News in The Hindu
‘Fear of Muslims over Telangana is a creation of YSR’
Telugu Desam on Friday said the so-called fear of the Muslims over separate Telangana was a bogie invented by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy to ward off formation of the State.
At a press conference, Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party leader, K. Yerran Naidu, said Dr. Reddy was creating such myths, to safeguard his post, for barring one party which seem to be under the Chief Minister’s influence, no Muslim group entertained such fears.
In fact it was strange that Dr. Reddy has come up with such an argument, when it was only during Congress rule that communal riots broke out in the State and the victims were minorities. Dr. Reddy was even charged with engineering communal riots by his party senior and a former Congress Chief Minister. “If minorities are under fear it is because of Congress and Dr. Reddy”.
As for TDP’s stand on separate Telangana, it has been already made clear and it was committed to it, Mr. Yerran Naidu said.
On NTP leader T. Devender Goud’s call for boycott of AP Formation Day, he said, Mr. Goud was making such appeals to “remain in circulation”.
25 p.c. beds in network hospitals for Arogyasri
The State government has decided to earmark 25 per cent of beds in each speciality in the network hospitals (private and government) for patients covered under Arogyasri health insurance scheme.
A decision to this effect was taken at a review meeting of the Arogyasri Healthcare Trust chaired by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Friday. The day coincided with the successful completion of one lakh surgeries under the scheme for the benefit of the white card holders.
The meeting also decided to include 77 new treatments (procedures) in the scheme. The new packages are in 14 specialities and approved under the Rajiv Arogyasri phase II.
This will augment treatment under trauma and enlarge the scope of coverage in Ophthalmology and ENT. It will also supplement the procedures in critical areas in general surgery, general medicine, critical care, intensive care in children, OBG, Renal, Neurosurgery and Rheumatology.
Treading on path of progress
State achieves growth rate of 10.6 per cent compared to the national average of 9 per cent in previous fiscal
As Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is poised to become the third Congress Chief Minister to complete the five-year term after Kasu Brahmananda Reddy and Jalagam Vengala Rao, the State is leading over others in terms of all-round growth.
The State achieved a growth rate of 10.6 per cent compared to the national average of 9 per cent during the previous fiscal reflecting the healthy trends followed in economy.
Unlike the previous years when subsidy was treated as a bane and doling out freebies was considered unviable, the government that took over on May 14, 2004, signed the first file on free power to farm sector and waived loans to the tune of Rs. 1,259 crore of farmers.
Then followed a series of measures including allocation of huge budget for Jalayagnam, the government’s flagship programme for irrigating more than one crore acres with an estimated Rs. 1.3 lakh crore.
A major chunk of the Rs. 1.03-crore budget, including the record plan budget in excess of Rs. 40,000 crore, has been allocated to irrigation sector reflecting the government’s priorities.
101 projects cleared
The State secured clearances for 101 projects, including the controversial Polavaram project, a milestone for the government. The controversies surrounding the projects apart, works on 14 out of 74 projects have been completed creating an irrigation potential of 15 lakh acres. The government has set itself a target to complete another 27 projects by March (before elections) to ensure that the works are in line with the promises made in the election manifesto.
One of the major highlights of the five-year tenure of Dr. Reddy has been the optimum management of financial resources. In that, the government has not opted for ways and means all through. It has also not obtained loans from multi-lateral institutions or the Centre.
There have been no major hikes in power and other tariffs during the period showing how subsidies can be provided to all sections with prudent management of resources.
In addition to Rajiv Udyog Sri and Yuva Sakti, the programmes launched for youth empowerment as well as the Jawahar Knowledge Centres established in various universities, the government’s efforts to provide skill development programmes is paying off with number of multinationals taking the trained youth.
Preceding this was the launch of the Pavala Vaddi (three per cent interest a year) on loans obtained by self help groups (this increased from Rs. 752 .9 crore between 1994-2004 to Rs. 8,779.77 crore between 2004-08) and the target this year has been pegged at Rs. 10,000 crore. The scheme has been subsequently extended to other sections, including famers.
