Himachal Pradesh bags best state award

New Delhi, Dec 20 : Himachal Pradesh was recently adjudged the 'Best State' in the country in Health & Investment sectors in the category of big states.

Union Minister for Rural Development Jai Ram Ramesh presented the Best State Awards to chief minister Virbhadra Singh at the 'State of States conclave 2013' in a function held in here on Friday.

According to latest report released by India Today in its latest edition released on Friday, Himachal Pradesh has outperformed in Health & Investment Sector among big states of the country during last one year under the Congress regime in the State.

The State has registered 30 percent rise in the number of registered doctor in comparison to 10 percent rise in other states of the country. Its female infanticide ratio has come down to 39 per thousand from 47 per thousand during last one year, India Today reported.

According to latest report, Himachal Pradesh has outperformed all the big states on every health indicator.

It has a birth rate of 16.2 against the national average of 21.8.

Mortality rate is 6.7 compared to 7.1 nationally.

Infant mortality rate is around 25 against 44 in the rest of India.

Himachalis are also expected to live longer with life expectancy at birth being 70 years, four more than for the average Indian.

The state has eradicated malaria and brought leprosy cases down to fewer than one per thousand.

It has enhanced the health budget by a huge 24 percent for the year 2013-14 in comparison to the year 2012-2013.

Due to generous allocations of budget in health sector by present Congress regime in the state, it has one health sub-centre for every 2,800 people as against the norm of one for every 3,000 for hill states.

It has at least one primary health centre for every 13,000 people as against the national norm of one of every 20,000.

The government retains most of its doctors through lucrative incentives and shortage of specialists is likely to be filled by giving government doctors fast-track admission to postgraduate courses the report said.

Himachal Pradesh has expended its traditional investments in tourism, floriculture, horticulture, herbal medicine and hydro electronic power to an assortment of hi-tech sectors such as pharmaceuticals, automotive components, cement, FMCG, chemicals, textiles, electronic hardware and information technology.

In the past 12 months alone, the state's gross capital formation has grown 70 percent as against the national average of 29 percent while industrial workforce has increased by about 20 percent compared to less than 10 percent in other big states.

The state has set up 42 industrial areas, 17 industrial estates and is planning to develop new industrial quarters at Khandouri in Kangra and Pandoga in Una and Dhobata in Solan District It has also formed an 8,000 bigha land bank comprising both government and private land for setting up new industries.

The state is targeting an annual growth rate of 15 percent with concomitant 9 percent growth in GDP.

The manufacturing sector is likely to contribute at least 25 percent of the state GDP by 2022.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh dedicated this award to the people of the state and said that the state has received award in both small and big state categories in various fields since inception of the Award.

He said that state has outperformed in various social & economic sectors & added that the Award has recognized the work done by the state.

Singh said that state govt has provided a school within the radius of 2 kms.

"The enrolement at primary level is nearly 100%. The number of education institutions has increased from 331 in 1948 to 15,292 in 2013."

He told that state government has been able to drastically reduce drop-out rate especially among SC girls students.

"The literacy rate has gone up from 4.8 percent in 1948 to 82.80% in 2011 which is much higher than the national average of 74.04%," he added.

He said, "The Female Literacy Rate has gone up from 2% to 75.93%."

Singh added that the state government made girls education totally free at all levels way back in 1995.

The school children up to 12 class are provided free travel in state road transport buses.

Singh said, "In 1948 the number of total health institutions was 88. Today the state has 3841 health institutions. 80% of the health needs are met by the public sector and the sex ratio has gone up from 915 to 972."

He said, "The state achieved 100% electrification way back in 1988. All 20,690 villages and 14.83 lakh households have been provided uninterrupted quality power."

He said that total road length in the state has gone up 34,647 Km as against only 288 km in 1948.

He further noted, "Safe drinking water facility have been provided to all the census villages in the state."

Singh added that 9 percent plan outlay has been earmarked under tribal sub plan which is much higher than their 5.71 percent population share to develop these areas at par with other developed areas of the state.

He said that the state government has launched Skill Development Scheme, 2013 under which all eligible unemployed registered under the scheme are given an allowance of Rs. 1000 per month and those having disability of 50% or more are given Rs.1500 per month to enhance their chance of employability in various sectors.

He informed that the total ban on felling of green tree was imposed in 1986 in the state which has saved forest wealth of about Rs. 1.5 lakh crore and demanded that state should be compensated for saving precious environment of the country.

--IBNS (Posted on 20-12-2013)

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