Jharkhand will organise a Global Investment Summit in February 2017 to invite investors in the state. For this 45 ambassadors of foreign embassies have been contacted to draw investment. There is an overwhelming response, said Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das in an exclusive interaction with Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN)
How would you describe Jharkhand as a fast growing State and what makes it a perfect destination for investment?
Jharkhand is a land of unlimited opportunities and one of the richest states in the country. There is a huge opportunity for investment in all sectors including education, health, IT & Industries, agriculture, food processing, tourism etc. Our government has simplified all our acts and policies, and created an investorsfriendly environment in last one-and-a-half year tenure. Our economy is fast growing and offering new vistas of opportunities. Therefore, we are inviting national and international companies in our State to work in an exceptionally congenial business climate.
So far, we have drafted around 10 new policies to respond to investors concerns in the last one year. For IT and Startup Policy, the efforts are on and recently an advisory board meeting was held in Mumbai. The policy will be ready over a period of one month. Our emphasis has been on creating policies, which keeps benefits of investors at the top priority.
Information Technology is a game changer and it can bridge the gap between the government and citizens. IT implementation is one of the key focus areas for the government and we are trying to cover each department. Under Right to Service Act, 154 government services are being offered online to the citizens. The Act ensures strict timelines and follow-ups.
What are the top priorities of the Jharkhand Government?
Our top priority has been Gaon, Gareeb and Kisan (villages, poor and farmers). We believe that economy of our State will grow only when we will be able to ensure basic amenities such as education, health, water, and roads for people of the State. We are making sincere efforts to ensure aforementioned facilities are available at every nook and corner of the State.
We want to digitally literate at least one member of each family in the State. Therefore our government has rolled out e-Sakshar scheme. We are also planning to adopt e-Learning in the State, as there is shortage of teachers in primary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities in remote areas. It will help students from far-flung areas connect with the professors of all subjects worldwide through internet.
Align with the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we are implementing the schemes like Digital India, Smart City Mission, Standup India, Startup India, Make in India, Swachh Bharat Mission etc. in our State.
The State Government has set aside fund of `25 crore for Startup India scheme to promote entrepreneurship and encourage young talent to establish their Startups with the support of Government so that they can develop their own software in home state and run business.
Elaborate on the status of School and Higher Education in Jharkhand and how does your government seek to enhance the quality of education?
The use of latest technology has made education easier. In this techno-savvy era, the role of teachers has metamorphosed from guide to facilitator. Now the time has come to change the We are trying to reduce the student-teacher ratio in primary and secondary education from 53:1 to 30:1. We are also establishing more Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) schools to reduce girl dropout. The Government has opened 57 Jharkhand Balika Awasiya Vidyalayas in remote blocks keeping in mind the Quality Education in low literacy and tribal dominated blocks.
For imparting quality education, the State Government has given the responsibility of running 89 government schools to DAV group and 29 tribal schools under Welfare Department to Shishu Vidya Mandir.
Information Technology is a game changer and it can bridge the gap between the government and citizens. IT implementation is one of the key focus areas for the government
The Government is making all out efforts to improve Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education track. It is currently 13.1 against the national average 23. The Government has set the target of 32 to achieve by 2022. The GER is low because there are very less number of educational institutes in the State. The population of 18-23 age-group people is approx 37.9 lakh which is expected to touch 42.6 lakh by 2022. We have total 13 Universities – 7 Private, and 6 State, and total institutions/colleges 442. Additional colleges will be required to meet the State’s GER vision and meet national density of 26 colleges per lakh population 692.
Presently, we have 16 Engineering Colleges and 32 Polytechnic Institutes in the State. Additional 26 Engineering Colleges need to be opened to achieve national density of 1 per 7.7 lakh. Meanwhile, additional 80 Polytechnics Institutes will be required to achieve national density of 1 per 3 lakh.
We are opening new private universities as per the notified guidelines. Recently, three private universities – Amity, AISECT and Pragyan have been given clearances to set up their institutions. We have also initiated enabling Wi-Fi campuses for college/institutions to promote ICTbased education. In the era of global economy and education & technology, the world scenario is changing rapidly. Now students can connect worldwide with any university of repute through internet. Private universities have played a pivotal role in this metamorphosis which resulted quality enhancement of vocational education.
