JPSC aims to wrap up evaluation by October


The Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) has set a target of completing the ongoing evaluation process for the 6th JPSC Combined Civil Services mains examination by the end of October this year, officials from the commission said on Tuesday. However, the results will be declared only after Jharkhand High Court gives its go-ahead to the commission, they added.

“Since the number of aspirants is very high, we have set a target of completing the evaluation by the end of October. Once the evaluation is over, we will seek permission from the High Court for declaration of the results,” said Sudhir Tripathi, Chairperson of JPSC.

On the day the mains exam started, a court of Chief Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary ordered that the results of JPSC Mains should not be declared without the court’s permission.

The prelims test for JPSC 6 was conducted way back on December 18, 2016 and its result was declared in February 2017. Initially, the commission declared 5,400 candidates successful; however, months later it revised the results and declared 6100 candidates successful. The mains test, supposed to be conducted on January 29, 2018, had to be postponed by a year after some candidates approached the High Court with a plea citing incompliance of the reservation roaster in the prelims test.

Taking cognizance of the plea, the State Government constituted a committee headed by state revenue and land reforms minister Amar Bauri to look into the matter. In August last year the JPSC again issued fresh results declaring 34,634 candidates eligible for the Mains examination.

The number of candidates who cleared the Prelims was about 106 times the available 326 vacancies and that became the bone of contention. Aspirants alleged that as per rules, the number of successful candidates in Prelims should not exceed 15 times the total number of available vacancies.

Around 17,000 aspirants appeared for the JPSC mains exam. The evaluation of papers is being conducted under strict security and many JPSC officials too are not allowed to enter the evaluation cell of JPSC, an official said. He added that the JPSC had written to at least 62 universities seeking evaluators for the process. The evaluation process began in the month of June.

The Mains paper consisted of 1050 marks with 100 marks compulsory (Hindi/English), 150 marks papers on regional languages, and four papers each consisting of 200 marks.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered reevaluation of papers for JPSC 1 and JPSC 2. The apex court gave a time of four months to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for completing their probe into the matter.

Jharkhand’s new hospital for PM-JAY beneficiaries


Chief minister Raghubar Das inaugurated a new hospital exclusively for beneficiaries of the Centre’s flagship health insurance scheme for the poor on Tuesday, courtesy Tata Steel.

Essentially an extension of Tata Main Hospital in Bistupur, the new premises is in Golmuri within Tinplate township, behind the existing Tinplate Hospital.

“It is a day of happiness with the city getting the country’s first hospital dedicated for the beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat Prasham Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY),” said Das after inaugurating the 30-bed Tata Steel managed hospital offering 24×7 orthopaedic, general surgery, paediatric and critical care facilities.

“We plan to cover 85 per cent of the state’s population under the ambitious health insurance scheme, benefiting 57 lakh families. As of now, we have issued 25 lakh golden cards which enables one to avail benefits under the scheme,” the chief minister said, adding that the state government would henceforth issue free golden cards and not charge Rs 30 as was the norm.

Das said the state government would launch a special drive across the state to issue free golden cards from August 16 to September 23 to mark the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

So far, he added, 219 government hospitals and 429 private hospitals had been empanelled under the health insurance scheme. “More than 2 lakh patients have benefited from the scheme in Jharkhand,” the chief minister said.

Das said talks were on with Tata Motors to empanel Tata Motors Hospital under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

“I have had several meetings with the Tata Steel management. I am thankful they have decided to dedicate a hospital entirely for the scheme. Soon Tata Motors Hospital in Telco township will also be empanelled under the scheme,” he said.

The chief minister went on to highlight some of the initiatives of the state government in health. “We have already launched 329 ambulances that can be called for by dialling 108. We have also started bike ambulances for inaccessible areas in hilly terrains where conventional ambulances cannot reach,” he said.

Das also announced mohalla clinics for those residing in urban slums. “Free primary health care will be provided at mohalla clinics. A special drive will be undertaken between August 16 and September 23 when doctors will be available for two hours each in the morning and evening at all civic bodies,” he said.

Community halls in Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee, Mango Notified Area Committee and Jugsalai municipality would be used to run mohalla clinics.

The chief minister said that efforts were on to revive the Baharagora trauma centre that could be of immense help to commuters using NH-33 and NH-6 in case of accidents.

“Doctors will be recruited soon for the Baharagora trauma centre. Recruitments will also be done at the district level,” he said.

Earlier, the chief minister presented a cheque of Rs 1 crore to Kamal Club representatives of districts to organise sports events at the panchayat level. He also distributed golden cards to patients who were admitted to TMH-Golmuri on Tuesday. Two doctors who joined the district were also given appointment letters.

