The Punjab Cabinet on Monday okayed the restoration of 14 to 20 per cent reservation for scheduled caste (SC) employees in various services for filling up the vacancies by promotion.

As per the decision, while SC employees in Group-A and Group-B will get 14 per cent reservation, 20 per cent reservation will be given to SC employees in Group-C and Group-D services. An official spokesperson said this data is based upon fresh exercise conducted by the government based upon the Supreme Court ruling in Nagraj case.

The spokesperson said reservation would also be applicable to proforma promotion and appointment by transfer to the SC employees. This decision was taken by the Council of Ministers at a meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, on Monday.

In another decision, Punjab cabinet has agreed to revise the terms and conditions of the Paddy Straw Challenge Fund, as per the suggestions from Punjab State Farmers’ and Farm Workers’ Commission and Punjab Agricultural University, to find a viable technological solution to combat the menace of paddy straw burning.

The US$ One Million Fund, set up by the Punjab State Farmers’ and Farm Workers’ Commission, is aimed at seeking appropriate technology, for rapid in-situ management of paddy straw in the field, from a universal set of innovators represented by private/ public agencies or individuals.

In order to provide better health and diagnostic facilities to people in the border areas, the Cabinet on Monday approved the transfer of 25 acres of land at Ferozerpur to the Union Health and Family Welfare ministry for setting up a 100-bedded Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Satellite Centre.

Taking note of the observation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard, Punjab has decided to revert to district-wise reservation of Sarpanch (village council head) of Gram Panchayat from its current practice of Block-wise reservation.

The move will also enable effective implementation of the government’s decision to enhance women’s reservation from 33 per cent to 50 per cent by amending Section 12 of the Panchayati Raj Act.

The Cabinet also approved allotment of another site of 40 acres in SAS Nagar (Mohali) IT City for setting up a world-class technology university which would offer degrees in Information Technology and computer components.

In September 2017, the Cabinet had earlier allowed the use of a 50-acre site for the establishment of a world-class technology university with focus on IT and IT Enabled Services at IT City, SAS Nagar.