Uttarakhand Current Affairs: January to July

Uttarakhand becomes first state to implement agricultural land leasing policy


Uttarakhand has become the first state in the country where the government has made a policy to lease agricultural land.

Key Points

  • In lieu of giving land on a 30-year lease, the concerned farmer will get the rent for the land. In the hilly areas of the state, the obstacles of leasing land for farming, agriculture, horticulture, herbs, off-season vegetables, milk production, tea plantation, fruit hybridization and solar energy has been removed with this step.
  • After getting approval from the Raj Bhavan, the state government has issued its notification. Now any institution, company, firm or NGO can take farm land on lease in villages, leasing a maximum of 30 acres of land on lease for 30 years.
  • There is a provision to take more land in special circumstances. If there is government land around farm land, then it can be leased by paying the fee with the permission of the District Magistrate. The state government has made this policy in the wake of difficulties in the consolidation of land.

8th Edition of Kayak Festival organised in Rishikesh


The 8th edition of Ganga Kayaking Festival successfully happened in Devprayag from 17th to 19th Feb. GKF 2020 was presented by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and organized by The Adventure Sports Society. It has seen the participation of over 60 kayakers from India and other parts of the world like Australia, Russia, and Nepal.

Key highlights

  • Jointly organised by Uttarakhand Tourism Development council and The adventure sport society.
  • Athletes Participated from Russia, Australia and Nepal.
  • On the first day of the event, Ayodhya Prasad from India bagged Gold in sprint category followed by Man Bahadur Kandel from Nepal and Rishi Rana from India whereas in the female category Elizabeth Heath bagged Gold followed by Ekaterina and Anna from Russia.
  • Amit Thapa from India bagged gold in giant slalom man pro category followed by Tarjan Gurung from Nepal and Daman Singh from India whereas in female pro category Russian Kayakers dominated the podium with Ekaterina, Anna and Svetlana respectively.
  • Manish Rawat bagged gold in the boater X category followed by Pramod Magar and Ashish Rawat.
More Winners
Best Peddler award : Ashu Rawat
Best Debut Award in women category : Priyanka Rana
Best Debut Award in Men’s category : Vikas Rawat
Best Peddler in mass water cross : Rishi Rana
Best peddler in Women mass water cross : Jill ( Australia)

India’s first glass floor bridge to replace Lakshman Jhula


The Uttarakhand government has cleared the design of a glass floor suspension bridge, the first of its kind in the country, to be built across Ganga river in Rishikesh as an alternative to the iconic Lakshman Jhula which was closed last year. 

Key Points:

  • The bridge will be built parallel to Lakshman Jhula, which has been in place for 94 years, and was closed in July last year due to safety reasons.
  • It will have a total width of 8 metres consisting of two toughened glass floors each with a width of 1.5 metres and as many 2.5-metre asphalt roads in between meant for light motor vehicles like two wheeler
  • The toughened glass floor will be 3.5 inches thick and capable of bearing a load of more than 750 kg per square metre at a stretch.
  • The span of the bridge will be 132.3 metres long with 7 feet high toughened glass railings on either side of the structure It will be safe for commutation for at least 150 years

Ministry of Civil Aviation Flagged Off 1st Helicopter Service under UDAN in Uttarakhand


Ministry of Civil Aviation operationalised the first-ever helicopter services from Dehradun’s Sahastradhara helipad to Gauchar, and Chinyalisaur under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN) of Government of India. The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat, Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, MoCA and other officials from MoCA and State Government inaugurated the route. The inauguration of the helicopter routes in the Uttarakhand region is in line with the objective of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to enhance the aerial connectivity of the hilly areas in the country.

