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Jharkhand celebrates 13th statehood day

Tapan Chakravorti  |  Kolkata/ Ranchi 

Carved out of southern Bihar as a new state of India on November 15, 2000, Jharkhand was plagued by adverse initial conditions, low average income, very high incidence of poverty and little social development like education, health , communication, etc.

In education fields, non-recruitment of teachers from primary level to university level caused serious set back in the state’s educational system. For higher education hundreds of students are leaving every year from the state for Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Jharkhand Governor, Syed Ahmed, who is also the Chancellor of universities, while chairing a meeting of vice-chancellors and senior government officials recently, expressed his displeasure over mushrooming of courses without necessary faculty. He asked vice-chancellors to introduce new courses only with the requisite infrastructure in place.

In primary level, para-teachers who were recruited in 2009 on contract basis had gone on strike for several months demanding their permanent position and pay hike which resulted in the deterioration in attendance of students.

In health sector, primary health centre were not functioning as several hundred doctors after recruitment, joined duties and after working some time had gone on leave and remained absent months after months. Chief Minister recently ordered suspension of the absentee doctors.

The titled for 10.45 lakh BPL families in financial partnership with Tata Steel had so long been put in cold storage in absence of a proper policy framed by state government. When the 13th statehood day celebration approaches nearer, the state chief secretary S K Choudhary, labour department’s principal secretary and senior officials of revenue and health departments met at a review meeting recently and decided to finalise the health insurance policy for the BPL families to announce it on the Statehood Day on November 15.

It may be mentioned that during signing of the lease renewal agreement in 2005, Tata steel had offered an amount of Rs 25 crore per annum for a health scheme for BPL families. The state government delayed in forming the policy for the scheme.

In communication system, road connectivity from block headquarters to villages was so pathetic that one has to go on foot to reach to remote villages. Besides, telecommunications like telephone, internet were not yet extended to villages level. Thousands of villages were not yet covered by rural electrification schemes.

However, Chief Minister, talking to media on October 11 had said that till date 23,000 villages were electrified under the Rajiv Gandhi Vidyutikaran Yojna and decision had been taken to electrify of the remaining 1,48 villages by Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) for which his secretariat would monitor it. It was decided that in the statehood celebration on November 15, chief minister would present his government’s achievements in various sectors during last two years.

However, when the BJP-led NDA government had celebrated its second anniversary on September 11 this year, differences between the major alliance partners- Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) were exposed while Chief Minister trumpeted his government’s list of achievements by organising the National Games and Panchyat elections after over two decades and making progress in implementation of welfare projects. His two deputy chief ministers refused to speak a single word on the report card release function.

First Published: Thu, November 15 2012. 00:39 IST