KL This Week: 100 Days Action Plan to Mark the Second Anniversary of LDF Government
Image: R Prakash
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, as part of the second anniversary of swearing-in, has announced a 100-days action plan. Around 1200 projects worth Rs 15,000 crore would be implemented from February 10 to May 20.
The budget of the state government continues to evoke mixed responses among the political parties and the general public. Even as the opposition parties, the United Democratic Front (UDF) are protesting against the imposition of cess on petrol, diesel and liquor, public opinion remains divided.
The higher education department has announced plans to study the migration of students to foreign countries for higher education and the exploitation by below-par foreign universities. Meanwhile, the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) has put Kerala on top of the list for the Gender Parity Index (GPI) and among the best in gross enrolment ratio (GER).
The department of health and family welfare has announced to increase in the availability of online services for hospital bookings and lab test results. The government has planned to extend such services online to all the hospitals run by the state in the near future.
The Elephant invasion in villages of Palakkad district continues with a herd of elephants damaging crops in Dhoni village. NewsClick brings a round-up of the happenings in Kerala this week.
ACTION PLAN FOR SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE LDF GOVERNMENT
The Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan announced a 100 days action plan to observe the second anniversary of the swearing-in of the LDF government. The action plan will carry out 1,284 projects worth Rs 15,896.03 crore until May 20, the day the second consecutive LDF government was sworn-in in 2021.
The government has announced to fulfil of 900 promises made by the LDF in the election manifesto. The programs included different projects of various departments including the completion of 20,000 houses under the LIFE mission. The implementation of various projects is expected to generate 4,33,644 employment opportunities.
This is the third of the 100 days plan implemented by the LDF government, the previous ones being carried out during June 2021 and during the first anniversary.
MIXED RESPONSE TO BUDGET
The UDF and other opposition parties continue to hold protests against the imposition of Rs 2 cess on petrol, diesel and liquor to generate seed money for social welfare pensions. The activists of UDF and youth congress are waving black flags against the chief minister and the finance minister for the announcement. The UDF MLAs took out a march to the assembly demanding the withdrawal of the cess, while several forms of protests are being held across the state. The assembly proceedings were also disrupted.
The CM and the finance minister have blamed the policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led union government for the financial burden of several state governments, including Kerala.
Meanwhile, several vox-pop by Malayalam media channels have brought up mixed opinions on the budget. Several people were seen blaming the BJP-led union government and credited the LDF government for staying strong in ensuring the welfare pension for 58 lakh households.
The finance minister had ruled out the possibility of rolling back the cess imposed.
MOVES TO PREVENT MIGRATION AND EXPLOITATION OF STUDENTS
The minister for higher education and social welfare, Dr R Bindu announced to constitute a committee to study the reason for students migrating for higher education to other states and countries. The minister was speaking a day ahead of the Professional Students' Summit-2023 held on February 11, 2023.
“The government is concerned about the exploitation by low-quality foreign universities,” the minister said. The department would initiate steps to retain the students within the state.
The recent report of the AISHE for 2020-21 has found that the state is placed first on GPI, with 152 female students for 100 male students.
Several higher education institutions in the state are performing better in accreditation certifications. Thirteen colleges and one university have been accorded A++, the highest awarded by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Also, 85% of government colleges are accredited by the NAAC.
DIGITISATION OF HEALTH SERVICES
The department of health and family welfare has planned to completely digitise the health services in government hospitals and labs. As of now 509 hospitals and labs are providing services through the e-health system. The patients can book outpatient tokens and view their lab results online.
Around 3.04 crore people have registered in the e-health system and 32.4 lahk have obtained permanent unique health identification.
The department has rolled out a mobile app for lifestyle diseases, cancer grid and cancer care for diagnosing and treating the needy.
ELEPHANT MENACE IN PALAKKAD DISTRICT
The residents of Dhoni and surrounding villages are still witnessing elephant invasion, leading to crop damage. The residents of the Perunthuruthikkalam area in Palakkad are still in fear as a herd of elephants is continuously invading the locality and the crops.
The residents alleged that the Rapid Response Team (RRT) did not respond to their distress calls and their efforts to shun the herd back to the wild failed.
Crops including coconut trees, palm trees, areca nut palms and plantains were damaged in Perunthuruthikkalam and Mele Dhoni areas.
Recently, a rogue elephant Palakkad Tusker (PT7) was captured by the forest department, but the area continues to face human-animal conflict.
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