Uttarakhand Sets up Panel on Caste-based Promotions

The pro-quota and anti-quota strikes had unnerved the Uttarakhand government in the recent days. Union employees of the State Government had succeeded in paralyzing the operations of several departments.

 A strike was held by certain sections of employees, demanding implementation of the verdict laid down by the high court. The court’s verdict decreed that promotions in government job should no longer be based on caste.

On the other hand, employees belonging to the Scheduled Castes [SC] and Scheduled Tribes [ST] urged the government to leave the policy unchanged. The State Government hence had to think of a neutral alternative that could soothe the agitation of both the parties.

The state cabinet adopted the decision of installing a committee to handle the dispute. The committee was assigned the task of preparing a report that analyzed the promotions based on castes, in all government jobs.

The committee headed by Irshad Hussain, a former judge of the high court, had been granted a time span of 3 months to finalize the report. The decision to install a committee was spear headed by the Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Vijay Bahuguna, as a measure to handle the pressure exerted by unions all across the State Government.

Also, the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) meetings were reinitiated by the government as confirmed by Vijay Bahuguna. The chief minister asserted that though no seats would be reserved for the members of the SC/ST for any promotions, notional promotions would be granted for retirees in July-August.

On Oct 19th, employees of the state government staged a protest against the caste based quota. Last month, Chief Minister, Vijay Bahuguna had assured the protestors that the Uttarakhand government would revisit the dispute of the caste based reservations after the by poll elections of the Tehri Lok Sabha.

 

2012 Kailash Manssarovar Yatra Completed Successfully

The 16th batch of 41 pilgrims returned to Gujni camp at Lipulekh Pass on Monday after successfully completing the annual Kailash Manssarovar Yatra. The pilgrims reached New Delhi on the 26th of September after staying one night in Jagesware in Almora.

According to DK Sharma, manager of tourism in Kumaon Mandal Vikash Nigam, this year witnessed the highest number of pilgrims in all 16 batches. 774 pilgrims went to Kailash and Manssarovar to complete the pilgrimage. Since the pilgrimage began in 1981, a total of 12,518 pilgrims from all over the country have visited Kailash and Manssarovar in 368 batches.

The Kailash Manssarovar Yatra begins on the 1st of June every year. It is significant for its religious value, physical beauty and cultural richness,. Every year hundreds of people from across India undertake this journey to visit God Shiva in Tibet.

The ministry of External affairs organizes this Yatra every year from May to September. It is open to all Indians with valid Indian passports. The Yatra consist of trekking to high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet.

Devotees travel under severe conditions like rugged terrain and extreme cold. People who wish to perform the pilgrimage have to undergo three medical examinations to qualify for the journey. The selection is undertaken by the Ministry of External Affairs through computer generated random selection process.

Earlier in April this year the Minister of state and External affairs Smt. Preneet Kaur expressed the importance that the Kailash Manssarovar Yatra in the view of deep religious and spiritual sentiments of the Indian people. The minister said that the government is constantly putting efforts in upgrading and improving facilities for the Yatra Pilgrims.

The Yatra include two main destinations- Mount Kailash that is God Shiva’s abode and Manssarovar Lake. The devotees take a dip in Manssarovar Lake and circumambulate around Mount Kailash to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death and to be absolved of their sins.

 

Uttarakhand Government Demands Rs 600 for Cloudburst Victims

A Rs 600 crore package has been demanded from the National Disaster Relief Fund of India by the Uttarakhand government. The amount was necessitated for the relief and rehabilitation of victims of the cloudburst in Uttarkashi. Piyush Rautela Deputy Director of Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, stated on Friday that the government has demanded Rs600 crore last month from the National Disaster Relief Fund of India for the relief of natural calamity victims in Uttarkhashi.

The required amount is likely to increase after the Uttarakhand Government has evaluated the extent of damage instigated by the cloudburst incident in Ukhimath located in the district of Rudraprayag. The cloudbursts hit the different regions of Uttarakhand in the months of August and September this year.

Incessant rains followed by cloudbursts triggered massive landslides in Uttarakhand killing many people in their sleep. More than 25 people died in the cloudburst disaster in Uttarkashi this year on the 4th of August.

In another cloudburst that followed in within a month on September 14, the death toll rose to more than 50 people in the worst affected areas of Jakholi and Ukhimath in Rudraprayag district. The Cloudburst rendered 500 people homeless and left a trail of destruction in many regions of Rudraprayag. Farmers in Uttarkashi suffered huge losses.

Around 40% of the potato crops were destroyed. Many roads that lead to the city have been obstructed with landslide and debris making it very difficult for the farmers to transport their goods. The incident not the first cloudburst calamity in India The first major cloudburst incident in the year 1908 killed 15,000 people and destroyed 80,000 houses on the banks of the Musi River in Andra Pradesh. On the 15th of August 1997 around 115 people were killed in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla district.

Uttarakhand: Land of Challenges and Opportunities

Uttarakhand is fast becoming one of the most promising industrial destinations. Private participation is being encouraged by the government in all industrial areas. Uttarakhand’s large forest cover, enormous potential for power and vast natural recourses makes it a potential prosperous state. With good climatic conditions agriculture is the major income source. More than three quarters of the state’s population are into agriculture. But this is not the only area for investment. Uttarakhand has other major areas that give good opportunities for investments and gains.

Tourism

Considered as a ‘Land of Gods’, Uttarakhand continues to attract pilgrims and tourists from across the world. It has incredible natural beauty and serenity from the Himalayas. It is a destination for sacred pilgrimages for people from all over India. Uttarakhand is rich in culture and traditions and has favorable climatic conditions- two of the factors that attract a lot of tourists.

