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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Of 15 nominated 3 weeks ago, only 6 have joined U'khand women’s panel

Neha Pant  Dehradun, February 21, 2014
First Published: 15:07 IST(21/2/2014) | Last Updated: 15:53 IST(21/2/2014)

Three weeks after erstwhile chief minister Vijay Bahuguna nominated 15 members to the Uttarakhand State Commission for Women, only six have joined so far, keeping the all-important panel in a state of limbo.

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While two vice-chairpersons from the Garhwal and Kumaon zones and four members have joined the commission, nine members from different districts are yet to join the women's panel.

 Members who have joined the commission so far include Meeta Upadhyay (Almora), Krishna Khatri (Dehradun), Ghazala Jabeen (Haridwar) and Reza Chaudhary (Chamoli).
Prabhawati Gaur (Uttarkashi) and Amita Lohani (Ramnagar) have joined in as vice-chairpersons of Garhwal and Kumaon zones, respectively.

 While some are still waiting to receive their nomination letters in order to join the Commission officially, there are others who are even not aware of their nomination, which explains why some of them have not contacted the women's body till now.

The Bahuguna regime ensured hasty nominations of women Congress workers last month, shortly before the change of guard in Uttarakhand.

However, it appears that it did not provide vital information — like contact numbers of the members — to the commission, which is presently trying hard to connect with the yet-to-join members.
“We have no clue about the members who have not contacted us till now. In fact, we have not been given their contact details so we are now trying to find them ourselves through the network of Congress workers", said Sujata, current member-secretary of the commission.

The Commission is hoping that the nominated members will participate in Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's February 22 rally in Dehradun during which Congress' women workers from all over Uttarakhand are expected to reach the state capital.

However, despite the delay in getting started some of the newly-appointed members cannot wait to address women's issues in their respective areas.
Amidst growing concerns for women security in Uttarakhand, Amita Lohani,
 
vice-chairperson of Kumaon zone, wants to make crime against women 'a chapter of the past' in the state.

"My main aim would be to take steps for eliminating gender-based crime. I would vouch for women being trained in self-defense. Pushing for women education, especially in the far-flung areas of Kumaon, would also be on my priority list," said Lohani, who has been the general secretary of Nainital district's Congress women cell in the
past.


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more from Dehradun

‘Central aid to state rose in past 3 yrs, but growth slow’

The annual assistance from the Centre to the state has increased in last few financial years, according to official statistics, even though the Uttarakhand government has been firing salvos at the central government over it.
 
Two days ago, the state Congress unit demanded `4,000 crore financial assistance from the centre.
According to the central statistics office figures, the Centre released `4883.74 crores for the state in 2011-12. It released `4717.68 crores in 2012-2013. And in 2013-2014, it increased the assistance to `5418.60 crores.

Uttarakhand is one of the 11 Himalayan states which enjoy special category status besides Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
 
These special category states have to make part payment to the centre in lieu of getting funds for centrally-sponsored schemes.
Interestingly, on an average, central assistance has been substantial for the state though it has not helped Uttarakhand in increasing its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which is total monetary value of goods and services produced by a state economy in a given year.
“GSDP depends on various factors like rate of savings and investments and overall business atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean the state does not need help,” said Surender Kumar, media in-charge for CM adding that the state needs more funds.
 
The figures for Uttarakhand GSDP growth at constant (2004-5) price (as on 01-08-2014) was 9.36% in 2011-12. It was 5.61% in 2012-13 and 5.65% in 2013-2014.
 
Sometime back Planning Commission constituted a committee to study development in hill states arising from management of forest land with special focus on creation of infrastructure, livelihood and human development.
 
The report of the committee was discussed in Internal Planning Committee meeting held in February this year.
A Planning Commission note claimed that IPC broadly endorsed the recommendations of the committee. The report has also been forwarded to states for further inputs.

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