Gujarat

Cabinet gives nod to include Sipai, Patni, Jamat Kahar and Tanwar Singhariya in the OBC list

Union Cabinet gave its nod to amend the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for Gujarat and Uttarakhand for inclusion of Sipai and Patni Jamat or Turk Jamat (all Muslims) from Gujarat and Kahar, Tanwar Singhariya from Uttarakhand in the list.

Decision to make suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs was taken Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Ministeri Narendra Modi based on advice from the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

This inclusion will enable the persons belonging to these communities/castes to avail the benefits of reservation in Government services as well as in Central Educational Institutions as per the existing reservation policy.

It will also make them eligible to get benefited by various Union Government welfare schemes, scholarships etc, which are presently available to persons belonging to the OBCs mentioned in the list.

National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

  • NCBC Act, 1993 empowers the commission to examine requests for inclusion of any communities/castes as a backward class in the lists.
  • After examining the requests, NCBC will tender such advice to the Union Government which shall be ordinarily binding.
  • It should be noted that, till date total of 2,404 caste/ sub-castes have been notified in the Central list of OBCs from 24 States and 6 Union Territories.

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Gujarat to become 1st state to launch ‘Agro-Solar Policy’

Gujarat is set to become the first state in India to launch ‘Agro-Solar Policy’ to encourage the farmers to tap the solar energy.

The new policy seeks to encourage the farmers in the state to tap free solar energy from sun, which will in turn help them to earn additional income from power generation companies.

Key facts

  • Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) will be nodal implementing agency for projects under this policy.
  • Farmers can use the free solar energy for their own consumption purpose and sell the surplus energy to the state run power generation companies.
  • Thus, power generation companies and farmers will be in a win-win situation with generation of solar energy in agricultural fields.
  • Power generation companies will set up solar photo voltaic (SPV) plants in different agricultural fields for the purpose of power generation without disturbing agricultural production.
  • It should be noted that these SPV plants have been already tested in different agricultural universities in the State.
  • On the experimental basis power generation companies like Gujarat Industries Power Company Limited (GIPCL), Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL) have already set up SPV plants in farm fields
  • The SPV plant will be set up on poles in the fields so that farmers can also grow their crops.
  • After buying surplus power, power generation companies will give 30 to 40 per cent share from the profit to the farmers.

Some other successful solar projects in Gujarat

  • State has Asia’s largest solar power plant in Charanka village in Patan district which is built on a 2,000-hectare land.
  • In January 2015, the first canal-top solar power plant (10 MW solar capacity) was inaugurated by UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon on Narmada canal in Vadodara.

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Gujarat HC stays implementation of compulsory voting Act in local polls

Gujarat High Court has stayed implementation of the compulsory voting in the panchayat and municipal polls under the provision of Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2009.

Ruling in this regard was given by High Court Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice J.B. Pardiwala on public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutional validity of the Act.

Background

  • Gujarat had become the first state in India to make voting compulsory in local polls after Governor O.P. Kohli gave assent to Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009 in November 2014.
  • The law had strict provision mentioning that any person in state, who does not vote in the local body polls, will be liable for penal action and punishment.
  • It also had empowered the State Election Commission to declare an absent voter as defaulter, except in case person out of station or illness.
  • Subsequently, State government also had framed rules for implementation of this Act by pertaining to the penal actions to be initiated against those who do not exercise their franchise in the municipal and district panchayat polls.

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