet including approval to the revised amount of Rs 114.47 crore for houses being built for 11 cabinet ministers in Ranchi Smart City. Earlier, the administrative approval for the project was Rs 69.90 crore.

The cabinet also gave the go-ahead to the proposal of hiring non-government organizations (NGOs) for operation of the 593 SC, ST and OBC hostels in the state.

"The NGOs will have to arrange cook, night guard and librarian for the hostel. They will also be liable for housekeeping of the hostels", Dadel said.

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