Jharkhand govt committed to development of 3.25 cr people: Raghubar Das tells NITI Aayog

Source: moneycontrol.com

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das said the state government is working to provide better health facility, education and infrastructure.

The state government is committed to the development of 3.25 crore people, he said at a meeting here with NITI Aayog officials.

Jharkhand has made significant progress in education and the state is continuously developing its health sector as well, an official release quoting Das said.

“Our goal is to take the state at the forefront in these sectors,” the chief minister said.

Das said that the state government and the NITI Aayog are doing good work together and the partnership would continue.

The NITI Aayog understands our expectations and cooperating in reforming our shortcomings, he said.

According to the release, the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, Rajiv Kumar, said that reviews were carried out on important issues during the meeting with the state government on Wednesday.Kumar praised the state for progress in education, for eradicating child marriage and doing away with malnutrition, the release said, adding, Kumar also lauded the state government’s effort to train 10 lakh women in various fields.

Bangalore Law varsity to survey intellectual property in Jharkhand

Source: dailypioneer.com

The State Cabinet on Tuesday approved a research survey for guidance in establishing intellectual property rights and geographical indication of Jharkhand for the same. The Cabinet decided to outsource this work to the National Law School of India in Bangalore for Rs 33.55 Lakh.

The survey will be focused on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), said State Urban Development Secretary Ajoy Kumar Singh, adding that the research will help small enterprises get intellectual property rights over their products. The MSME centre in Ranchi will function as the nodal office for this survey. “Deoghar’s peda (an Indian sweet), Sohrai art of Hazaribag and many other products and art forms of Jharkhand may come under this survey,” said Singh.

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a total of 20 proposals, including a pilot project for introduction of artificial intelligence in the functioning of the Jharkhand High Court. A private company, Mancorp Innovation Labs Private Ltd has been outsourced the work of ensuring design, development, implementation and support of artificial intelligence in the court in a bid to make Jharkhand High Court a Comprehensive Decision Support Smart Court (CDSSC). “The software will rely on artificial intelligence for collecting data and finding order copies in the court,” said Singh.

In another move towards digitalization, the Cabinet approved Rs.66,33,000 for digitalization of the Principal Accountant General’s office in Ranchi.

The Cabinet on Tuesday also came up with good news for State government employees. It approved an increase in dearness allowance from 9 per cent to 12 per cent with effect from January 1, 2019 for all the state employees and pensioners. This will cost the state exchequer a sum of Rs.364 crore for working employees and Rs.161 crore for pensioners. This increase in dearness allowance was earlier approved by the centre and replicated by the cabinet on Wednesday.

Following an order of the Supreme Court, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved the formation of a tribunal to look into the claims made by survivors or family of deceased in cases of road accidents. Besides, the Cabinet approved creation of 279 vacancies for teachers in eight polytechnic colleges and surrender of 145 such posts. For the creation of the 134 new posts, the state will bear a cost of Rs.5 crore 53 lakh annually. The new positions will be created in Simdega, Sahebganj, Jagganathpur and Dumka, while positions will be surrendered in Chandil, Bahragora and Maheshpur.

The Cabinet proposed to give Jharkhand Combined Entrance Competitive Examination (JCEC) the authority to hold B.Ed exams and all other examinations on Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets. This proposal will go to the State Assembly for approval. The JCEC holds entrance examinations for medical and engineering in Jharkhand. Besides, the Cabinet decided to forward an annual report of Jharkhand Public Service Commission for year 2016-2017 to the State Assembly.

Bihar working towards gender equality through empowerment of women: Health minister Mangal Panday

Source: newindianexpress.com

PATNA: Bihar health minister Mangal Panday addressing a conference in Canada’s Vancouver said the state is working towards gender equality through educational and economical empowerment of women.

Panday, who is currently attending a 4-day conference on gender equality and health of women and girls called ‘Women Deliver-2019′ at Vancouver in Canada, said the total fertility rate in a state of India like Bihar has been a matter of serious concern. “But Bihar is working with strong will power to check it down to a great extent through educational and economical empowerments to women and girls”, Panday said, addressing the Planery Session of the conference on Tuesday.