Among the others who were present at the function were MLAs Kunal Sarangi (Baharagora), Meneka Sardar (Potka), Lakshman Tuddu (Ghatshila) and Tata Steel vice-president corporate services Chanakya Choudhary.

The chief minister left for Ranchi at around 12.50 pm.

Here comes the heavy rain in Jharkhand


Several parts of the state, especially those in its southern, central and western regions, are expected to experience heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours, courtesy a depression over the Bay of Bengal.

Both the Ranchi and Calcutta centres of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday issued downpour alerts in their bulletins.

“The low-pressure area that was hovering over the north Bay of Bengal has intensified into a depression and lay centred around 160km southeast of Balasore (Odisha) and about 130km south-east of Digha (Bengal). Under its influence, several parts of Jharkhand will get heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours,” said R.S. Sharma, a senior Met scientist at the IMD’s Ranchi centre.

He said the depression would intensify into a deep depression as it moved north-westwards across Odisha and Bengal coasts over the next 48 hours.

“We believe the depression will result in heavy to very heavy rainfall in several places across the state in the next 24 hours,” he added.

The monsoon trough was on Tuesday passing through Ganganagar, Hissar, Mainpuri, Mirzapur, Ranchi, Jamshedpur and northwest Bay of Bengal, extending up to 1.5km above mean sea level.

Weathermen in Calcutta also predicted heavy and widespread rainfall.

“The depression is expected to weaken only after the next 48 hours,” said a duty officer, adding that several districts of Jharkhand were expected to experience a good spell of showers.

The showers during the next two days would help in reducing the monsoon deficit, which on Tuesday was at 40 per cent. Met data show that the state has received 352.5mm of rainfall so far against an average normal of 587.5mm.

The depression build-up coupled with an active monsoon trough gifted Jamshedpur a rainy Tuesday.

Weathermen said around 50 per cent Met stations in southern and central Jharkhand reported showers on Tuesday.

At some places the rainfall was accompanied by winds at 15kmph.

The local Met observatory in Jamshedpur recorded around 20mm of rain while several places in Ranchi and its outskirts recorded rainfall of around 5mm from 8.30am on Monday to 8.30am on Tuesday. Simdega recorded 70mm while Dhanbad experienced 40mm of rain. Palamau district headquarters Daltonganj recorded 30mm of rain while Chakradharpur, Chaibasa (both in West Singhbhum), Ramgarh, Chandil (in Seraikela-Kharsawan) and Ghatshila (in East Singhbhum) witnessed 10mm of rain each.

Company cements ties with 5 villages of Angara block near Ranchi


Two anganwadi centres in Angara block of Ranchi district have received a bright makeover, and three more in the block will do so, thanks to the corporate social responsibility activity of a cement company.

ACC Cement under its CSR has taken the onus to revamp all five anganwadi centres — the mainstay of mother-and-child healthcare in rural areas — in Angara block.

Recently, chief minister Raghubar Das’s principal secretary Sunil Kumar Barnwal inaugurated two revamped centres in Soso and Nawagarh villages, appreciating the innovative work.

Under the ACC Cement project, the so far the two buildings have been completely renovated, painted and given a bright look with graphics on walls to help women and children get a feel-good experience. Walls are painted with alphabets, animals, birds and graphics on child nutrition, cleanliness and care tutorials. Bright colours have been used.

Jamshedpur based architecture firm Espacio is implementing the project.

ACC Cement CSR head (Chaibasa) Pranav Arya said their main idea was to do something for rural kids and their mothers.

“These are very important centres as they act as the first playschool for rural kids and the place where mothers get contraceptive counselling and supply, nutrition education and supplements. But they look very shabby. So we conceptualised the idea to upgrade them and give them a new look. We wanted to something for children and their mothers in rural areas, and upgrading anganwadi centres seemed to be a good idea. We have also built a Panchayat Bhavan hall in Nawagarh,” Arya said.

While the Soso and Nawagarh anganwadi centres have been revamped, those lined up for a similar makeover are the centres in Obar, Rangamati and Harabera.

Director of Espacio, Kalyan Kumar Patra, said they wanted to make the centres “happy places that mothers and kids love to visit”.

“Anganwadi centres are meant for mothers, toddlers and young children so we wanted to make the spaces warm, inviting and informative too. So after the mandatory painting, we went all creative, painting figures, alphabets, solar system and pictorial graphics on walls with bright colours,” Patra said.

A woman of Nawagarh, Surbari Sit, who is the mother of a four-year-old, said she felt happy at the new-look anganwadi. “It’s so cheerful. It feels good to see all these colours in front of you. Children love looking at colours and cry less,” she laughed.

