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Island territories to be developed not only as tourist hubs but educational hubs also

By Vinod

New Delhi, July 16: The Central government has big plans for Union territories especially island UTs like Lakshyadeep which are generally cut off from the mainland.

Island territories to be developed not only as tourist hubs but educational hubs also

The government wants to develop island territories of India including Lakshyadeep into an educational hub besides making them as tourist hubs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is taking interest and has been part of the review progress of the development of Indian islands.

Sources said that territories like Minicoy, Kadmat and Suheli are being developed with the help of NITI Ayog. Lakshdeep becomes the first state or union territory to completely implement Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP). Promotion of 'Lakshadweep Tuna' as a brand is also being mooted by the Island administration. Cleanliness is another issue that is the primary focus as the territory achieved 100 per target of free from open defecation. All the ration card in the island have been digitalised, 99.3 per cent ration cards have been seeded with Aadhar cards and it provides grant-in-aid to Haj pilgrimage.

Sources from the administration informed One India that the administration has implemented all the schemes that the Central government provided with. The Union government constituted Islands Development Agency on June 1, 2017 and 26 islands have been listed for the holistic development. The PM himself takes review meeting and development of islands. Sources said that developing islands as education hub is an important aspect that the Island Development Authority has to take care of.

There are lots of good thing that the mainland can take a cue from. Sources said that Lakshdeep is an island with 97 per cent Muslim population that observes Yoga Day and madarsa education is imparted to four to 12 year age group children from 7 to 9 in the morning without disturbing their regular school education. The NDA government started a 20-bedded hospital as Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital in Lakshyadeep.

NITI Aayog has been involved in the development of islands ever since it was conceptualized and made a presentation on the elements of holistic development recently, including key infrastructure projects, digital connectivity, green energy, desalination plants, waste management, promotion of fisheries, and tourism-based projects.

The Island Development Agency reviewed the concept development plans and detailed master plans for holistic development of nine islands four in Andaman and Nicobar Islands Smith, Ross, Long, Avis and five in Lakshadweep Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Cheriyam, Suheli will take place. The project being steered by NITI Aayog aims at promoting and implementing development based on sustainable approach to building a thriving maritime economy of the project islands. Union Home minister Rajnath Singh too expressed satisfaction at the progress made since its last meeting held on July 24, 2017, when directions were given to identify and execute infrastructure and connectivity projects together with provisioning of water and electricity.

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