‘Women Deliver-2019’ began on Monday in Canada with PM Justin Trudeau’s inaugural speech in which he said: “Gender equality is under attack globally”. 

The conference is being attended by over 7000 world-leaders, innovators, influencers, change-makers and other personalities involved in social work and gender equality focussed on women and girl child rights from 165 countries.

The conference focuses on three key issues – gender-responsive health systems and services, gender-based violence and women’s economic empowerment and equal opportunity,  facilitating cross-issue dialogues, understanding and collaborations.

Panday speaking at the parliamentary forum of the conference, quoted various initiatives by the Bihar government to decrease the total fertility rate (TFR) and dwelt upon the success of Swasthay mela (Health fairs), which are organised at primary health centres in state regularly.

He also said : “A free of cost inject bale contraceptive called-Antra, has been made available at health centres in 36 districts of state to curb population growth by checking TFR besides a slew of initiatives including the regular health fairs”.

Panday said that Bihar has witnessed decrease in TFR from 4.3 earlier to 3.3 till 2018. “But state health wing is determined to decrease it even drastically through people’s participation and awareness”, he said.

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s outreach to Nitish: A sign of churn in Bihar?

Source: business-standard.com

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decimated the opposition in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but intriguing developments of the past few days suggest space opening up for a possible churn in Bihar politics in the run up to the state Assembly polls by October 2020.

On Tuesday, union minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh ridiculed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and others over their attending ‘iftaar’ parties. In turn, Kumar was dismissive of Giriraj Singh’s comments and said his government would deliver on all its promises much before the Assembly polls.

By evening, BJP sources said party chief Amit Shah had phoned Giriraj Singh and advised him to be careful about his comments, particularly on BJP’s allies.

In his tweet, Giriraj Singh had commented at a photograph of Kumar and other leaders breaking fast at an ‘iftar’. “How beautiful would the picture have emerged, had phalaahaar (a fruit feast) been organised during Navaratra with the same fervour with splendid photographs taken. Why do we lag behind in observance of our own karm-dharm (religious customs) in public, while staying ahead in making a show for those of others,” Singh tweeted in Hindi.

The latest developments come in the wake of Kumar spurning the offer of a cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi-led council of ministers at the Centre, stating that his party does not “symbolic” but “proportional representation”. He, however, denied any “unease” between the allies.

Kumar then expanded his cabinet, including eight ministers, all from the Janata Dal (United) that he leads. He offered the BJP one ministerial berth, which it refused.

On Monday, senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said all non-BJP parties needed to get together to provide a national alternative to the BJP. “We are not allergic to any particular party or leader,” Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said when asked about Kumar’s acceptability.

“It would be even better if all small parties merge together and become a single entity to take on the humongous challenge posed by the BJP,” Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said. He said these were his personal views but RJD chief Lalu Prasad, currently incarcerated, and he have worked together for a long time and thought alike “on most occasions”.

In the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, the RJD could not win a single seat in Bihar. Its ally Congress could win one seat. However, Kumar’s JD(U) won 16, and allies BJP and Lok Janshakti Parthy won 17 and six seats respectively.

The RJD vote share in the Lok Sabha polls was 15.36 per cent, while JD (U)’s was 21.81 per cent, BJP’s 23.58 per cent and LJP’s 7.86 per cent. The Congress bagged a vote share of 7.7 per cent. In 2015 Assembly polls, the alliance of RJD, JD (U) and Congress had defeated the BJP-led NDA in Bihar.

Historically, the JD (U), and its previous avatar of Samata Party, has performed poorly whenever it has fought any election without a strong alliance partner.

The Samata Party, with George Fernandes and Kumar as its top leaders, could win only seven of undivided Bihar’s 324 assembly seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the JD (U) could win only two seats. The JD (U) has improved its vote share significantly.

Observers of Bihar politics say Kumar is aware that the BJP might now want the chief ministerial chair for itself after the next Assembly polls. In Maharashtra in 2014, the BJP had severed ties with the Shiv Sena to emerge the single largest party in the Assembly.

However, no other party currently has a leader of the stature of Kumar in Bihar, including the BJP. BJP’s Giriraj Singh is now a cabinet minister in the Modi government, while Bihar BJP state unit chief Nityanand Rai, being groomed as a possible chief minister, is minister of state for home at the Centre but still lacks Kumar’s popularity.

