In the government’s first outreach to Jammu and Kashmir’s political leadership in almost two years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a crucial meeting with 14 leaders, including four former chief ministers, to chalk out the future course of action in the union territory.
The prime minister, accompanied by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, received the leaders from eight parties, including the National Conference, the PDP, the BJP and the Congress, at his residence.
This is the first interaction between the Central leadership and the mainstream parties since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla were among those who attended the meeting. The four former chief ministers of the erstwhile state who participated in the discussions were Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.
Four former deputy chief ministers were in attendance too – Congress’ Tara Chand, People”s Conference leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig and BJP”s Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta.
CPI-M leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) chief Altaf Bukhari, Sajjad Lone of the People”s Conference, J-K Congress head G A Mir, BJP”s Ravinder Raina and Panthers Party leader Bhim Singh also formed part of the delegation.
“I will keep my agenda in the meeting and then talk to you,” Farooq Abdullah said before the meeting started.
Asked about PDP chief Mehbooba”s comments that India should initiate dialogue with Pakistan, the NC leader said, “Mehbooba ji is the president of her party. She has the right to speak. I have my own. I don”t want to bring in Pakistan. I am going to talk to our own prime minister.”
“If India can talk to the Taliban in Doha (Qatar), why not Pakistan,” Mehbooba had said earlier.
With no agenda announced for the meeting, the leaders from Jammu and Kashmir said they have come with an open mind.
“We have not been given an agenda. We will be attending the meeting to know what the Centre is offering,” said Tarigami, who is also spokesperson of the six-party People”s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) that was formed in the aftermath of the August 2019 decisions. Officials said the Centre is keen on holding assembly elections in the union territory as early as possible, maybe in December this year or March 2022 after the Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (retd) Ranjana Desai completes its task of redrawing constituencies in the next few months. The Commission was granted one year”s extension in March this year.
BJP”s Jammu and Kashmir unit president Raina said Thursday’s interaction convened by the prime minister is in accordance with the wishes of heads of various political parties who have been seeking time from him for a long time.
The meeting seems to be the result of the back-channel talks held with all the parties from the union territory to chart out a roadmap.
The Union Home Minister, while tabling the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 in Parliament, had given an assurance that the Centre would grant full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir at an appropriate time.
Today’s dialogue comes seven months after the District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The PAGD had surged ahead of the BJP and its allies, including the JKAP, by bagging 110 seats out of 280 with the National Conference emerging stronger with 67 seats within the alliance. The BJP was the single largest party with 75 seats.
Jammu and Kashmir’s political mainstream, especially those with a strong base in the Valley, has been critical of successive administrations of the union territory for allegedly neglecting the demands of the people. It has raised questions on development initiatives since August 2019.
Several leaders, including the Abdullahs and Mehbooba, were detained after the August 2019 decisions.
J&K figures amongst top states/ UTs with highest no. of ACs generated in last 6 months
As per the data released by National Health Authority (NHA) Government of India, the Jammu and Kashmir UT figures amongst the top 5 states/UTs with highest number of Ayushman Cards to have been generated in the last six months.
As per the data, J&K generated 19 Lakh Ayushman Cards in the last six months and proportional to the total beneficiary base J&K is the best performing state/UT vis-à-vis Ayushman Card generation in the last six months.
The AB PM-JAY SEHAT was launched by the Prime Minister on 26th December, 2020. Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) SEHAT in convergence with AB PM-JAY aims to provide Universal Health Insurance Coverage of Rs.5.00 lakh per family on a floater basis.
AB PM-JAY SEHAT has the same benefits as available under AB-PMJAY and this scheme covers all residents of Jammu and Kashmir including employees/pensioners of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and their families.
Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) SEHAT in convergence with PM-JAY provides cashless access to health care services for the beneficiary at the point of service, that is, the hospital. It envisions helping mitigate catastrophic expenditure on medical treatment to all the residents of Jammu & Kashmir and covers up to 3 days of pre-hospitalization and 15 days post-hospitalization expenses such as diagnostics and medicines.
There is no restriction on the family size, age or gender; all pre–existing conditions are covered from day one. Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country i.e. a beneficiary can visit any of the more than 24000 empanelled public or private hospitals (including 226 hospitals empanelled within Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir) under AB PM-JAY in India to avail cashless treatment.
