Update on India’s States: October 4, 2017

The center approves a major program for modernization of state police forces; Madhya Pradesh switches to direct benefit transfer for pensions; BJP makes a disappointing showing in local elections in Haryana and Rajasthan; and more.

Center–State relations

The Cabinet Committee on Security improved a $3.8 billion police modernization program to be completed by the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year. The program has a special focus on areas affected by insurgency and will provide for computerization of records and upgrading equipment.The center will provide $2.85 billion and the states will fund the balance. Source: Hindustan Times

President Ram Nath Kovind appointed five new governors for the states of Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh. Source: NDTV


Nothing critical to report this week.


Bihar released a report on financing its State Action Plan to combat climate change. The state allocated $10.4 billion in the current budget to government departments affected by climate change, but will need to increase spending by 13 percent to maintain the current level of services. Source: Business Standard


The Delhi government has formulated a new parking policy that raises fees for street parking in commercial areas and introduced parking charges in residential areas. Charges for on-street parking will increase exponentially after the first hour to discourage on-street parking. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal must approve the policy before it comes into effect. Source: Livemint


With state elections due before the end of the year, the Gujarat government announced the creation up of a body to promote the economic development of communities that do not benefit from public sector job and education quotas. The move comes as a result of mass agitation by the Patidar community, which will be a primary focus of the new agency. Source: The Hindu

JSW Energy, a part of the group, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Gujarat government to set up a production facility for electric vehicles, vehicle batteries, and other energy solutions outside Surendranagar. Source: Economic Times


The BJP suffered a setback in low-turnout elections for the Gurugram city council, winning only 13 of 35 seats. Independent candidates won 21 seats, and the Indian National Lok Dal won one.  Congress did not field official candidates. Turnout in the most urban districts was below 40 percent. Source: FirstPost, Hindustan Times

The Haryana government will begin using drones and satellites to identify illegal construction in urban areas. In a pilot project, drones will be used in Karnal and satellites in Gurgaon and Faridabad. Source: Livemint

JBM Group said it has signed an agreement with the Haryana government to build and operate a 5 megawatt (MW) power plant that will treat 550 tons of municipal waste per day. The project will include collection of household waste and transportation to the plant as well as operating  the plant. Source: Money control


The Karnataka cabinet cleared the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and 2017, which makes it illegal to practice a wide variety of superstitious practices deemed exploitative of the state’s lower caste population, such as false medicine, exorcisms, and social bans. Maharashtra passed the Black Magic Prevention and Prohibition of Exploiting Practices Bill in December 2013. Source: Livemint

The cabinet approved a new biotechnology policy for the years 2017-22. The policy uses $4 million in fiscal incentives and subsidies to encourage growth in the capital-intensive sector. Source: The Hindu

Renewable energy developer Siemens Gamesa won a contract to set up a hybrid wind-solar power plant in Karnataka. The project involves incorporating 28.8 MW solar power plant into an existing 50 MW wind farm. Source: Economic Times


Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh reached an agreement on sharing water from the Ken-Betwa river-linking project. The two states have agreed to stick to the formula laid out in the 2005 tripartite MoU between the center and the two state governments. Source: Daily News Analysis

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh launched ‘Single Click Pension Delivery,’ a direct benefit transfer program for pensions that will allow funds to go directly into the beneficiaries’ account. More than 3.5 million pensioners in the state are eligible to participate. Source: Asian age

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and South Korea’s Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee signed an MOU to cooperate on major infrastructure projects in the state, including the planned Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway. Source: Business Standard

Maharashtra launched a new child protection policy that lays out the goals of amending state law to allow prosecution of persons running illegal children’s homes, violating adoption rules, and abusing child entertainers. Source: Indian Express

In a bid to boost eco-tourism, the state government has decided to allow construction of hotels and resorts within the 3-mile perimeter surrounding national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Source: Hindustan Times


The opposition Congress won 13 seats of the 26 up for grabs in the bypolls for village councils. The governing BJP won 12, while an independent candidate won the final seat. Source: Indian Express

Rajasthan’s infant mortality rate declined by two points between 2015 and 2016, to 41 deaths per 1,000 live births. The rate was 49 deaths per 1,000 births in 2012. Source: Hindustan Times In detail: SRS Bulletin

The Tamil Nadu government signed MOUs with four solar power companies, the beginning of a spate of contract signings following a major auction of 1,500 MW of capacity. A total of 16 companies will invest $1.37 billion in the coming year at the rate of $918,710 per MW. Source: Times of India


The center approved 106,000 free houses for Tamil Nadu under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Of these, 94,000 houses will be built in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation area. Source: Times of India

Telangana has become the largest generator of solar energy in India, currently generating 2,792 MW of solar power. Rajasthan is next with 2,219 MW. Source: Scroll.in


Nothing critical to report this week.

Separatist group Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which is demanding a separate Gorkha state, announced it would suspend its ongoing strike in the Darjeeling area after 104 days. The announcement came just after Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the central government would intervene to resolve the crisis. Source: Livemint

Best of the Rest

Himachal Pradesh

The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of $80 million for the modernization of Himachal Pradesh’s technical and vocational education and training institutions. The center will contribute an additional $20 million. The project will align the state’s employment training programs with national norms and upgrade facilities. Source: Hindu Business Line

Odisha

Odisha is creating a 120,000-acre land bank for allocation to the industrial sector. The bank has reached 57,655 acres, of which 8,725 are in government possession. Government-owned plots will be pre-equipped with roads, water and sewer facilities, and planning permissions. Source: Economic Times

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