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s comments suggest that the parties that came out of the womb of the socialist parties, or the ‘Janata parivar’, could be prepared to come together under Kumar’s leadership. “Now that the results have dented Tejaswi Yadav’s leadership, the challenge from within the family of Lalu Prasad to Kumar has weakened,” a Bihar leader said.

Giriraj Singh, who defeated CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar from Begusarai, has been a known detractor of Kumar’s. “We have never taken utterances of Giriraj seriously. We have always believed in giving respect to all religions and hence we sport a ’tilak’ and also wear skullcaps.” JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh said.

The ’tilak’ and skullcap metaphor is reminiscent of the developments of April, 2013, when at his party’s national executive meet in New Delhi Kumar had used the analogy to highlight ideological differences with the BJP, which eventually led to him severing 17-year-old ties between the two parties.

Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said the BJP-JD(U) and his party’s alliance is “intact”. Former chief ministers Rabri Devi and Jitan Ram Manjhi also appeared to have mellowed towards Kumar. Kumar attended the iftar that Manjhi hosted. Rabri Devi said any decision on inclusion of new allies can be taken only in consultation with all allies.

Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said the BJP-JD(U) and his party’s alliance is “intact”. Former chief ministers Rabri Devi and Jitan Ram Manjhi also appeared to have mellowed towards Kumar. Kumar attended the iftar that Manjhi hosted. Rabri Devi said any decision on inclusion of new allies can be taken only in consultation with all allies.

Ranchi forest cover increased by 0.86%: Report

Source: dailypioneer.com

While the temperature in Capital city is touching 42 degree Celsius, a government report on forest area in Ranchi division shows an increase in the forest cover.

According to the latest Indian State of Forest Report (ISFR) published by Forest Survey of India in 2018, Ranchi increased its forest area by 10 sq km since 2015, the highest increase among all the districts in Jharkhand. This increase happened despite rapid urbanisation and development in the city. The Pioneer contacted environmentalists and government officials on the issue ahead of World Environment Day.

“As the data shows, the city’s forest area has increased in the last few years. It is the result of a targeted approach of the Ranchi Forest Division, where we have different management policies for different kinds of forests,” said Sushil Oraon, Assistant Conservator of Forest, Ranchi Forest Division. As per the report, Ranchi currently has 63 sq. km of ‘Very Dense Forest’, 364 sq. km of ‘Moderately Dense Forest’, and 737 sq. km of ‘Open Forest’.

“We focus on the maintenance and improvement of dense forests, and try to increase density of the moderately dense forests so that they are promoted to the dense forest category. For open forests, we push for afforestation, so that the overall forest cover increases,” Oraon said. He said that the Pollution Board is organising an event on Wednesday to mark World Environment Day.

An initiative was undertaken recently by the Ranchi Smart City Corporation (RSCC) along with Jharkhand Urban Infrastructure Development Company Limited (JUIDCO) and Larson and Toubro (L&T) on Sunday, where officials from the three companies planted a lot of saplings to compensate for the various ongoing projects across the State.

However, environmentalists have continued to show concern over the matter. Environmentalist Nitish Priyadarshi raised the issue of the environmental concerns of the loss of trees due to rapid construction work in the city.

He also stressed on the impossibility of recovering lost forests. “We cannot create forests. We can plant trees, but forests are natural that develop over a long period of time,” he said. “Also, planting trees is easy, but protecting and caring for them requires commitment. Instead of just planting trees and forgetting about it, the government should have a long term policy, so that the planted trees are cared for when they begin to grow in two three years. Planting trees is just a formality if the there is no follow-up,” he added.

Priyadarshi, who teaches Geology at Ranchi University, dismissed the government data and pointed out the evident ill-effects of deforestation. “The increase in temperature, the water crisis, the man-animal conflicts in neighbouring areas are all results of this increasing loss of forests.” He suggested many ways to combat the problem. “Public awareness, strict government policy, cultivation of barren land are all beneficial steps,” he said. “We can also follow the example of the sacred forests of Meghalaya, where nothing is allowed to leave the forest groves due to the religious beliefs of the indigenous cultures.”