Handicrafts, handloom, wool based industry, khadi & village industries

Handicrafts industries such as wood carving, carpet weaving and brass ware are planning to be revived by the state. They are important for generating employment in rural areas. The state plans to invest in budding skill’ based industries by using training, infrastructure support, marketing events, design development and exhibitions.

Information technology

The state has high literacy rate and many educational institutions of high quality are available across the district. It is a good destination for developing IT, ITES and hardware production. The state provides high speed connectivity after the establishment of STPI earth station in Dehradun.

Agro and food processing industry

The state government plans to help setting up medium and small size Agro and food parks which will eventually provide facilities for marketing, grading, processing and storing produce. The government has already declared four Agri Export zones under the AEZ scheme of the Indian Government for leechi, herbs, medicinal plants, horticulture, and export and domestic markets for produce from the state.

Under the schemes of MFPI the government of Uttarakhand will also be providing project subsidies under various Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) schemes.

Uttarakhand Recruits 3400 teachers for Primary Education

The Uttarakhand state government has made arrangements to recruit about 3400 teachers for elementary education. A deadline for recruitments had also been set by the State’s education department.

2253 teachers were recruited by 15th September 2012, to attend the [Teachers Eligibility Test [TET]. Recruitment for the regular teaching staff who attended the Basic Training Certificate [BTC] ended on 30th September 2012.

Elementary education has been sub-divided into lower primary education [‘Class I to V’] and upper primary education [Class VI to VIII’]. All candidates who wish to teach in the government schools of Uttarakhand are required to attend the Uttarakhand Teachers Eligibility Test.

The exam paper for the recruitment has two parts to it: first section that is the UTET [Uttarakhand Teachers Eligibility Test] is to be filled by those wishing to teach lower classes [Class I to V]; the second section that is the UTET Paper II is to be filled by those aspiring to teach higher classes [Class VI to VIII].  All eligible candidates were however invited to attempt for both the teacher posts in Uttarakhand.

A government order stating that it was not necessary for the teachers who wrote the Basic Training Certificate to take the Teachers Eligibility Test was issued.  The Uttarakhand government announced that, those who have taken the Teachers Eligibility Test would be made permanent after they have been trained practically and theoretically.

A fixed sum of rupees 7300 is to be paid as monthly salary for the teachers during the training period. The teachers were recruited based on their performance in the entrance exams. It is believed that teachers recruited by the Teachers Eligibility Test and the Basic Training Certificate, will greatly enhance the educational standards of the hilly state. The move is also expected to be a boost to the nation’s teaching fraternity.

 

 

Uttarakhand Sets up Panel on Caste-based Promotions

The pro-quota and anti-quota strikes had unnerved the Uttarakhand government in the recent days. Union employees of the State Government had succeeded in paralyzing the operations of several departments.

 Recently, a strike was carried out by certain sections of employees, demanding implementation of the verdict laid down by the high court. The court’s verdict decreed that promotions in government job should no longer be based on caste.

On the other hand, employees belonging to the Scheduled Castes [SC] and Scheduled Tribes [ST] are urging the government to leave the policy unchanged. The State Government hence had to think of a neutral alternative that could soothe the agitation of both the parties.

The state cabinet adopted the decision of installing a committee to handle the dispute. The committee was assigned the task of preparing a report that analyzed the promotions based on castes, in all government jobs.

The newly formed committee is headed by Irshad Hussain, a former judge of the high court. The committee has been granted a time span of 3 months to finalize the report. The decision to install a committee was spear headed by the Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Vijay Bahuguna, as a measure to handle the pressure exerted by unions all across the State Government.

Also, the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) meetings were reinitiated by the government as confirmed by Vijay Bahuguna. The chief minister asserted that though no seats would be reserved for the members of the SC/ST for any promotions, notional promotions would be granted for retirees in July-August.

The committee led by Irshad Hussain would examine various problems connected to caste-backwardness, inadequate representation and sustenance of efficient administrative measures. Bahuguna said that the member of the SC/ST could have anticipated a           promotion in case of “reservation in promotion scheme” where the candidate would be appointed by freeing ex-cadre posts.

 

 

Chief Minister of Delhi Regularizes Unauthorized Colonies

The Delhi Government sanctioned the sale of 320 colonies in unauthorized lands. The decision was made during the Task Force’s first meeting which was convened to address the different problems of the unauthorized colonies.

Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit who presided over the meeting, stated that the registration of the private properties will commence in a few days time. On September 5, 895 colonies were regularized but only 320 were on private land. The rest were on government lands.

Delhi residents supporting the regularization of unauthorized colonies done by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit

The order will be welcomed by several residents of the colonies because the provisional regularization certificates issued in 2008 had restricted the purchase and sale of these lands. The task force was instructed by Sheila Dikshit to take all measures to expedite the regularization of the remaining colonies that were unauthorized.

Officials asserted that the colonies that sprung up on the gram sabha land were being processed for regularization and these properties would be also set up for sale and purchase very soon. The regularizing of the lands is targeted to be completed by January 2013.

Colonies developed on government land will however be allowed for sale, much later. The municipal corporations were urged to finalize the plans of layouts that were chalked out for each of the regularized colonies.

The Chief Minister of Delhi assured the support of the state’s finances to execute these measures. Exclusive agencies are to be engaged by the municipal bodies to hasten the process. Sheila Dikshit also directed the municipal corporation to better the sanitation amenities in all the colonies.

In 2008, provisional regularization certificates were issued by theDelhi government to nearly 1700 unauthorized colonies before the assembly polls. Sheila Dikshit had then promised to regularize the unauthorized colonies if the Congress party rose to power again.

 

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