We are inviting private partners to establish Vocational Centres within school premises for robust ICT intervention in curriculum delivery, content design, smart classes for wider audience reach. We are also setting up Language Labs for building effective communication skills amongst students.
What has been done for the Skill Development by the Government and how will it contribute to the growth of State’s economy?
Skill Development is another focus of the Jharkhand Government and Government of India. This is for the first time after independence that a Prime Minister showed his concern about providing employment to the unemployed youth of ‘under-rated’ State.
Over the years, the degree holders have increased but they could not get right set of skills to get employment in the cut-throat competition age. The Government of Jharkhand has decided to impart skills and train around 20 lakh youth over a period of five years in the sectors like Agriculture & Animal Husbandry, Industry and MSME, Health, Paramedics, Infrastructure, Road and Transport, Tourism, Power and Utilities, Water and Environment and Banking and Financial services. Skilling will create a robust ecosystem which will nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship and enhance employability of learners.
We are in the process of setting up of 50 Mega Skill Development Centres. We are inviting private players for partnership to build Skill Development Centres in existing academic institutions (Higher, Technical and ITI institutions).
Besides, we have taken significant steps for Skill Development and announced in the recent budget that skill education will be incorporated in the syllabus of class 9th and 10th. Our objective is to skill the students at a tender age so that they do not face hardship in getting jobs after their professional studies. It will orient them for sell-employment and they can apply for loan under MUDRA scheme of Government to set up their establishment.
Industry – Academia tie-up Recently, the State Government has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CISCO and Oracle as a step towards industry academia tie-up and course integration in Jharkhand. We have signed MoUs with premier institutes and global companies to impart skills to youth and for expansion of IT sector.
The State Government has also received proposals from Siemens, PTC and Samsung to setup Centre of Excellence (COEs) in the State. Siemens is planning to invest Rs 1,200 crore in all technical institutes and want to establish 3 COEs. The Government has to pay just 15 per cent for improving quality in Technical Education. Similarly, PTC has proposed to invest `120 crore in Skill Development and Technical Education, which will require 15 per cent state contribution.
The government is committed to provide supportive ambiance for investment in the state.
How do you plan to ensure development in Maoist-affected region of the State?
Around the Maoist-affected region, we have heightened the security and are ensuring development works to create awareness among the people. We have also improved our Surrender Policy and urged the naxalites to join mainstream. As a result, hundreds of naxalites surrendered and availed benefits of the government policy. Our Government is educating the people living in such areas and carrying out development works.
Our top priority has been Gaon, Gareeb and Kisan (villages, poor and farmers). We believe that economy of our State will grow only when we will be able to ensure basic amenities for people of the State
How do you perceive the Good and Service Tax (GST)?
Better late than never, the Good and Service Tax (GST) Bill has been recently passed by the Rajya Sabha, which was a historic moment since independence. The dream of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee ‘One Tax, One Nation’ has been realised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. It is in favour of the investors as well as citizens of the nation.
The Government of Jharkhand appears preparing for Global Investment Summit 2017. What is the vision and how has been the response so far?
Nearly 40 per cent of the natural resources of the country are found in the state of Jharkhand. Since natural resources are for the welfare of public, the State Government is of the view that the people of not only Jharkhand but also worldwide should be benefitted with the natural resources here. We believe in the fact that ‘World is One Family’. Jharkhand’s resources are not just for the state’s development but also for shared benefits across borders. We have organised Roadshows and Investment Summits in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi and will organise in foreign cities.
Jharkhand is amongst the first states to unveil 24×7 power to all roadmap. We are setting up a Power Plant in Gunda and maximum power will be supplied to Bangladesh.
To eradicate poverty from India and rest of the world, we will have to grow economically. It will only lead to economic development. Keeping that in mind, we will organise a Global Investment Summit in February 2017 in Jharkhand to invite investors. We have also met 45 ambassadors of foreign embassies to attract investment. We are getting overwhelming response out of this campaign.