Jharkhand – The way forward
Recently a noble writer and thinker specified the strategy for Jharkhand
Recommended Strategy for Jharkhand decision makers
In view of the major issues, the following factors should be accorded importance while deciding the strategy mix for Jharkhand:
Long-Range/Perspective Plan – The State should work upon a Long Range / Perspective Plan along with road map for at least ten years. If the State has to leap-frog from its present state to the desired state, the same cannot be possible without meticulous planning.
This planning should not be a political agenda or manifesto but rather a blue-print for the States’ progress on a firm footing. It should be prepared by a select group of competent bureaucrats, economists, academicians and practicing managers from leading business houses.
The plan should be a comprehensive growth plan with specific mention of the basic growth items to cater to the continuously burgeoning population such as drinking water, 24 x 7 electricity provision, housing, sewerage and drainage system, parks, municipal amenities, public toilets, garbage removal and disposal system, primary health and sanitation, town hall, library etc.
Health & Sanitation – Jharkhand lacks miserably in health and sanitation facilities. There has to be a proper focus on medical facilities, basic health-care and Amritanshu Prasad Page 2 of 4 sanitation. It also lacks super-specialty facilities and many patients have to travel to other locations for treatment.
Jharkhand has to make all efforts to improve doctor to population ratio and get good specialists/ surgeons and give a fillip to medical facilities, health and sanitation in the State. Introduction of people-friendly systems and institutions are required to let the medical benefits percolate to the needy masses.
Education & Learning – Jharkhand has some leading institutes in the country for primary and higher education area. There are some distinguished schools, Technical Institutes and IIM identified as Centres of Excellence.
To cater to the education needs of the brilliant children of the State there is ample scope for proliferation of such Centres of excellence.
The gap between demand and supply is huge making the children opt for other states for technical or professional education. Such potential can be tapped in Jharkhand to a large extent. Besides this, the basic and primary education also needs a boost. The main issue, however, is providing education for the poor, illiterate masses, ensuring the three Rs (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) for the people who never had access to this and teaching the girl child. This is a major challenge.
Infrastructure strategy – The State should invest on providing best possible infrastructure of roads, bridges, energy generation, transmission and distribution, civic amenities, water, housing, canals & waterways, public buildings, tourism infrastructure.
Infrastructure is the first aspect that catches the eye. Good road & railway network and air connectivity go a long way in improving the accessibility, image and economy of a place.
Exploitation of mineral wealth – Jharkhand is the mineral destination having nearly 40% of the country’s mineral wealth. Hence, all efforts should be made to make proper utilization and exploitation of minerals like coal, iron-ore, copper, bauxite, uranium, kyanite, mica, etc.
Govt. bodies like Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation (JSMDC) who have good mines including those of ironore and coal have ample scope to generate revenue for the State by opting for joint-ventures with the private sector and expert Mines Developers to exploit the mineral reserves for the benefit of the State.
Despite coal and other mineral deposits in abundance, there has not been a push to extract and utilize the minerals. New thinking should go in this area for the development of the State.
Metal based industry– Considerable scope exists in Jharkhand to start new metal based industry or expand the already existing ones. The incentive schemes of the State government need to be relooked and implemented vigorously to instil confidence in the industry.
Many industries which were closed should be restarted for increasing employment in the State.
Water and Environment Management – Jharkhand receives an annual rainfall of about 1400 mm which can fulfil the needs of the State if the same is properly harnessed, stored and distributed.
Water is an area of concern since the hilly Amritanshu Prasad Page 3 of 4 terrain of Chhotanagpur plateau makes a large part of the rain evacuate quickly into the Bay of Bengal leaving irrigation potential unexplored in the absence of adequate water harnessing structures, dams and canals. Conservation of ground water has to be taken up in a big way. Aggressive and properly planned management of water resources and water harvesting is required for providing water and arresting depletion of water table in the State.
Along with this strict Forest Conservation must be implemented so that the environment is not endangered with the increased accent on growth and industrialisation.
Employment generation and skill development – The need to develop skills has already been recognized by the Government of India. Skill development has been identified as a focus area by the Govt. of India.
Jharkhand should capitalize on this opportunity and must work on employment generation in the traditional areas as well new technology areas. Considerable training is to be provided for the new industries being set-up in the State.
Storage and marketing of local produce – Fruits and vegetables are grown in abundance in Jharkhand but in absence of proper cold-storage facilities, the shelf life being limited, many of the perishable items do not see the light of day. The farmers are unable to find a buyer or tap the opportunities that exist in the metro cities where people are prepared to spend lavishly to consume such high-quality variety of fruits and vegetables. Pisci-culture (fishery) has been a success in Jharkhand. The same needs to be stepped up with cold storage and transportation improvement.
Tourism Industry – Jharkhand has tremendous potential in the tourism sector but has not tapped this potential adequately.
It has a host of scenic spots, religious destinations, healthy resorts, lakes, ancient temples, wild-life, water-falls which are popular tourist attractions. Providing safe and comfortable tourist destinations with good transportation, food and beverage facilities will boost the tourism industry manifold and generate employment and income.
