Percentage of roads as state highways in Gujarat more when compared to other states

A pionner in innovation, Gujarat government launched number of schemes to improve infrastrcture in the state highways

Gujarat a leader when it comes to adding big roads, it stands out in the percentage share of Surfaced to total roads in India

World Bank has noted success of Gujarat’s roads, said they score above the international desirable level

Good infrastructure is the key to ensuring development. It was Abraham Lincoln who said that “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” highlighting the importance of good tools. For Gujarat, the leading industrialized state in the country, roads and highways act as instruments of development. Putting together world-class roads and highways has ensured the rapid development of the state.

The total length of roads in Gujarat stands at 104564 km with state highways accounting for 18447 km. The percentage of roads as State Highways in Gujarat (26) is substantially higher than Maharashtra (18), Andhra Pradesh (13) and Karnataka (8). The road density in the state stands at 146 km per lakh of population higher than the all India average of 126 km per lakh of population.

Gujarat has always been the pioneer in innovation in governance. The government of Gujarat to launched a number of schemes improve the infrastructure in the state. With the overall development of the state in mind, the Government of Gujarat launched Pragatipath Yojana. The goal of the Pragatipath Yojana, launched in 2005, was to ‘connect tribal belts, coastal, industrial and rural areas with mainstream areas and the extremities of the state.’ The Pragatipath Yojana entailed widening and Strengthening of 9 High Speed Corridors connecting ends of the state. Total length of the project was 3710km at a total cost of 2488 crores.

In an agrarian country like India, livelihood of the farmers depends on getting their produce to the markets in time. Keeping this in mind, Kisan Path Yojana was launched by the Government of Gujarat. Under this scheme, 7830km of roads have been taken up for improvement and 3364 villages have benefitted.

Additionally, schemes like Pravasipath, to ensure better connectivity to tourist places, and Vikas Path, ‘to modernize state roads passing through municipalities, urban areas, cities and mega cities’ were launched by the Government of Gujarat. Under Pravasipath, 1100km of roads covering 76 tourist places were upgraded. Under the Vikas Path scheme, 551 km of roads covering 131 municipalities and 4 municipal corporations were identified to be upgraded.

Because of these initiatives, Gujarat is the leader when it comes to adding Urban Roads, according to data from the Ministry of Statistics, Government of India. Between 2003 and 2008, the length of Urban Roads in the state increased from 15645 to 19306. This increase of 3661 km is even more impressive when compared to Maharashtra (450Km), Andhra Pradesh (278 km) and Punjab (where length of Urban Roads was reduced by 68 km).

Gujarat also stands out in the percentage share of Surfaced to total roads in India, indicating that the government focuses on adding good quality roads. Its share of surfaced roads, (90.24) is much higher than Maharashtra (79.73), Punjab (82.98), Andhra Pradesh (54.87), Rajasthan (72.08) and the second highest in India.

The success of Gujarat’s roads has been noticed internationally. A recent report by the World Bank has written abut the excellent road infrastructure in Gujarat. According to the findings of the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank, the IRI, International Roughness Index, for Gujarat is less than 4 meters/km. This index ranged between 6 meters/km – 20 meters/km before 2000. The study says, "The administrative cost in the capital maintenance and maintenance budget was reduced by almost half from 30 per cent at project approval to 15.7 per cent on project completion, the figure for 2011 shows a further decrease to 11.5 per cent, indicating an impressive and continued improvement beyond the project." The "maintenance backlog" in these years went down from 10,000 km when the project began to 1,290 km in 2011.

It may be pointed out that IEG Report has placed the state highways of Gujarat as better than the international desireable level! It lauded the role played by the state roads and building department and said that it undewent the project in an extremely professional manner. It concluded that Gujarat scores above other states in “implementation completion and results”. This success would never have been possible without the far sighted leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, who placeed great emphasis on highways in the deveopment journey of Gujarat.