Key Points:

  • MoCA awarded the Sahastradhara-Gauchar-Chinyalisaur route to Heritage Aviation under the UDAN 2 bidding process. 
  • Heritage Aviation will operate twice daily helicopter services from Sahastradhara to Gauchar and Chinyalisaur. 
  • For the Heli services, Viability Gap Funding (VGF) is provided under UDAN to keep the fares affordable for the common people.
  • The State Government of Uttarakhand is also providing additional incentives to make the scheme more attractive.
  • With the commencement of the Sahastradhara-Gauchar-Chinyalisaur route, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has operationalized 260 routes under UDAN


 Pawan Hans Limited (PHL) is also going to commence the operations under UDAN from Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun to New Tehri, Srinagar (Chamoli, UK) and Gauchar. 

Phool Dei festival 2020

About Phool Dei festival

Known as the harvest festival of the state Uttarakhand, Phool Dei is an auspicious folk festival which welcomes the spring season in the state. The festival is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month, Chaitra.

Why in News

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Saturday celebrated the traditional harvest festival–Phool Dei–at his residence with children.

Key Points

• The key dish of the festival is a pudding made from jaggery

• This showcases the inner connection between the communities who all are living in the hills.

• Young girls pluck the first flowers of the season and decorate their houses with these flowers

• Folk singers welcome the spring with their music and are given rice and gifts.

IIT-Roorkee, AIIMS-Rishikesh develop low-cost portable ventilator


The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee, in collaboration with All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Rishikesh, has developed a low-cost ventilator.The prototype does not require compressed air and can be useful when open areas are converted into ICUs.

Key Points

  • The ventilator, Prana Vayu, will cost ₹25,000 per unit, much less than the products available in the market
  • It is safe and reliable as it is equipped with real-time spirometry and alarms. It can automatically limit high pressure with an alarm system.
  • In case of a failure, the circuit opens to the atmosphere which prevents choking.
  • Some additional features are remote monitoring by health professionals, touch screen control of all operating parameters, moister, and temperature control for inhaled air.

Jim Corbett National Park Becomes India’s First Quarantine Centre for Animals


India’s oldest National Park Jim Corbett, situated in Uttarakhand’s Paurhi Garhwal region, has built isolation wards for animals.

Key points

  • Nearly 10 quarantine centers have been built inside the park, where those animals will be kept, which will have the symptoms of corona
  • cameras have been installed in the areas around the National Park, so that the symptoms of cold and cough of animals can be recorded and appropriate action can be taken if required 

About Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. It is located in Nainital district and Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett, a well known hunter and naturalist.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates 80 km link road for Kailash Mansarovar through VC


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday dedicated to the nation a new 80-km road in Uttarakhand which connects close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and opens a new route for Kailash Mansarovar yatra via Lipulekh Pass, significantly reducing the travel time for yatris.

Key Points

• The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) achieved road connectivity from Dharchula to Lipulekh (China Border) known as Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra Route. 

• Defence Minister also flagged off a convoy of vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji through video conferencing

• Except for a 5-km trek on the Chinese side across Lipulekh Pass, the complete travel will now be on vehicles

• A five-day trek will reduce to two days of road travel.

Uttarakhand CM launches portal to help unemployed youth get jobs


Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday launched a portal aimed at creating employment avenues for the trained youth as well as offering them skill development opportunities to increase their employability.

Key Points

  • The portal, ‘HOPE’ – Helping Out People Everywhere, has already begun collecting data on the youths staying in the state as well as migrant youths who have returned recently from outside.
  • The portal will not only provide a platform to the youths for job hunting and skill development through its database but will also help potential employers find human resources as per their requirements.
  • Information like where they worked, what they did, their specialization, area of interest and the kind of employment they are looking for can be shared by the youths on the portal.
  • Once the database is ready, the portal will be linked with the Mukhya Mantri Swarojgar Yojana which was launched recently.
  • Information on youths applying from a particular village will be readily available on the portal and will help in village-based analysis of the database.
  • It will make it easier for the government to work out village-specific programmes.

Uttarakhand CM tables Rs 53,527-cr budget; 25 public welfare goals in focus


A surplus annual budget of Rs 53,526.97 crore was presented in Uttarakhand assembly on Wednesday, with Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat describing it as a document reflecting the hopes and aspirations of the people of the state.

