The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Damodardas Modi was overwhelmed as he greeted the Assam Government for starting the ‘Gunotsav’, a programme to improve quality of school education in the state. Gunotsav is a quality improvement programme where external evaluators are deputed to the schools for conducting external evaluation of students. Modi added that he is sure this effort will improve education standards across the state; this programme is a great initiative to gauge the quality of learning. Teachers and students will greatly benefit from this.
Health services in Meghalaya have always been in the eye of the storm; the disparities between the haves and the haves-not were so evident, as the health services were so expensive, private treatments were not at all affordable for the rural folks and the working classes of the state while the affluent section preferred treatment outside the state, and even abroad. The launch of the Megha Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS ) was like a boon to the economically weaker sections of the society, but due to the high cost of medication, under the last two phases it was found difficult to renew the services from the stakeholders.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama suggested to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to implement the secular ethics of education, which the exiled Tibetan government in Dharmasala has been drafting with advice from some US universities and scholars. He stressed that it is the need of the hour to change the world for a peaceful and happier one by changing the human mindset.
The Tibetan spiritual leader was in Assam’s - ITA centre for performing arts as part of his visit to the ongoing Namami Brahmaputra festival.
As the direction of the winds changes, indicating that spring season is indeed setting in, Meghalaya is now experiencing dry and windy climate and the burning of forest is still in practice which will create havoc for the Fire Services Department of Meghalaya Police. Although Fire Service week is observed from April 14 to 20 of every year, yet the masses are yet to be sensitized on fire safety.
March 2012, Meghalaya Home Department approved the Meghalaya Fire and Emergency Service Act 2012. Meghalaya Fire and Emergency Service are headed by a Director, who will be an IPS officer or above the rank of Inspector General of Police. Since then, inspection at various governments’ building and educational institutions along with hospitals and financial institutions has been conducted. However, till now nothing constructive could take shape, particularly after the recent fire that broke out in a Petrol Pump at Nongrim, and prior to that a building, housing shops near Dhankheti was totally gutted, only exposed that none of the stakeholders have taken Fire Safety seriously.
Meghalaya Chief Minister, Dr Mukul M Sangma government might have made all efforts, by the merger of the Plan and Non-plan expenditure to rationalise its budgetary allocations with a focus on development expenditure and synchronise the budgetary framework with that of the Union Government. Yet he have to present the Budget of 2017-18 with fiscal deficit of Rs 1236 crore which is around 3.8 per cent of the GSDP, while at ground zero, most of the department even during the Financial Year Ending still says that they do not have budget to made payment.
This year, the collection of the revenue is said to be poor, in view of the National Green Tribunal banned on Red-hole coal mining in the state, the state government had last year acknowledged that Meghalaya is facing a huge revenue shortfall due to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban on coal mining in the state. The ban had reduced state’s own revenue by around Rs 600 crore last year; hence the government is forced to recover the same by curtailing the Non-Plan expenses to meet the shortfall. Above that with the Change of Guard in New Delhi, the Congress ruled states are the first to feel the heat. Meghalaya, which has been pampered in the past by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, is now forced to generate its own revenue.
- More than renewable energy, government should remove inadequacy and worthless organs of MeECL
- High time Educators should be encouraged for quality publication and research
- Education is not affordable for the economically weaker sections in Meghalaya
- Random development in Shillong endangering public lives