Update on India’s States: September 27, 2017

Big News

Assam imposes a two-child policy on government employees; Manipur cracks down on Rohingya refugees; Meghalaya issues its first UDAY loan; Delhi Metro tests driverless trains; Maharashtra signs on for port modernization; and more.

Center-State relations

Nothing critical to report this week.

Pfizer executives meeting with Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu proposed to organize an inoculation campaign against pneumonia in partnership with the state government and UNICEF. Pneumonia is the number one cause of infant mortality in the state. Minister Naidu approved the proposal. Source: The Hindu


Nothing critical to report this week.


Delhi Metro started full trials of its new driverless trains along a 12-mile stretch of the upcoming Pink Line, a major step towards eventual commissioning of the corridor. The trials will test the automation systems on the new trains, which will allow them to run more frequently. Source: Economic Times


A reverse auction of 500 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity by the Gujarat government discovered a low bid of 4 cents per kilowatt hour (kwH). This was the first solar auction held since May’s record-setting auction for Rajasthan’s Bhadla Solar Park, which saw a record-low tariff of 3 cents per kwH. Gujarat is less favorable for solar power than Rajasthan, and solar producers will have to obtain land for the plants. Source: Economic Times


The Haryana government has approved amendments to the Haryana Building Code aimed at increasing the ease of doing business. The state building authority will now conduct single joint inspections that bring together a team of officials, including those from other departments, instead of multiple inspections by different regulators. Source: Daily Pioneer

 
Nothing critical to report this week.


Nothing critical to report this week.


Maharashtra approved the implementation of the center’s Sagarmala port modernization project, with 50 percent cost sharing by the state. The state government will send proposals worth $58 million to the center. Source: Economic Times

The state cabinet approved the planning department’s proposal to adopt the Malaysian government’s Big Fast Result (BFR) model for initiatives in the areas of school education and sports, public health, water supply, and sanitation. Central think tank Niti Ayog has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Malaysia to implement the BFR method in India. Source: Free Press Journal


Nothing critical to report this week.


Nothing critical to report this week.


The Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion (CDFI), New Delhi and Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad have signed an MOU to roll out a digital inclusion pilot called Benefit Entitlement Tracking Solution (BETS) at 45 local maternal and child health centers in Mahbubnagar district. BETS will introduce digital records to ensure that those entitled to benefits receive them while reducing administrative load. Source: Financial Express

Minister for IT & Municipal Administration K T Rama Rao announced an IT hub with an initial investment of $3.8 million in Nizamabad, part of the state’s efforts to take IT development to tier-2 cities. The hub will have incubators as well as IT-focused businesses. Source: Hindu Business Line


Azure Power has commissioned the final phase of its 50 MW solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh. Azure Power will provide power for 25 years at a tariff of 7 cents per kWh to the National Thermal Power Corporation. Source: Economic Times


The Asian Development Bank approved a $300 million loan to help West Bengal carry out fiscal reforms. The loans will help pay for processes that will improve the state’s ability to collect, track, and spend public revenues. West Bengal received a $400 million loan for the same purpose in 2012. Source: News 18

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the formation of an eight-member council in an attempt to end the deadlock in Darjeeling, where an indefinite strike demanding a separate Gorkha state is now approaching 100 days. The move vests administrative power with moderate Gorkha leaders. At least one purported member, however, immediately announced that he would not join the council. Source: Livemint

Best of the Rest

Assam

The Assam assembly passed a new population policy that bars residents with more than two children from holding local government or civil service jobs. Assam’s population grew 17 percent between the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Source: Times of India

Manipur

The Manipur government has been using tough measures to prevent Rohingya refugees from entering India via the Manipur-Myanmar border. State police are conducting house-to-house searches in border settlements and have already deported over 100 persons lacking papers from one area of the border. The state government is also building permanent police stations on the Assam border. Source: Eastern Mirror Nagaland

Meghalaya

Six months after joining the center’s bailout scheme for debt-laden state distribution companies, the Meghalaya cabinet agreed to float a $123 million bond on behalf of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation (MEC). The bond will allow MEC to pay back current loans that have a high rate of interest. Source: North East Today

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