Key Points

  • Total estimated expenditure : Rs 53,526.97 crore
  • provision made under revenue expenditure : Rs 42,389.6 crore
  • provision made under capital expenditure: Rs 11,137.30 crore
  • Expected revenue Surplus : 49.66 crore
  • estimated fiscal deficit:  Rs 7,549.74 crore.
  • The ratio of fiscal deficit to GSDP is 2.57 per cent, which is well within the 3 per cent prescribed limit of FRBM Act.
  • In order to benefit the farmers, Krishi Upadan Lagat Sarvekshan Yojana is being launched for providing minimum support price for crops like mandua, sanwa, urad, ghat and masoor.
  • An amount of Rs 315 crore is proposed under World Bank scheme of disaster management.
  • To generate self-employment opportunities and prevent migration from hilly areas, a provision of Rs 15 crore has been made under Mukhyamantri Swarojgar Yojana.
  • A migration cell will be set up under the Mukhyamantri Palayan Roktham Yojana for which a provision of Rs 18 crore has been made in the budget.
  • An amount of Rs 1,265 crore has been proposed for Haridwar Kumbh 2021
  • Provision of Rs 2,300 crore has been made for payment of wheat and paddy procured from farmers under rabi and kharif procurement.
  • An amount of Rs 240 crore is proposed for the payment of residual dues to sugarcane growers.
  • The integrated cooperative development project has been allocated Rs 100 crore.
  • A provision of Rs 2,055.56 crore is proposed for PWD and Rs 1,072 crore has been made available under PMGSY to boost rural connectivity.

Uttarakhand launches Mukhyamantri Swarozgar Yojana for returnee migrants


To retain the migrants who have returned to the state during the lockdown, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Thursday inaugurated the Mukhyamantri Swarozgar Yojana.

Key Points

  • Under Uttarakhand Mukhyamantri Pravasi Swarojgar Yojana, loans will be provided for projects up to Rs 25 lakh in the manufacturing sector and up to Rs 10 lakh in the service sector.
  • As per MSME policy, the maximum limit for margin money in classified category A will be 25 percent of the total project cost, 20 percent in category B and up to 15 percent of the total project cost in category C and D.
  • If the migrant laborers of the state wish to apply to avail Uttarakhand Mukhyamantri Pravasi Swarojgar Yojana 2020, can apply both online and offline.

Objective of the Scheme

Under the Mukhyamantri Swarojgar Yojana 2020, the Government of Uttarakhand will encourage entrepreneurs and migrant people of Uttarakhand for self-employment. The migrant laborers of the state will be provided loans by the government through nationalized banks, regional rural banks, state cooperative banks and other scheduled banks to start their own industries.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant must be a permanent resident of Uttarakhand.
  • To avail this scheme, the minimum age of applicant should be 18 years.
  • The applicant or his family member will be benefited only once under the scheme.
  • There is no mandatory educational qualification under the Uttarakhand Chief Minister Swarojgar Yojana 2020.
  • The beneficiaries will be selected on a first come first serve basis, which will be based on the feasibility of the project on receiving more applications.
  • Applicants, General Managers and District Industries Centers can apply online and manual.
  • The applicant must not have previously taken advantage of any other self-employment scheme operated by the Government of India or the State Government within the last 5 years.
  • Applicants from SC / ST, Minorities, Other Backward Classes, Ex-servicemen, women and PwD are required to submit a certified copy of the certificate issued by the competent authority special category along with the application form.

Uttarakhand CM inaugurates, lays foundation stone of 27 development projects in Pithoragarh


Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 27 development projects costing over Rs 112 crore in Pithoragarh on Friday.

Key Points

  • CM projects costing Rs 112,47,11,000 were inaugurated.
  • Out of these, 15 projects were inaugurated costing Rs 32,30,63,000 in which a multi-story car parking is included at district headquarters costing Rs 21,80,00,000.
  • The other development works include road development, bridges and drinking water-related projects. Rawat also inspected the work in progress on car parking in Dev Singh stadium.

