After amending Article 226 (2) of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations, authorities have ordered a fresh review of its employees’ performance for retirement after 22 years of service or 48 years of age. In November, the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) prematurely retired an orderly named Fayaz Ahmad Siraj after completing 27 years of service on October 14, 2020, making him the first employee to retire under the new law. Alongside the amendment, the Jammu and Kashmir Finance Department had asked the administrative secretaries for carrying out a review of the respective employees’ performance for implementation of the new rule.
However, a fresh circular issued by J&K Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Mehta said that the respective departments have not initiated any such review so far. The CS asked the administrative secretaries to initiate a review of the employees ‘ performance to be placed by the respective review committee for further recommendation to the General Administration Department, which shall place the cases before the competent authority.
The Migrant Rehabilitation
Jammu and Kashmir government last week released Rs 3 crore under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for the construction of transit accommodation in district Shopian at Allowpora Phase-I for Kashmiri Pandits. The total approved cost of the project is Rs 23.04 crore. Director Finance, Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (DDMRRR) would transfer these funds to the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu through BEAMS (Budget, Estimation, Allocation and Monitoring System) portal. In November 2020, the General Administration Department had issued an order sanctioning administrative approval to the construction of transit accommodation for Kashmiri migrant employees, recruited under PMDP, at six Kashmir locations at a cost of Rs 201.60 crore. The locations identified were Marhama-Bijbehara in Anantnag, Wandhama-Lar in Ganderbal, Fatehpur in Baramulla, Allowpora-Keegam in Shopian, Odina- Sumbal in Bandipora and Khullangam Bagh in Kupwara districts. As per this order, a total of 1680 units would be constructed. Out of them, 480 units would come up at Bandipora, 336 in Baramulla, 288 in Kupwara and 192 each in the other three districts.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated 35 power projects worth Rs 44.14 crore, augmenting the overall electricity capacity in the Jammu division by 367 MVA. The LG also launched several e-Services of the Power Development Department, including the new provision for submitting applications for getting a new electricity connection through online mode. It is pertinent to mention here that the Jammu division has been facing a huge shortage of electricity for the first time during the ongoing summer season. The shortfall has led to protest by locals to which the government is now responding.
The Youth Mission
Jammu and Kashmir government announced 10,000 youths are being trained under a total of 98 programmes and certified courses, coupled with other initiatives of Youth Engagement and empowerment for future job skills in a post-Covid world. These advanced programmes will be conducted in partnership with various corporate houses, universities, and NGOs. Prominent high employability potential sectors which include Banking and Financial Services, Oxy Skills, Fashion and Designing, Cyber Security, Web Designing, Robotics and Artificial intelligence will be covered under the Endeavour to Empower, an initiative of Mission Youth during this fiscal year. Mission Youth also introduced soft skills training for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to professionally equip them with proficient soft skills to meet the challenges of the modern job industry. The Governing Body of Mission Youth has approved a budgetary component of Rs 9 crore for skilling initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir got its first real-time air-quality monitoring station with the inauguration of the first-ever Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS) at JKPCC headquarters Rajbagh, Srinagar. The CAAQMS, which was put on trial run for two months before its inauguration, is highly sophisticated equipment that gives real-time air quality data of a particular area especially the key parameters like PM10, PM 2.5, NOX, SOX, Ozone which determine the air quality of that area. The installation of CAAQMS has been mandated in all the non-attainment cities across India including Jammu and Srinagar. The air quality monitoring network shall be established and later extended to all district headquarters of Jammu and Kashmir in due course of time. Further, two similar stations are going to be established in the Jammu division. The air quality data generated by CAAQMS has been linked with the CPCB portal and the Air Quality Index has been made public enabling any person sitting in any corner of the world to access the Air Quality of Srinagar city.
An additional Block To GMC
Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha formally threw open the newly constructed 100-bedded Emergency Block at Government Medical College, Jammu and a new 50-bedded Government hospital at Gangyal. He said the healthcare infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir has been transformed in the last 11 months. The Rs 11.50 crore facility envisages a new Emergency Block having 64 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and 32 Beds for the Emergency Department of Medicine. It will have a 4800 LPM capacity Oxygen Generation Plant. The Gangyal hospital cost Rs 20 crore.