Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI)
• Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) was launched from Bhilwara on On 22nd February 2021 with an aim of achieving 100% immunization target in the state. The intention of the state government is that no pregnant woman and child below the age of two years is deprived of vaccination.
• Intensified Mission Indradhanush has been launched under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) across 24 districts in Rajasthan.
Green Agriculture Project
• A Green Agriculture Project will be launched to conserve biodiversity and forest landscapes in the Desert National Park area located in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts.
• The work plan for the initial three months of the project was approved in the meeting of the state project steering committee under the chairmanship of chief secretary Niranjan Arya.
Desert Festival 2021 to begin from February 25
• Rajasthan state government has given a nod to the annual Maru desert festival that will be held in Jaisalmer from February 25. The festival will have interesting events like moustache and turban tying competitions as well as musical and cultural performances.
Child Rights Awareness Campaign Launched in State
• In February 2021, state’s child commission launched an awareness campaign under which which the department’s officials will visit districts across Rajasthan to tell people about children’s rights.
• The campaign started from Nagaur and will eventually spread to other districts. The campaign called Aayog Aapke Dwar will talk to children about good and bad touch as well.
Nagaur: To be the 1st All Schools Electrified district of State
• Nagaur is set to become the first district in the state to have power supply in all government schools. Under the special drive ‘Ujaas’ by the district collector’s office, 817 schools have been electrified by mobilising bhamashahs (donors) and gram panchayat offices in the last six months.
• Rajasthan has 69,980 schools, out of which over 11,699 are without power.
e-Auction of Liquor Shops
• The State Excise department is second largest tax revenue earning department of state government. In February 2021, the department has released the Excise & Temperance Policy for the year 2021-22.
• Important points include:
- There is no change in the number of liquor outlets in the state. Currently, there are 7,665 liquor shops in the state including IMFL and country- liquor.
- The liquor shops will be allocated through e-auction instead of lottery.
- Composite liquor stores (where IMFL and country liquor will be sold) will be allotted to the highest bidder.
- A person will not be allotted more than five shops in the state and not more than two shops in a district.
- From April 1, beer will be cheaper as the department has reduced additional excise duty by 10%.
- To reduce the burden on traders, annual license fee has been abolished on IMFL and beer shops in urban areas.
RERC releases Electricity Supply Code Regulations 2021
In February 2021, Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has released Electricity Supply- Code Regulations 2021. As per the new regulations:
• Discoms have to provide connection, replacement of faulty meters and other services in a time- bound manner.
• The faulty meters have to be replaced within 24 hours in city areas while in rural areas it is 72 hours.
• All applications are online and hard copy is not mandatory.
• A single application form will replace multiple forms for various categories.
• Disconnected connections for non-payment had to be restored within six hours on payment of dues.
• The time limit for new connection has been reduced from 30 days to 7 days.
• The voltage demand limit for 11 KV increased from 1,500 KVA to 2,500 KVA while for 33 KV voltage demand limit has been raised from 5,000 KVA to 8,000 KVA which will reduce the cost of the consumer.
• Similarly, the new code has attempted to simplify the procedure for power connection to new colonies, township, group housing, multi storey, farm house and industrial areas.
Covid-19 Vaccination in Rajasthan
• The Covid-19 vaccination drive began across the country on 16th January, 2021. Only the United States and the United Kingdom are currently ahead of India in vaccination.
• Till 8th February 2021, 8% of the country’s vaccination has been done in Rajasthan. It is the 3rd State after Uttar Pradesh & Maharashtra to have vaccinated more than 2 lakh beneficiaries.
Expert team to review GIB breeding
• A special team of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will be visiting Jaisalmer from February 8 to 10 to review the ongoing Great Indian Bustard conservation breeding programme.
• The team will again identify the bird’s habitat area along with to check the possibility to put the electricity wires that are passing from breeding area underground on the guidelines of the government of India.
• A hatchery centre has been made for GIB breeding in DNP in Sam area of Jaisalmer, which has led to increase in population of GIB.