This is not the first time that the state of Gujarat has received high praise from the World Bank, the Gujarat State Highway Project – 1 (GHSP-1), which was jointly funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, covering a total length of 1840km, was rated highly satisfactory by both ICR and the Independent Evaluation Group. A letter from the World Bank, dated 25th November 2009, stated that ‘the Governance frame work and institutional arrangement in the Gujarat Road Sector were found exemplary.’ Another report in August 2010, Good Governance in Highway Sector: Learning from Gujarat", said, “The exemplary reforms in Gujarat's roads sector should be replicated by other states.”



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Landmark decision taken by Government of India in Medical Education
July 29, 2021
27% reservation for OBCs and 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in All India Quota (AIQ) Scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical / dental courses (MBBS / MD / MS / Diploma / BDS / MDS) from current academic year 2021-22 onwards
Nearly 5,550 students will be benefitted
Government is committed to providing due reservation both to Backward Category and EWS Category

Under the visionary guidance of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken a historic and a landmark decision for providing 27% reservation for OBCs and 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) Scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical / dental courses (MBBS / MD / MS / Diploma / BDS / MDS) from the current academic year 2021-22 onwards.

Hon'ble Prime Minister in a meeting held on 26th July (Monday),2021 had directed the concerned Union Ministries to facilitate an effective solution to this long pending issue.

This decision would benefit every year nearly 1500 OBC students in MBBS and 2500 OBC students in postgraduation and also around 550 EWS students in MBBS and around 1000 EWS students in postgraduation.

The All India Quota (AIQ) Scheme was introduced in 1986 under the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court to provide for domicile-free merit based opportunities to students from any State to aspire to study in a good medical college located in another State. All India Quota consists of 15% of total available UG seats and 50% of total available PG seats in government medical colleges. Initially, there was no reservation in AIQ Scheme up to 2007. In 2007, the Hon’ble Supreme Court introduced reservation of 15% for SCs and 7.5% for STs in the AIQ Scheme. When the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act became effective in 2007 providing for uniform 27% reservation to OBCs, the same was implemented in all the Central Educational Institutions viz. Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Harding Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University etc. However, this was not extended to the AIQ seats of State medical and dental colleges.

The present Government is committed to providingdue reservation both to the backward category as well as the EWS category. The Union Government has now taken a historic decision to provide for 27% reservation for OBCs and 10% reservation for EWS in the AIQ Scheme. The OBC students from across the country shall now be able to take benefit of this reservation in AIQ Scheme to compete for seats in any State. Being a Central Scheme, the Central List of OBCs shall be used for this reservation. Around 1500 OBC students in MBBS and 2500 in postgraduation will be benefitted through this reservation.

In order to provide benefit to students belonging to EWS category in admission to higher educational Institutions, a Constitutional amendment was made in 2019 which enabled the provision of 10% reservation for EWS category. Accordingly, seats in medical / dental colleges were increased over two years in 2019-20 and 2020-21 to accommodate this additional 10% EWS reservation so that the total number of seats available for unreserved category do not reduce. In the AIQ seats, however, this benefit had not been extended so far.

Therefore, alongwith the 27% reservation for OBCs, 10% reservation for EWS is also being extended in AIQ seats for all the undergraduate / postgraduate medical/dental courses from the current academic year 2021-22. This will benefit every year around more than 550 EWS students for MBBS and around 1000 EWS students for PG medical courses.

The above decision is the reflection of the Government’s commitment to provide due reservation for backward and EWS category students.

This decision is also in sync with the significant reforms carried out in the field of medical education since 2014. During the last six years, MBBS Seats in the country have increased by 56% from 54,348 seats in 2014 to 84,649 seats in 2020 and the number of PG seats have increased by 80% from 30,191seats in 2014 to 54,275 seats in 2020.During the same period, 179 new medical colleges have been established and now the country has 558 (Govt: 289, Pvt: 269) medical colleges.