The scheme has been accorded top priority by Lieutenant Governor, who is monitoring the implementation of the scheme closely.
Chief Executive Officer, State Health Agency J&K, Dr. Sagar Doifode informed that the State Health Agency, besides other initiatives, has started a unique initiative, ‘Gaon Gaon Ayushman’ which is aimed to provide Ayushman Bharat Cards to entire population within shortest period of time.
To ensure all eligible beneficiaries are registered under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY-SEHAT scheme, camps are being set-up for on spot registration of beneficiaries by CSCs where VLEs are stationed for ensuring 100 percent registration and mobilization at grass roots level is being done by PRIs involving door to door campaign by ASHA’s. The drive is being conducted in coordination with PRI representatives of respective areas.
This being the most prestigious scheme is being monitored by Additional Chief Secretary Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, on a daily basis.
UGC extends deadline for NET qualified candidates to complete Master’s Degree, details here
University Grant Commission (UGC) has extended the deadline for NET and JRF qualified candidates to complete their Master’s program. UGC has decided to give extension to candidates who qualified December 2018 or June 2019 UGC NET examination, or those who cleared JRF under the UGC scheme but could not complete their Master’s program, as per Times Now report.
For candidates who qualified December 18 UGC NET and Joint CSIR UGC Test, the date has been extended to June 30, 2022. While for June 2019 UGC NET and Joint CSIR UGC Test qualified candidates, the last date to complete Master’s program has been extended to December 31, 2022.
The official notification read, “In the interest of the affected candidates, UGC has taken a decision to extend the last date for completing the Master’s degree or equivalent course with requisite percentage of marks as per the eligibility conditions of NET till June 30, 2022 for December 2018 UGC-NET / Joint CSIR-UGC Test and December 31, 2022 for June 2019 UGC-NET / Joint CSIR-UGC Test.”
Candidates who are pursuing their Master’s degree or any other equivalent course are allowed to sit for UGC NET 2021 as well as those candidates who have already appeared for the Master’s Examination and are awaiting their results, can also appear for the exam.
The extension will also be applicable for those candidates who have qualified for the post of Assistant Professor, or Lectureship and have not been able to complete their Master’s program due to the COVID-19 pandemic and any other unavoidable circumstances.
Meanwhile, UGC is yet to declare the schedule for UGC NET 2021 examination. The candidates should keep a tab on the official website of UGC at ugcnet.nta.nic.in for more details.
ATM charges, Salary, pension, EMI payment rules to change from August 1
Tomorrow is August 1 and there will be certain changes in the banking transactions from next month. These modifications include that your salary will be credited on Sundays and gazetted holidays. The apex bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently announced that the National Automated Clearing House (NACH) will remain functional all days of the week from August 1, 2021.
Operated by the National Payments Corporation of India, NACH helps in facilitating credit transfers such as payment of dividends, interest, salary and pension. It also facilitates the collection of payments pertaining to electricity, gas, telephone, instalments towards loans, investments in mutual funds and insurance premium.
Currently, this facility of crediting salary is operational on working days of banks and therefore, the auto-debits are not allowed on bank holidays, gazetted holidays and even Sundays. “In order to further enhance customer convenience, and to leverage the 24×7 availability of real-time gross settlement (RTGS), NACH which is currently available on bank working days, is proposed to be made available on all days of the week effective from August 1, 2021,” RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had said.
This is aimed at reducing the duration of salary processing which includes salary credits, bill payments, insurance premiums and loan EMIs. Earlier, it was delayed due to bank holidays and this auto-transfer facility has helped the transfer of government subsidies during the present COVID-19 in a timely and transparent manner, RBI said.
Recently, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had announced several key financial, economic measures amid the pandemic. Among other measures, he had announced 24×7 availability of RTGS and NACH from August 1, 2021.
- COVID19: J&K reports 118 new positive cases, 315908 recovered so far July 31, 2021
- J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha chairs high-level meeting July 31, 2021
- Education Department’s warning, online classes to be conducted on scheduled timings July 31, 2021
- J&K figures amongst top states/ UTs with highest no. of ACs generated in last 6 months July 31, 2021
- Centre releases 15 pc amount under Covid emergency response package to states July 31, 2021
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