3 schemes launched to give jobs to youths
• In February 2021, Minister of state for skill, employment and entrepreneurship Ashok Chandna launched three schemes to provide skill development training and employment to 1 lakh youths every year. The schemes are:
• Under the Samarth scheme, the entrepreneurship skills of women, people belonging to backward and marginalised classes and specially-abled persons will be enhanced.
• It is a 100% state government funded scheme, which will provide free training facilities to those belonging to 15 to 50 years of age.
• The training programme will be from 2 to 8 hours a day.
• Under the Saksham scheme, the youths and women will get skill development training so that they could prepare themselves to set up their own businesses or become self- employed.
• The age limit under the training programme is 15 to 45 years.
• The training will be provided free of cost.
• The registration fee for the programme is Rs 400 for general men category and Rs 200 for all other categories including women, SC, ST. OBC.
• The Rajvik scheme aims to provide job opportunities to unemployed youths by providing them market-oriented skill training.
• There will be skill training programmes under 328 courses in 36 economic sectors.
• The age limit is 15 to 35 years. The maximum age limit for women and specially-abled persons is 45 years
School health & wellness programme
• The school health & wellness programme was launched in seven districts across Rajasthan on 3rd February 2021. The seven districts includes all the five aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog in the State.
• The program has been launched with an objective to enhance knowledge and encourage positive health behaviours among schoolchildren and adolescents. It aims to provide awareness on mental and physical health of schoolchildren and adolescents.
• Under the program, in each school two teachers will be identified as health and wellness ambassadors and two children will be identified as health and wellness messengers. These teachers will talk to children over 11 points of health every week and make them aware about health.
• A total of 9,642 teachers will be trained from 4,821 schools from February to May, who will be taking regular sessions for students in the schools in seven districts. The programme will also be linked through mainstreaming adolescent health through linkages to Nirogi Rajasthan.
• The programme will be initiated in Baran, Dhaulpur, Jaisalmer, Karauli, Sirohi (Aspirational Districts) and two additional districts – Bundi and Udaipur.
• The programme is being implemented in coordination with health and education departments and with the technical support of United Nations Population Fund.
District-wise ranking in Jaipur Division
• Recently Jaipur divisional commissioner Samit Sharma introduced a district-wise monthly assessment and ranking system based on the performance of 10 key departments.
• The districts falling under Jaipur division are evaluated on 53 different parameters. In this evaluation, Sikar has secured first position followed by Jhunjhunu, Alwar, Jaipur & Dausa in order.
UID for Real Estate Properties
• Property holders across the state will soon get an UID for their real estate, which will be required for carrying land-related work online including name transfer, map approvals and others.
• The urban development and housing (UDH) department has started an exercise to provide unique identification number (UID) to properties falling under development authorities, urban improvement trusts and other local bodies.
Gandhi Darshan Corners
• Gandhi Darshan corners will be set up in higher secondary schools of the state to introduce the new generation to Gandhi’s ideals. Additionally, Gandhi Study Centres that have already been established in the universities of the state will be revived.
Jaipur Literature Festival 2021
• The 10 day the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 (JLF 2021) took place between 19-28 February 2021. The 14th edition of the festival was an Online Event.
Open Theatre in Ajmer
• An open theatre with a capacity of 450 people has been completed under the Ajmer smart city project. The open theatre is situated in Suchna Kendra premises on 1,073 sq metre area and has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1.03 crore. The theatre will provide artists a platform to display their art.
• In February 2021, the joint military exercise between Indian and US – Yudh Abhyas-20 was held at Bikaner’s Mahajan Field Firing Range.
5% quota to disabled persons in Private Jobs
• Rajasthan state’s court for specially-abled persons has directed labour and employment departments to come up with a plan and proposal for providing 5% reservation to persons with disability (PwDs) in private jobs.
• The court has suggested the department to ensure reservation to the PwDs in private factories and small industries at the initial level.
• PwDs, who are beneficiaries of social security pension scheme, have been categorised under below poverty line (BPL) families in the state budget. They will now be getting all the government benefits meant for BPL category including Ayushman Bharat-Swasthya Bima Yojana, PMAY-G, National Food Security Scheme and others.
