By OUR STAFF REPORTER
NEW DELHI, 8 Aug: Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, attended the 7th meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Sunday. Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that as per the expectation of the Prime Minister, the State Government was working towards making Uttarakhand an ideal and leading state by 2025. He recalled that Modi had declared that the third decade of the twenty-first century would be the decade of Uttarakhand. It was also the priority of the state to plan for the next 25 years. Dhami urged the NITI Aayog to make a model of development for the Himalayan states, keeping in view the ecology, population density, floating population and environmental sensitivity, based on science and technology. He added that a special seminar be also organised for the Himalayan states under the leadership of the Prime Minister. The Chief Minister requested to organise such seminars in Uttarakhand.
Drawing attention to some important policy points of the state of Uttarakhand, the Chief Minister requested that in the formulation of centrally funded schemes, keeping in mind the specific geographical conditions of the state, tailor made schemes be prepared instead of making ‘One Scheme Fits All’. He added that the state had potential to get immense benefits from tourism, horticulture and aromatic plant based schemes. There was a strong need to start a massive program for the rejuvenation of water streams, which includes the construction of check dams and small reservoirs. This, he said would require technical and financial support from the Government of India. Uttarakhand was providing important ecosystem service to the entire nation. These ecological services be also taken into account in the allocation of resources among the states, he requested.
The Chief Minister said that the pressure of floating population in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand was high on the infrastructure facilities of the state. So far this year, about 30 lakhs Chardham pilgrims and more than four crore Kanwariyas had travelled to the state and the possibilities of continuous increase in this number were very strong. Most of the local bodies in the state were very small in size and their financial resources were limited. Therefore, this important fact also be kept in mind in the transfer of financial resources by the Union Government.
Dhami claimed that after the year 2014, with the blessings of the Prime Minister, centrally funded projects related to roads, railways, health services and various other schemes were progressing at a good pace. According to the master plan of the world famous pilgrimage site Badrinath, Kedarnath, the reconstruction work was also also being done at a fast pace. Uttarakhand had been a leading state in achieving the goals of SDGs.
The Chief Minister said that there was immense potential for agricultural diversification in the state. Coarse grains like Mandua, Jhingora, Madira, Ramdana, mountain pulses like Kulath and Rajma etc. as well as medicinal plants were being promoted continuously. The area and food processing capacity of apple and high value kiwi fruit were being expanded. Organic production of millet and nutritious cereal crops was being carried out in 38,500 hectare area in the state. The export of millets from the state to Denmark has been started. The process of cluster selection for natural farming has been completed in 6400 hectare area.
The Chief Minister said that Uttarakhand is determined to implement the new education policy. In order to promote online education, virtual class rooms have been set up in 500 schools of central studios and all 13 districts of the state. 8 Vocational Education courses have also been started in 200 schools.
The Chief Minister said that in higher education too, the National Education Policy-2020 has been implemented in the state from the academic session 2022-23. In order to familiarize the students with Indian culture and Indian knowledge system, subjects like Vedic Science, Vedic Mathematics and Management Introduction to Bhagavad Gita have been implemented as co-curriculars.
The meeting was attended by Vice-Chairman NITI Aayog, Ministers of the Central Government, Chief Ministers of States, Lieutenant Governors and other members of the Governing Council.