Assam to confer ‘Asom Ratna’, other awards every year to ‘icons’

The BJP-led government in Assam on Tuesday decided to confer various awards including “Asom Ratna” on a regular basis to recognise the “icons” who have made significant contributions to the society and various other fields including literature.

Officials said that the Assam cabinet in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has also decided that besides “Asom Ratna”, the government would also confer “Asom Bibhushan”, “Assam Bhushan”, “Asom Shree” awards, carrying Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh, Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively, along with other benefits including free medical treatment of critical illness, free lodging at Assam Bhawans outside the state, free travel in Assam State Transport Corporation buses.

An official of Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said that from this year onwards, literary pension would be conferred in the name of litterateur Homen Borgohain on his birthday on December 7.

Sahitya Akademi awardee, renowned litterateur Borgohain died in Guwahati on May 12 following post-Covid-19 complications at the age of 89. The cabinet also decided to provide sports pension in the name of Bhogeswar Barua on his birthday on September 3. Barua was the first Arjuna Award-winning athlete from Assam.

The Assam government would also confer “Artiste Award” on January 17 every year. For smooth implementation of Batadrava Than Cultural and Tourism Project, the Cabinet approved allotment of additional land measuring 35.2 bighas to the management committee. Cultural Minister Bimal Bora would review the status of the project every month.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on February 25 launched the work of a state-funded Rs 188-crore project for beautification and upgradation of the Batadrava Than.

The Batadrava Than in central Assam’s Nagaon district is the birthplace of social reformer Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva, who was a 15th-16th century Assamese saint, scholar, poet, playwright, social-religious reformer and a figure of importance in Assam’s cultural and religious history.