• There are 5.40 lakh specially-abled persons in Rajasthan who are getting pension under social security scheme.
Unemployment rate increasing in Rajasthan
• CMIE monthly data shows the unemployment rate in Rajasthan has been climbing to new highs in the past five months.
• The unemployment rate hit record high at 28.2% in December, 2020 after touching 24.1% in October.
• In February, 2021, it has again shot up to 25.6%, the second highest in the country after Haryana’s 26.4% against a national average of close to 7%.
Petrol Pump Operated by Jail Inmates
• Jaipur now has first petrol pump operated by jail inmates. This initiative is providing opportunity to prisoners to earn money. The revenue generated through the petrol pump will also be used for infrastructure development of prison.
First Shekhawati test
• The Rajasthan tourism department has decided to introduce Shekhawati festival on its cultural calendar and the maiden fest will take place during 20-22 March 2021.
• In the Budget 2021-22, announced recently, the government has proposed to develop a tourism circuit for the Shekhawati region covering Alsisar, Mandawa, Nawalgarh, Dundlod, Fatehpur, Ramgarh, Jhunjunu, Mahansar, Sikar, Mukudgarh, Khetri, Khandela, Bagar and Pilani.
• The richness of Shekhawati region revels through its havelis, forts and monuments. The region also has religious places like Khatu Shyam ji and wildlife habitats like Jamwa Ramgarh Wildlife Sanctuary and Tal Chhapar Sanctuary add to its diversity.
1 million senior citizens vaccinated
• Rajasthan became the first state in the country to vaccinate over 1 million senior citizens. Out of the 2 million doses that the state has administered, more than half are people over 60 years of age.
Nehru Bal award
• In March 2021, Chief minister Ashok Gehlot gave financial approval and the draft of the guidelines for the ‘Nehru Child Protection Award Scheme-2021\ Now, Nehru Bal award will be given in Rajasthan to encourage the people associated with child rights and in promoting their protection.
• As per the proposal, the annual financial burden of this award scheme, to be operated under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, will be Rs 5.59 lakh, which will be borne by the Juvenile Justice Fund
Second Phase of ‘Aayog Aapke Dwar’ Campaign
• In March 2021, the Rajasthan state child commission has launched its second phase of ‘Aayog Aapke Dwar‘ awareness campaign from Tonk. later, the campaign will be extended to Sawai Madhopur, Sikar, Kota, Ajmer, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and other districts as well.
• The ‘Aayog Aapke Dwar’ campaign is essentially to raise awareness about crimes against children and will investigate the reasons as to why many children are unable to get access to education. The campaign also talks to children about good and bad touch.
State’s 1st Toy Zone
• Launched last year, the sports goods and toys zone at Khushkhera in Bhiwadi has attracted investors’ interest with 22 of the 39 plots available having been sold in the product specific cluster. The industries department showcased the zone in the ‘The India Toy Fair 2021′ to attract investors in the remaining 17 plots.
• Rajasthan already has several clusters in Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Kathputali Nagar – Jaipur where traditional toys and artifacts are made.
• According to a research analysis done by RIICO, size of sports goods and toys sector in terms of value is at around Rs 18,000 crore. About 20% of the country’s toy market is served by domestic manufacturers and the rest is met through imports, mainly from China and Italy. India’s toy industry has a share of 0.51% in world toy market as compared to China’s share of more than 45%.
Persons in News:
Justice Pratap Krishna Lohra
• Rajasthan governor Kalraj Mishra appointed former judge of Rajasthan high court Justice Pratap Krishna Lohra to the post of Lokayukta.
• The post of the Rajasthan’s Lokayukta was lying vacant after the term of Justice (retd) S S Kothari ended on March 7, 2019.
• She showed exemplary courage by engaging in a daring fight against armed goons who attacked a public transport bus to free their accomplice, a hardcore criminal, in Dholpur on 3 March 2021.
• Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took the decision of direct appointment offer to post of Sub-Inspector as a step towards promoting women empowerment on the International Women’s Day (8th March).