'B2V' programme among 36 major achievements since Art 370 axing: Jammu and Kashmir government | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs ‘B2V’ programme among 36 major achievements since Art 370 axing: Jammu and Kashmir government – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
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‘B2V’ programme among 36 major achievements since Art 370 axing: Jammu and Kashmir government

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Srinagar, Aug 5 : The unique ‘Back to Village’ (B2V) initiative is among 36 major people’s programmes which the Jammu and Kashmir government says it has achieved in one year since abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to the erstwhile state.

The programme, under which 20,000 development works were identified directly by the people, generated such enthusiasm that a resident of Shopian district wrote about it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi following which it was mentioned in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration embarked on the programme in June last year with the aim of strengthening grassroots democracy and participatory development, taking the administration and administrative officers to the doorsteps of villagers to redress the development and governance deficit in villages, and bridge the gap between public and public servants.

‘B2V’ not only achieved the feat of bringing the administration and officers to the doorsteps of the villagers to redress their problems but also also reaffirmed the trust and faith of the public in the government, shattering a number of myths in the process, the government said.

Abdul Hamid Dar, a resident of Block B.K. Pora in Budgam district remarked that their village had a vexed issue of de-silting their water bodies, which were choked due to the excessive amount of sand, silt and polythene.

“We had travelled from pillar to post in this regard but nobody had registered our genuine grievance, but during this campaign, it was duly recorded by the authorities who had visited our village for two days.”

As per the Jammu and Kashmir government, while programmes similar to this had been attempted in many other parts of India before, ‘B2V’ was unique for its sheer scale and scope, involving nearly 5,000 gazetted officers of all levels — one for every panchayat — who would then stay for two days and a night in the village.

“Back to Village focused on four quintessential themes like energising panchayats, collecting feedback on delivery of government programmes, capturing specific economic potential and undertaking assessment of needs of the villages,” the Jammu and Kashmir government said.

“As it turned out, the initiative was an unqualified success. In fact, so overwhelming was the response of the people that practically every visiting officer was accorded an extremely warm and affectionate welcome. In fact, such was the enthusiasm generated by the programme that a resident of Shopian district wrote to the Prime Minister about this programme following which the Prime Minister made a mention of it in his Mann ki Baat Programme calling it a ‘festival of development, public participation and public awareness’.”

While inaugurating the programme, Chief Secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam said: “Back to Village programme has been conceived with the notion that developmental initiatives that are built on the feedback and cooperation of the people are more result-oriented and have greater probability to succeed than those which are top-down.”

But, the government says, that this was not an easy task. It had never attempted a government-public interface programme of this sheer size and scale in Jammu and Kashmir, so it not only seemed a herculean task but also seemed implausible given the law and order problems in the Valley.

It was the developmental equivalent of the elections – every single citizen was to be covered, and no area, howsoever remote or difficult, would be left untouched.

The government deputed gazetted officers to all 4,483 panchayat circles, with each officer assigned a gram panchayat, where, unlike previous practices, they stayed for at least two days, including a night halt, in the village. The officer was supposed to make a first-hand assessment by seeking the comprehensive feedback from the panchayat representatives, elders and other local people about their concerns, developmental needs and economic potential of the area.

Throughout this campaign, the officers lived and ate with the villagers to fully understand their pain and agony and to assuage the feeling of alienation among them.

The officers were also mandated, among other things, to discuss all sort of relevant social issues such as sex ratio, literacy rate, girl education, water conservation, and heath and hygiene issues in the Gram Sabhas.

Further, considering the programme was held shortly after the successful conduct of panchayat elections in 2018, the mission also aimed at sensitising both the recently-elected representatives and people about various government welfare programmes and schemes, and get feedback on them.

Determined to reach out to the public at the grassroots, the government went ahead with the programme. The designated officers not only visited the remotest villages and panchayats which had never before been visited by government functionaries, leave alone senior gazetted officers, but also braved a visit to some of the difficult and challenging areas in the militancy-affected districts of south Kashmir.

