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Bridging Regional Imbalances Can Accelerate Purvanchal Dev

Realizing holistic development in Purvanchal demands united efforts from both government and citizens

Jagdambika Pal, an illustrious Member of Parliament, represents Domariyaganj, Purvanchal, Uttar Pradesh, in the Lok Sabha. Concurrently, he presides as the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Energy. With a career extending over several decades, Pal has indubitably cemented his reputation as a steadfast advocate for his constituents. Furthermore, he is a pivotal political figure in Uttar Pradesh, renowned for his commitment to the development of Purvanchal.

Pal’s political odyssey commenced at the grassroots level upon his induction into the Indian National Congress (INC). His unwavering dedication and exemplary leadership acumen swiftly facilitated his ascent through the party ranks. Among the myriad roles he has occupied, his fleeting tenure as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for a singular day in 1998, consequent to the dismissal of Kalyan Singh’s administration, stands out. This episode also conferred upon him the distinctive appellation of “one-day chief minister.”

Since 2009, Pal has been the vociferous MP for Domariyaganj, championing rural development, education, and healthcare. His indefatigable efforts have precipitated substantial socio-economic advancement within his constituency. Moreover, his profound rapport with the community and his proactive engagement have garnered him widespread veneration and acclaim. Initially representing the INC in the 15th Lok Sabha, Pal tendered his resignation on March 7, 2014, subsequently aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and re-entering the Lok Sabha.

As the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Energy, Pal has been seminal in sculpting India’s energy policies. He is also an ardent proponent of sustainable energy solutions and the paradigm shift towards renewable energy sources. Under his sagacious leadership, the committee has promulgated critical legislation aimed at augmenting energy efficiency, mitigating carbon emissions, and fostering clean energy technologies.

Pal’s vision for a self-reliant and energy-secure India manifests unequivocally in his endeavors. Furthermore, he espouses the harmonious convergence of economic growth with environmental sustainability and has been a conspicuous and vocal participant in parliamentary deliberations on these paramount issues.

In an exclusive discussion with The Interview World, Jagdambika Pal elucidates his vision for the development of the Purvanchal region. He explicates how this developmental trajectory harmonizes with the Prime Minister’s vision for a Viksit Bharat and delineates strategies to ameliorate the indices of education and healthcare in the region. Additionally, he expounds on measures to stem the tide of outmigration in search of employment opportunities and elucidates various skill development initiatives. Herein lie the salient initiatives from his enlightening discourse.

Q: How do you envision the future development of Purvanchal in Uttar Pradesh?

A: We must urgently address the glaring regional imbalance afflicting Purvanchal. Historically, the British period witnessed the suppression of this region, nestled between the Ganga and Gomti rivers, from Lucknow to Patna, known as the Awadh region. Those who dared to resist colonial rule were mercilessly plunged into destitution, culminating in the stark underdevelopment that persists today.

The valiant resistance of Purvanchal’s people in places like Chauri Chaura and Balia incurred the punitive neglect of the East India Company. However, this very region now stands as a crucible of intellect, producing a remarkable cadre of scientists, doctors, and IT professionals. A significant number of Eastern Uttar Pradesh’s luminaries have carved out illustrious careers, with many making their mark in Silicon Valley.

Presently, Purvanchal boasts a formidable array of professors, doctors, bureaucrats, lawyers, and literary stalwarts, all eager to reciprocate the region’s nurturing. Through concerted initiatives and collaborative efforts, they seek to reconnect with their roots and ensure the prosperity of Purvanchal. By engaging with their representatives and associated organizations, they aspire to elevate regional issues to the national discourse, striving for the holistic development of their homeland.

Q: How can the Purvanchal region align with the Prime Minister’s Viksit Bharat mission to accelerate its development?

A: Let’s grasp the essence of Viksit Bharat. In the last decade, India has soared from the 11th spot among fragile economies to claim the mantle of the world’s fifth-largest economy. Now, the Prime Minister aims to vault India to the third-largest economy globally within the next five years.

During this pivotal period, farmers in Purvanchal must thrive with enhanced Minimum Support Prices (MSPs). They should actively align with in Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to harness maximum benefits. Government subsidies on farm inputs must be readily accessible. Additionally, housing for the homeless in this region must be ensured, alongside provision of sanitation facilities in every household. Simultaneously, a concerted effort is needed to bolster rural infrastructure, encompassing roads, electricity, and internet connectivity.

The vision of Viksit Bharat transcends the creation of dichotomous entities, such as the well-developed Delhi-NCR in stark contrast to underprivileged regions bereft of basic amenities. This underscores the urgency to address regional economic disparities, crucial for India’s journey towards becoming a developed nation.

Viksit Bharat strives to mitigate these regional imbalances through targeted investments in these areas. Programs like Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) should span all sectors to catalyze comprehensive nationwide development. They must transcend the regional bias to ensure economic prosperity.

Q: Health and education are crucial pillars of development. What strategies do you propose to enhance these sectors and drive growth in Purvanchal?

A: The Prime Minister has tasked NITI Aayog with pinpointing districts or regions where healthcare, education, and infrastructure indices are notably deficient, designating them as aspirational districts. Progress in this endeavor is already underway. Subsequently, the government is focusing on enhancing education and healthcare services in these identified regions. Several plans to establish new hospitals and universities are in the implementation phase.

Q: What strategic initiatives can be implemented to create sustainable employment opportunities and reduce outmigration from the region?

A: The linchpin of this endeavor is the ‘One District, One Product’ initiative, igniting district-level investor summits. As investments pour into districts, local employment opportunities flourish. Moreover, momentum at state and national levels underscores the ongoing dynamism of this initiative.

Q: Can you share your insights on the importance of skill development?

A: The Prime Minister has embarked on a transformative journey in skill development with the establishment of a dedicated ministry. In every district, skill development departments are delivering ITI and Polytechnic courses to aspiring individuals. Complementing these efforts, the government is also orchestrating job fairs across regions. These events empower skilled professionals to compete for coveted employment opportunities.

Purvanchal - Demanding Holistic Development and Inclusive Growth
Purvanchal – Demanding Holistic Development and Inclusive Growth
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