Uttarakhand Foundation Day 2022: 10 facts about the state
The demand to give Uttarakhand a separate statehood had arisen even before the independence of India. In British rule too, the demand for a separate state was raised after a session at several places. But even after independence, it took many years for Uttarakhand to get the status of a separate state.
Finally, Uttarakhand was formed on the 9th November 2000 as the 27th State of India, when it was carved out of northern Uttar Pradesh. It was earlier known as Uttaranchal, however, in 2007, it was renamed Uttarakhand. This year, it will be 22nd Uttarakhand Foundation Day.
Located at the foothills of the Himalayan mountain ranges, it is largely a hilly State, having international boundaries with China (Tibet) in the north and Nepal in the east.
It is rich in natural resources especially water and forests with many glaciers, rivers, dense forests and snow-clad mountain peaks. Char-dhams, the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples of Badrinath,Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are nestled in the mighty mountains. It’s truly God’s Land (Dev Bhoomi).
10 facts about the state
The natives of the state are generally called Uttarakhandi, or more specifically either Garhwali or Kumaoni by their region of origin. According to the 2011 Census of India, Uttarakhand has a population of 10,086,292, making it the 20th most populous state in India. The majority of the population speak Indo-Aryan languages and other languages, like Gharwali, Kumauni, Punjabi, Nepali whereas the official language is Hindi.
Uttarakhand is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites i.e Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Park. . Both are encircled by the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. These dreamlands shelter rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.
Population density wise Uttarakhand has the highest number of soldiers in the Indian army than any other Indian state. Not only this, Uttarakhand has produced the most number of Army officers in this country since the last 10 years and keeps the position under top 3 every year. As a small Himalayan state, the contribution of Uttarakhand in the Indian army is just mind blowing.
Two of India’s most revered rivers, Ganga and Yamuna, originate from Uttarakhand. While River Ganga originates from Gangotri, Yamuna originates from Yamunotri in the Himalayas.
Politics in Uttarakhand is dominated by the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since the formation of the state these two parties have ruled the state in turns. As of today, Pushkar Singh Dhami of the BJP is the current Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and Leader of the House in the 5th Vidhan Sabha.
The Uttarakhand state is the second fastest growing state in India. Its gross state domestic product (GSDP) (at constant prices) more than doubled from ₹24,786 crore in FY2005 to ₹60,898 crore in FY2012. The real GSDP grew at 13.7% (CAGR) during the FY2005–FY2012 period. Per capita income in Uttarakhand is ₹1,03,000 (FY 2013) which is higher than the national average of ₹74,920 (FY2013).
Uttarakhand has many tourist places such as Mussoorie which is also known as Queen of Hills and Auli, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Uttarkashi, Nainital, Almora, Dhanaulti, Rudraprayag, and many more. These places attract thousands of tourists not only from India but from all over the world.
India’s top two mountaineering institutes are in Uttarakhand. The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi was set up in 1965 and is one of the most famous institutes in the country. The other one is Pandit Nain Singh Surveyor Mountaineering Training Institute in Munsiyari, Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.
Rishikesh in Uttarakhand is the Yoga Capital of the world. There are several famous Yoga and meditation institutes here, which usually remains crowded with followers and yoga practitioners from across the globe.
Tehri Dam, at 260.5 m above sea level, on River Bhagirathi in the TehriGarhwal region of Uttarakhand is the highest dam in India. This is also among the 10 highest dams in the world.
Google’s 1,000 language AI model
Large tech firms are competing to develop and implement AI-based language models. Google is developing a model that can support the 1,000 most spoken languages of the world, the company revealed at its AI event this month. To investigate the potential of such a vast project, Google is also working on an AI language model which can support around 400 languages. The company claimed this model had the “largest language coverage” among existing speech models.
India takes over as Council Chair of Global Partnership on AI (GPAI)
India assumed the Chair of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), an international initiative to support responsible and human-centric development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
This comes close on the heels of India taking over the presidency of G20, a league of world’s largest economies at Bali, Indonesia.
The Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar represented India virtually at the GPAI meeting held in Tokyo for the symbolic takeover from France, which is the outgoing Council Chair.
With National Programme on AI in place and a National Data Governance Framework Policy and one of world’s largest publicly accessible data sets programme in the works, the Minister reiterated India’s commitment to efficient use of AI for catalyzing innovation ecosystem around AI, that can create good, trusted applications for our citizens and the world at large.
The NDGFP aims to ensure equitable access to non-personal data and focus on improving the institutional framework for government data sharing, promoting principles around privacy and security by design, and encouraging the use of anonymization tool.
AI is expected to add USD $967 Bn to Indian economy by 2035 and USD 450–500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, accounting for 10% of the country’s USD 5 trillion GDP target.
First Biodiversity Heritage Site of Tamil Nadu’
The state government of Tamil Nadu recently issued a notification declaring Madurai district’s Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages as the state’s first biodiversity heritage site.
The Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site spans across two villages – Arittapatti village (Melur block) and Meenakshipuram village (Madurai East taluk).
Arittapatti village is known for its ecological and historical significance. It hosts some 250 bird species, including three important raptors (birds of prey) – the Laggar Falcon, the Shaheen Falcon and Bonelli’s Eagle. It also hosts Indian Pangolin, Slender Loris and pythons and others.
The declaration of this site was made under Section 37 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
National Centre of Excellence for Green Port & Shipping
India’s first National Centre of Excellence for Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS) was announced by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
National Centre of Excellence for Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS) is a major initiative of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to provide sustainable solutions for the shipping sector.
Its main purpose is to assist the union ministry in developing and maintaining a policy and regulatory framework for the promotion of green alternative technology in India’s shipping sector.
Its ultimate goal is to ensure the sector’s shift towards carbon neutrality and circular economy (CE).
This centre is in line with the Indian Government’s Mission LiFE movement.
PM KISAN, a game changer DBT Scheme
PM KISAN Scheme is a Central Sector Scheme to supplement financial needs of land holding farmers. Financial benefit of Rs. 6000 per year is transferred into the bank accounts of farmer families through direct benefit transfer. Certain categories of higher economic status are excluded from the scheme.
This ambitious scheme, which was launched on 24th February, 2019 by Hon’ble Prime Minister, is one of the largest DBT Schemes in the world. The scheme has been able to reach out to crores of farmers, with no middlemen involved in between. Maintaining absolute transparency in the process of registration and verification of beneficiaries, Government of India has been able to transfer benefits within minutes of press of a button by Hon’ble Prime Minister during the bulk release events.
The release of benefits for any installment period under PM KISAN has now crossed 10 crore farmers from 3.16 crore for the first instalment period – more than 3 times increase in over 3 years.
PM KISAN through a span of over 3 years has successfully provided assistance of more than Rs. 2 lakh crores to crores of needy farmers. Of this amount, more than Rs 1.6 crores has been transferred since the lockdown due to Covid Pandemic.
PM KISAN is an evolving scheme. The scheme was initiated with eligibility of the farmers determined on self-certification by each farmer. Improvements have been made overtime in the way farmers are registered and verified by the States.
Centre launches framework for safeguarding and protecting consumer interest from fake and deceptive reviews in e-commerce
The Department of Consumer Affairs launched the framework for safeguarding and protecting consumer interest from fake and deceptive reviews in e-commerce.
The standard will initially be voluntary for compliance by all e-commerce platform. BIS will also develop a Conformity Assessment Scheme for the standard to assess compliance.
The guiding principles of the standard are integrity, accuracy, privacy, security, transparency, accessibility and responsiveness. The standard prescribes specific responsibilities for the review author and the review administrator. For review author, these include confirming acceptance of terms and conditions, providing contact information and for review administrator, these include safeguarding personal information and training of staff.