Rajasthan has become the country’s first State to lay down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies. The State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003, were amended for the purpose and notified on Monday.State Cooperative Minister Ajay Singh Kilak said here on Tuesday that the new rules would benefit about 10,000 cooperative and agricultural credit societies. “The benefit of education will accrue to the societies with their management going to expert hands,” he said.The educational qualifications will range from Class V to Class VIII for election as members of governing boards of dairy societies, farming societies, consumer societies, weavers’ societies, housing construction societies, urban banks, primary land development banks, credit societies, salary earners’ societies and cooperative unions.Mr. Kilak said elections to various posts in the societies after a certain level would be conducted through the State Cooperative Election Authority. A new poll calendar will be issued to facilitate the holding of elections under the new rules.