“The response was overwhelming and heart-warming. The people, who otherwise felt alienated came out in droves to welcome the visiting officers, share their views and post their grievances directly to the officers,” the government said.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

India

Sonia Gandhi, Son Rahul Return From US After Her Medical Check-Up: Reports

Sources had said her medical check-up was overdue and was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi returned from abroad early today, sources said.

Mrs Gandhi, 73, had gone to the United States for her routine medical check-up on September 12, two days ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament. Rahul Gandhi had accompanied her during the visit.

Sources had said her medical check-up was overdue and was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sonia Gandhi had cleared the Congress’ organisational restructuring before leaving for the US.

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After military talks, India and China announce slew of decisions to bring down tensions in eastern Ladakh

The decisions were mentioned in a joint statement issued by the two armies late Tuesday, a day after the sixth round of Sino-India Corps commander-level talks that lasted for 14-hours.

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New Delhi: Announcing a slew of decisions to bring down tensions in eastern Ladakh, the Indian and Chinese army have decided to stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any actions that may further complicate the environment.

The decisions were mentioned in a joint statement issued by the two armies late Tuesday, a day after the sixth round of Sino-India Corps commander-level talks that lasted for 14-hours.

The two armies also agreed to strengthen communication on the ground, avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments and earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries.

“The two sides had candid and in-depth exchange of views on stabilising the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India-China border areas,” said the statement released by the Indian Army.

It said the two sides also agreed to take practical measures to properly solve problems on the ground, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

It said both sides also resolved to hold the 7th round of military commander talks as soon as possible.

“They agreed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen communication on the ground, avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments, stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation,” the statement said.

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Lok Sabha passes Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020

As per the Bill, Kashmiri will be the official language along with four other languages — Dogri, Hindi, Urdu and English.

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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020 with voice vote, allowing Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the existing Urdu and English, to be official languages in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking on the Bill, Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said that it was a demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the languages they speak should be official languages of the UT.

Since 53.26 per cent of people in Jammu and Kashmir speak Kashmiri, there was a need to include it as the official language of the state, he said.

The minister added that people in Jammu and Kashmir speak as well as write Kashmiri, so there is no problem in including it as an official language.

As per the Bill, Kashmiri will be the official language along with four other languages — Dogri, Hindi, Urdu and English.

Reddy said that 26.64 per cent of the people in the UT speak Dogri, while Urdu, which is currently an official language, is spoken only by 0.16 per cent the population.

The minister said while the government is not against any regional language, the Bill gives importance to those 70 per cent people who speak Kashmiri and Dogri in the UT.

For the last 70 years, Urdu has been the official language of Jammu and Kashmir, he said, adding that 2.36 per cent of the population in the UT speaks Hindi.

Opposing the Bill, Hasnain Masoodi of National Conference said the Central government did not have the legislative competence to frame a Bill in this regard.

He said it is not a fact that only 0.16 per cent of the population in J&K speaks Urdu which is a link language between the Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley.

Masoodi asked that if only 0.16 per cent people in the UT speak Urdu, why would the government include it as an official language. No other state has five official languages, he added.

Participating in the discussion, Union minister Jitendra Singh said that he was surprised as the National Conference is opposing the inclusion of Kashmiri as an official language because his party ruled in the region for almost 60 years on the name of “Kashmiriat”.

“You have exposed yourself in front of Kashmiris by going against the language,” he said.

The Bill was later passed by a voice vote with Masoodi as the only Opposition member who objected to the draft legislation.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah later said in a tweet that it was a momentous day for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “With this historic Bill…Long-awaited dream of the people of J&K comes true! Kahmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Hindi and English will now be the official languages of J&K.”

Under the Bill, Shah said that special efforts will be made for the development of major regional languages like Gojri, Pahari and Punjabi.

Along with this, the Bill will also strengthen the existing institutional structure for the promotion and development of regional languages.

Lauding the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his commitment towards restoring the culture of Jammu and Kashmir through this Bill, Shah said that he wants to assure his sisters and brothers in Jammu and Kashmir that the Modi government will leave no stone unturned to bring back the glory of the erstwhile state.

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