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Chattisgarh Initiatives: GGNP declared as 4th Tiger Reserve; constitution of State Folk Art; amendment in Chhattisgarh Panchayati Raj Act 1993 approved

On 24th November 2019, the Chhattisgarh Government has decided to declare Guru Ghasidas National Park (GGNP) as Tiger Reserve. The Guru Ghasidas National Park is located in the Koriya district in Chhattisgarh and it is the 4th Tiger reserve in the state. The decision was taken by Bhupesh Baghel, the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh in the 11th meeting of Chhattisgarh State Wildlife Board.National Park as tiger reserve

Other Three Tiger reserves in Chhattisgarh:

  • Udanti-Sitanadi Tiger Reserve – Udanti
  • Indravati Tiger Reserves – Dantewada
  • Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary (declared as Tiger Reserve in 2009)

Key Points:

i.The meeting of Chhattisgarh State Wildlife Board also included the drafting of action plans for the conservation of the State wild animal – wild Buffalo, State bird – hill Myna and Vultures and also the discussion of efforts to increase and protect tigers in the state.

ii.Ajay Dubey, a Wildlife activist from Bhopal extended his support to the decision taken by the Chhattisgarh Government. He filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Chhattisgarh High Court in September 2019 claiming the negligence of the State Government in notifying the tiger reserve despite the approval of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2014.

Constitution of State Folk Art Council:

  • The Chhattisgarh Government has decided to constitute the State Folk Art Council to preserve and nurture the traditional art forms and artists. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has directed Chief Secretary RP Mandal to take mandatory steps to set up the council.
  • The State Folk Art Council would work to collect literature folk arts, ensure the registration of all kinds of folk art groups and provide musical instruments and other materials required by them. The council would also organize district and state-level cultural competitions and also provide allowance to artists and will establish training institutes and promote folk art and cultural exchange with other states through modern promotion mediums and by organizing festivals.

Chhattisgarh Panchayati Raj Act 1993 amended to have disabled quota:

  • The Chhattisgarh Government has approved an amendment to the State Panchayati Act 1993 to enable the presence of a person with a disability in all Panchayats across the state without a representative and also the provisional requirement to contest in Panchayat elections has been moved.
  • Apart from above, the state cabinet gave its nod to scrap the mandatory provision of passing Class V for contesting elections for the post of ‘panch’ and Class VII for posts of ‘sarpanch’.

Setting up of two new Universities:
The Cabinet has also approved the setting up of two new Universities in the state, one of the universities is for Horticulture and Forestry and will be named after Mahatma Gandhi and another will be named after former state Congress president late Nand Kumar Patel in Raigarh district.

About Chhattisgarh:
Capital – Rajpur
Governor – Anusuiya Uikey
Chief Minister – Bhupesh Baghel