Mukhiyas Targeted in Bihar, 2 Killed in 24 Hours


Patna: With two mukhiyas [elected village body heads] killed by criminals in Bihar in the last 24 hours, hundreds of mukhiyas in rural areas across the state are worried about their security, owing to the threat to their lives from gangsters, criminals and rivals.

Arun Singh (48), mukhiya of Barap panchayat, was shot dead on Monday night by motorcycle-borne criminals at his native village in Bhojpur district. In another incident, Ravinder alias Robin Das, mukhiya of Fatehpur panchayat, was allegedly kidnapped and murdered. His body was found on Tuesday morning in Sabaur in the neighbouring Bhagalpur district.

Singh, who belongs to the powerful upper caste Rajput, was killed when he was reportedly sitting along with other villagers outside a house in his native village. Angry over the killing, hundreds of local villagers on Tuesday blocked Ara-Sasaram road, demanding arrest of the criminals involved.

Das’s throat was allegedly slit after he was kidnapped and his body was thrown near an orchard. Local residents have protested and are demanding compensation for his family.

“Singh and Das were killed by criminals hired for revenge by their rivals or by those having dispute with them over some issue,” a senior police official at the police headquarters here said.

Last month, Mohammad Alishan, mukhiya of Sumera panchayat in Muzaffarpur district, was shot dead at his native village. In the past six months, half a dozen husbands of women mukhiyas have been killed across the state. After Bihar government reserved 50% seats in panchayat polls for women, hundreds of women mukhiyas have got elected, but their husbands run the show on the ground.

According to a rural activist, Mahender Yadav, most of mukhiyas were murdered over disputes with local criminals, gangsters or rivalry related to development work in their areas.

A senior officer from the Home Department, which is under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, told NewsClick that security threat is an old concern among mukhiyas in the state and time and again, they have demanded bodyguards. Akhiyar Khan, mukhiya of a panchayat in Arwal district, confirmed this: “We have demanded bodyguards repeatedly citing real threat to our lives, but we have been ignored.”

Mukhiyas are not safe. There is a threat to our life, as we are working on the ground. But the government hardly bothers to provide security to us,” Chotu Singh, mukhiya of a panchayat under Haspura block in Aurangabad district said.

mukhiya of a panchayat in Muzaffarpur district told NewsClick on the condition of anonymity that local criminals demand tax and threaten the mukhiyas with dire consequences if they are not paid.

In some districts like Gaya, Jehanabad, Jamui, Munger, Sitamarhi, Rohtas, Nawada, Sheohar, Aurangabad and Arwal, mukhiyas are even afraid of threats by Maoists.

In Bihar, there are 8,442 village body heads, 8,422 sarpanch, 1,15,542 panchayat members, 11,534 panchayat samiti members and 1,162 zila parishad members.

Thanks to rampant corruption in state and central government-funded development schemes in rural areas, mukhiyas have become neo-rich, which makes them easy targets of the criminals as well as their political rivals. With youths without job or work, they are hired by gangs to target mukhiyasfor money.

Now, expect fewer call drops on Delhi Metro’s Pink and Magenta lines


Commuters on Delhi Metro’s Pink Line (connecting Majlis Park and Shiv Vihar) or Magenta Line (connecting Botanical Garden and Janakpuri West) are expected to get relief from call drops, poor network and snapped internet inside trains and in stations.

Months after the two lines were thrown open for public, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has installed network boosters throughout the underground route of the Pink and the Magenta lines to ensure “uninterrupted” mobile phone services.

“We conducted successful trials throughout July and now even in the underground section of both the lines, mobile connectivity is available. We are installing mobile towers in the older lines so that the problem of call drops is solved,” said a senior DMRC official.

The 58-km Pink Line has 38 stations, of which 11 are underground, while the Magenta Line, which stretches across 38 kilometres between Noida and West Delhi, has 23 of its total 25 stations underground. Compared to the older corridors, the problem of poor mobile connectivity is particularly high on these two routes.

Officials said in the coming days, connectivity will get better.

“Services of major mobile service providers, which cater to a majority of consumers, are now available on the corridors. Work is also in progress to provide connectivity for all remaining service providers,” a DMRC spokesperson said.

In May this year, the DMRC had said that they are installing nearly 94 additional mobile towers across its network. The Metro said that the maximum number of these towers—in nearly 35 locations—will be installed on the Blue Line (Dwarka sector-21 to Vaishali and Noida Electronic City), especially between Noida Electronic City and Shadipur and Laxmi Nagar and Vaishali.

Towers will also be installed in about 18 locations on the Yellow Line (between Samaypur Badli and Huda City Centre), and 14 locations on the Violet Line (between Kashmere Gate and Ballabhgarh).