The top priorities for the government should be education, health, irrigation & agriculture, infrastructure development, reviving mining and manufacturing, providing social justice, preserving ecology and Jharkhand Culture and giving a fillip to services sector for maximum value creation.
Jharkhand is at cross-roads today having completed nearly nineteen years of existence and formation. It should bench-mark against Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand who have commenced their developmental journey simultaneously and have already made their mark. India Today magazine in its special issue did not rate Jharkhand very highly in the ranking of the Indian States.
21 of the world’s 30 cities with the worst air pollution are in India
Twenty-one of the world’s 30 cities with the worst air pollution are in India, according to data compiled in IQAir AirVisual’s 2019 World Air Quality Report, with six in the top ten.
Ghaziabad, a satellite city of the capital New Delhi in northern Uttar Pradesh state, is ranked as the world’s most polluted city, with an average air quality index (AQI) of 110.2 in 2019.
The World Health Organization estimates that dirty air kills around 7 million people each year, while the World Bank says it drains the global economy of $5 trillion annually.
First anniversary of National War Memorial
The first anniversary of the iconic National War Memorial in New Delhi is being observed on 25 February.
The National War Memorial commemorates the soldiers who made supreme sacrifice during the Counter Insurgency Operations and Peacekeeping Missions.
More than 25 thousand soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces have laid down their lives to defend the country’s sovereignty and integrity.
For the first time Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to the fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial instead of the Amar Jawan Jyoti on Republic Day this year.
Government amends provisions of Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules, 2016
Government has amended provisions of the Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules, 2016 to increase the number of firearms that can be kept by shooters and enhanced quantity of ammunition fixed for practice for the year.
The Home Ministry said, shooting is an important Olympic sport in India and Indian shooters have excelled in international competitions.
The Ministry has made provisions to provide adequate firearms and ammunition to the shooters for their practice.
As per the new rules, now international medalists and renowned shooters are allowed to keep additional weapons up to a total of twelve under the exempted category, which earlier was seven.
Through the amendments it has also been clarified that no license is required for Indian citizens for acquisitions, possession of small arms falling under the category of curio.
GSI discoverd gold deposits in Sonbhadra district
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) discovered gold deposits to the tune of around 3,000 tonnes in Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh. The deposit is almost five times India’s current reserve of gold.
The gold deposits were found in Son Pahadi and Hardi areas of Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh.
The British reportedly initiated the process of finding gold reserves in the Sonbhadra region first. Then, the project of finding gold began in 1992-93 by GSI. Auctioning of these blocks through e-tendering will begin.
The newly found deposit in Son Pahadi has been estimated to be around 2,943.26 tonnes and the deposit at Hardi block is around 646.16 kg.
Apart from gold, some other minerals have also been found in the area.
World Gold Council stated that India currently has 626 tonnes of gold reserves.
The new reserves have been estimated to be worth nearly Rs.12 lakh crore.
Sonbhadra is the second largest district of Uttar Pradesh. It is the only district in India, that shares borders with four states.
RBI’s new moto ‘cash is king, but digital is divine’
With ‘cash is king, but digital is divine’ moto, the Reserve Bank on said its endeavour will be to make digital payments a divine experience for the users.
RBI has observed over Rs 3.5 lakh crore reduction in the notes in circulation (NIC) post demonetisation.
NIC, however, was Rs 22,31,090 crore, indicating that digitalisation and reduction in cash usage helped reduce NIC by over Rs 3.5 lakh crore.
However, National air pollution in India decreased by 20% from 2018 to 2019, with 98% of cities experiencing varying levels of improvement.
Govt approves constitution of 22nd Law Commission
Government has formally announced the constitution of the 22nd Law Commission.
The law panel advises the government on complex legal issues and has a term of three years.
With the president giving his nod for the creation of the Law Commission, the government will now appoint a chairperson to head the panel and other members.
The chairperson usually is a retired Supreme Court judge or a retired chief justice of a high court.
Union Cabinet had last week given its nod to reconstitute the panel.
India will host the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships in January 2022
India will host the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships in January 2022.
The medals from the two events will be counted for ranking of competing nations at the Birmingham Games.
The medals will be added to the final tally one week after the conclusion of the Games.
The two events will be held in Chandigarh in January 2022 while the Birmingham Commonwealth Games is scheduled from 27th of July to 7th of August , 2022.
India also received wholehearted support from the International Shooting Sports Federation and World Archery, the global governing bodies of the two sports.
Ladakh all set to host first-ever Khelo India Winter Games
The Union Territory of Ladakh is all set to host the first-ever Khelo India Winter Games.
About 1,700 athletes of different ages, from Leh and Kargil districts of Ladakh, will compete in the Khelo India Ladakh Winter Games at 10 blocks, district and then at UT level.
Under Khelo India, in the first edition of Winter Games in the country, the players will compete in ice hockey, figure skating and speed skating events.