Rajasthan Current Affairs

Rajasthan: First State to fix minimum education qualification for cooperative body poll

Rajasthan has become the first State in the country to lay down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies.

In this regard, state government has amended State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003. The new rules would benefit about 10,000 cooperative and agricultural credit societies. Moreover, the benefit of education will accrue to the societies as their management will go to expert hands.

Key Facts

The minimum educational qualification will be compulsory for the members of the Directorate of Board of the cooperatives to ensure the management is assigned to skilled hands. The required educational qualifications will range from Class V to Class VIII for election as members of governing boards of various cooperative societies.

The minimum qualifications for the primary committee members will be class VIII, for district-level committees, it will be class X and graduation for the state level committee. The elections to various posts in the societies after a certain level would be conducted through the State Cooperative Election Authority.

Rajasthan will be also the first state in the country to establish Recruitment Board by the Cooperative Committees, which will recruit personnel for the cooperative committees. This move will ensure more employment in the field of cooperatives. It will also ensure competent and talented personnel are selected in a transparent way.

Background

In October 2016, Rajasthan Government had enforced the Rajasthan Cooperative Society (Amendment) Act, 2016 for making minimum educational qualification mandatory for election of the cooperative committees in the state. The act mandated to frame rules to define minimum qualification. Prior to enforcing this act, state government had made minimum educational qualification mandatory in panchayat polls.

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India, ADB inks $220 million Loan Agreement for Rajasthan State Highways Investment Program

The Union Government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $220 million loan agreement for improving connectivity as well as transport efficiency and safety on State Highways of Rajasthan.

The loan will be provided as the first tranche of the $500 million Rajasthan State Highways Investment Program, approved by ADB Board in May 2017. The Program will upgrade about 2,000 kilometers of state highways and major district roads to two-lane or intermediate-lane standards to meet road safety requirements.

Key Facts

Rajasthan State Highways Investment Program aims improve State Highways and major district roads in Rajasthan. It will enhance the capacity of the State public works department (PWD) in the areas of road asset management, road safety and project management.

One of the focus areas of the program is to attract private sector financing through government capacity building on public private partnership (PPP) development. ADB will finance part of the construction costs for the annuity-based PPP concessions and engineering procurement construction (EPC) contracts. It will also enhance the stability of contract regime, and ensure good governance during project implementation.

The first tranche loan will improve about 1,000 kilometres of State Highways and major district roads. It will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of 8 years. The loan will carry an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s London interbank offered rate-based (LIBOR) lending facility. The total cost of the project is $1.415 billion, of government contributing $465 million and $450 million from the private sector and other concessionaries.

About Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The ADB is a regional development bank which aims to promote social and economic development in Asia. It was established on 19 December 1966. It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines. ADB now has 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.

The ADB has been modelled closely on the World Bank. It has similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions. As of 2014, Japan is the largest shareholder (capital subscription) of ADB having 15.7% shares followed US (15.6%), China (6.5%), India (6.4%), and Australia (5.8%).

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