The mid-day meal scheme for children of even high schools and Rs. 2 kg rice for white ration card holders and Indira Kranti Padham for developing irrigation facilities in barren lands were only a few among the spree of welfare activities to ensure that all the deserving sections are covered under one or the other scheme..
While this is on the spectrum, the State continues to be on the top in the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act whose budget is estimated to cross Rs. 3,000 crore by the end of the current fiscal year. Introduction of social audit and payment of wages through post office accounts to make sure that only genuine workers were benefited paid off for the government in eliminating a majority of irregularities in the implementation of the scheme.
There is, of course, the Arogyasri programme, the massive health insurance programme covering 1.82 crore families with assured treatment up to Rs. 2 lakh. Flooded with ever-increasing number of patients, the corporate as well as the government hospitals are grappling with their limited resources in tackling the rush, amid complaints that only select few are given the best of the treatment.
This apart, the Indiramma housing scheme, the massive weaker section housing programme, aimed at benefiting almost 80 lakh families, once the third phase is completed, will be yet another milestone in the government’s performance.
Disaster management force soon in State
A State disaster management force, which will swing into action to give immediate response in terms of rescue and relief operations on occurrence of calamities like floods and earthquakes, will be formed in 15 days.
The new force will be created by merging Fire Service and Civil Defence departments. A decision to this effect was taken by the State Disaster Management Authority at its meeting here on Friday presided over by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, its chairman.
The Chief Minister wanted officials to give a final shape to the merger proposal and name the new department suitably. He said district fire service officers would be re-designated as disaster management officers.
Dr. Reddy said Fire Service and Civil Defence departments had a key role to play under one umbrella during disasters.
Among those present were Revenue Minister D. Prasada Rao, chief secretary P. Ramakantha Reddy and Disaster Management Commissioner Dinesh Kumar.
Classical status: four-year effort successful
Evidence collected to show that Telugu enjoyed a literary history of over 2,000 years
YSR thanks Manmohan, Sonia for decision
Parties, literary bodies hail Centre’s decision
The announcement by the Centre according classical status to Telugu climaxes four years of relentless efforts made by the State government, particularly the State Official Languages Commission (SOLC).
Tamil was the first language in the country to secure this status from the Union Ministry of Culture, becoming eligible to an outright grant of Rs. 100 crore for its development.
As Rs. 70 crore of these amounts has already been released, the Tamil Nadu government has taken several measures to develop Tamil, including establishment of separate chairs for the language in different universities.
Taking a cue from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka too made claims for the classical tag to Telugu and Kannada. The two States, however, faced an uphill task because when they made the claim, the Union government enhanced the eligibility period of antiquity of languages from 1,000 to 1,500-2,000 years.
In the case of Telugu, the SOLC worked hard for several months to collect evidence to show that Telugu, indeed, enjoyed a literary history of over 2,000 years.
It delved into records and took photographs of several edicts as historical evidence and submitted the claim before the seven-member “Linguists’ Committee” of the Ministry of Culture.
The committee which has two Telugu experts as members — Bh. Krishnamurthy, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad, and K. V. Subba Rao of Delhi University — first deferred its decision but finally had to yield, going by the list of evidences which included Bhattiprolu, Addanki and Dhannajaya edicts and ancient coins of Kotilingala and Singavaram.
Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy said Telugu was the sweetest and the best among the languages and expressed happiness that it had finally secured what was due to it a day before the State Formation Day. He thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Minister of Culture Ambika Soni for the decision.
A.B.K. Prasad, chairman, SOLC, who rushed to the Chief Minister soon after the announcement in New Delhi, said Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka too would get a grant of Rs 100 crore each to develop their respective languages.
TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu described the classical status accorded to Telugu as the ultimate victory of Telugu people.
APCC president D. Srinivas hailed the decision, thanking the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson for the gesture.
State CPI (M) secretary B.V. Raghavulu also welcomed the decision.
Political parties and literary organisations, including Lok Satta and Telangana Rachaithala Vedika, also welcomed the Centre’s decision.