02 June 2016 Current Affairs: The state government has decided to create more than 500 new panchayats to streamline administration at the grassroots level. A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of the state cabinet presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Proposal for necessary amendment of the Odisha Gram Panchayat Act to facilitate creation of more panchayats was approved.
The panchayats having more than 10,000 population will be bifurcated in line with the poll manifesto of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to create smaller panchayats. The 2014 BJD poll manifesto said all gram panchayats with a population of 1000 or more will be converted into gram panchayats in a phased manner to improve local governance and service delivery.
Reservation of panchayats will now be decided after one term instead of the provision of two terms earlier. Besides, it was decided that no-confidence motion in a panchayat cannot be moved against a sarpanch before two and a half years instead of the existing provision of two years.
The Odisha Gram Panchayat Act will have to be amended to incorporate the changes. Sources said the state government is likely to amend the Act in the ongoing budget session of the assembly.
A proposal to set up a health university also received cabinet nod. All medical colleges of the state will function under the new health university which will have its headquarters in the capital city. Counselling, registration, administration and internal examinations will be managed by the new university.
The Housing and Urban Development department to amend to the Bihar Orissa Places of Pilgrimage Act was approved at the meeting. As per the decision, the Puri Collector will henceforth look after the lodging of ‘Habisyalis' visiting Puri instead of the revenue divisional commissioner (RDC).
Besides, a proposal to recruit established sportspersons in Group-B government jobs and state owned public sector undertakings also got the Cabinet approval. The cabinet also approved a proposal for cash credit of Rs15 crore to the Aska sugar factory.
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