States Current Affairs for UPPSC and Other State PCS – 2017

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Telangana passes bill to hike reservations for Muslims and STs

The Telangana legislature has passed the Telangana Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Bill, 2017, that seeks to raise substantially the reservation for backward Muslims and scheduled tribes.

The new legislation will increase the reservation for socially and educationally backward Muslims from the existing 4% to 12% and for Scheduled Tribes from 6% to 10% taking the total quotas in government jobs and educational institutions in the state much beyond the 50 % ceiling set by the Supreme Court. The total quota in the state will now increase to 62%.

The bill will now be sent for obtaining President’s assent. Since the reservation goes beyond the 50% ceiling set by the Supreme Court, the state government wants the centre to include the bill in the 9th schedule of the Constitution which will preclude a judicial review. States like Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand already have reservations totalling more than 50 percent.

Reservation bills included in 9th Schedule of the Constitution protects it from judicial review. Ninth Schedule contains more than 250 legislations receiving protection from the judicial scrutiny. With the burgeoning laws which are placed under the Ninth Schedule, it has today become a constitutional dustbin and house for every controversial law passed by the government. For example, former PM Indira Gandhi made amendments to the Representation of Peoples Acts of 1951 and 1974 and placed in the Ninth Schedule along with the Election Laws Amendment Act, 1975 to make her election valid.

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70th Himachal Day celebrated across Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh celebrated 70th Himachal Day function in Chamba. Himachal Pradesh came into existence by merging 30 odd princely states in 1948.

According to a 2005 Transparency International survey, Himachal Pradesh was found to be the second least corrupt state in the country.

An overview of development

  • In 1948, state’s per capita income was Rs 240 and State’s GDP was Rs 26 crore. At present, the corresponding figures are Rs 1,47,277 and Rs 1,24,570 crore respectively.
  • Literacy rate has increased from 7% in 1948 to 82.80% (Census 2011).
  • Out of total 3226 panchayats, 3138 panchayats have been connected with motorable roads
  • From only 6 villages that had electricity, now every household has electricity.
  • 70% of the population of the state depends on agriculture for their livelihood. To augment horticulture production, World Bank funded Rs 1134 crore Horticulture Development Project has been launched in the state.

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Punjab Government prohibits VIP names on Plaques and Foundation Stones

Punjab government has prohibited the inclusion of names of the government functionaries, including ministers and MLAs, on foundation stones and inaugural plaques so as to build a stronger connect with the people by shedding the VIP culture.

The state government has clarified that though there is no bar on government functionaries and leaders attending or laying the foundation stone of any project, the practice of inscribing their names on foundation stones or plaques would be discarded with immediate effect. Further, the order has clarified that henceforth all projects and programmes, including those inaugurated by the CM, would be “dedicated to the people of Punjab”.

The order comes at the backdrop of cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot threatening a government school principal over his name not being at the top of the inauguration plaque went viral on social media.

The chief minister of Punjab has been seen taking various initiatives to shed VIP culture in the state. Earlier, he and his cabinet ministers gave up the symbolic red beacon light on their vehicles, fulfilling a promise on the party’s election manifesto.

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