In a first, Uttarakhand releases report on conservation of endemic, threatened floras


  • Uttarakhand has become the first state to release a unique report highlighting its conservation efforts to save over 1,100 rare plants from extinction.Herbs like Ashwagandha’, Giloy’, Kalmegh’ and Chitrak’, which are presently part of scientists’ research to find a possible cure to coronavirus, are included in this conservation programme executed by whistleblower forest service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi.Chaturvedi said this project is aimed at germplasm conservation so that species remain conserved with the forest department even if they disappear from their natural habitat in the wild.The conservation programme covers all classes of plants – tree, shrub, herb, bamboo, wild climbers, fern, orchid, grass, cane, alpine flowers, palm, cycad, cactus, succulent, aquatic species, insectivorous plants and even lower plants like moss, lichen and algae, which have been documented, classified and conserved for the first time.

Key Points

  • As many as 1,145 plant species have been conserved out of which 46 species are endemic to Uttarakhand and 68 species are rare, endangered or threatened, under red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) or under state biodiversity board, under this project by the research wing of the state forest department.
  • Brahmkamal’, an endangered plant named after Hindu god Brahma, and mythological Sanjeevani’ herb are also among the conserved floras under this programme.
  • Sanjeevani (Selaginella bryopteris) is another rare herb which has found a mention in Ramayan.
  • Similarly, Thuner (Taxusbaccata), a tree found at very high altitude in Himalayan region and at the verge of extinction because of extraction of taxol’, used in treating breast cancer, and Bhojpatra — a holy tree on the bark of which ancient scriptures were written — being the last species in tree line, are also conserved by the Uttarakhand forest department.
  • Bhojpatra (Betulautilis) is found in the Himalayan region at around 10,000 ft altitude, before the start of glaciers.
  • Some of the famous and endangered plant species conserved are Chandan, Raktchandan, Ritha, Vajradanti, Jatamasi, Dhoop, Badritulsi, Sita Ashok, Mithavish, Sarpgandha, Brahmi, Salampanja (orchid), Kalmegha, and Buransh among others
  • Around 386 species, conserved, have medicinal properties.
  • At present extinction rate of plant species has reached up to 5-7 species per year, as per various estimates, owing to climate change, global warming, smuggling/illegal extractions and unplanned construction among others which will have very adverse consequences for future, Chaturvedi said.
  • Conservation of endemic species is considered to be particularly important as they exist in one geographical region only.
  • The report, running into 196 pages, prepared on these conserved species of floras contains detailed information of each plant on nine parameters family name, scientific name, local name, endemism, conservation status, number and location at research establishment, uses and thumbnail size photograph.
Brahmkamal (scientific name:Saussurea obvallata), found at over 12,000 feet altitude in the Himalayan region bordering China, is the state flower of Uttarakhand and considered a very sacred flower. It also has tremendous medicinal properties, is used as antiseptic and for treatment of other ailments.

India’s ‘first’ lichen park in Uttarakhand to conserve Jurassic era plant


Uttarakhand Forest Department has developed India’s ‘first’ lichen park in Munsiyari in Pithoragarh district of the state. The state has over 600 species of lichens of which around 150 are found in Munsiyari.


With an aim to protect, conserve and cultivate lichen, Uttarakhand Forest Department has developed “the country’s first lichen park” in Munsiyari in Pithoragarh district.The world is home to over 20,000 known species of lichens of which around 2,714 are found in India, with the hill-state of Uttarakhand alone recording the presence of over 600 lichen species in its territory.

Key Points

  • The park is spread across 1.5 acres
  • Its development began in 2019
  • The forest department has sent a proposal to the state government for securing permission to open the park for the public and researchers
  • On June 5, the state forest department opened the state’s biggest biodiversity park in Haldwani.

Uses of Lichen

  • Lichen is also a key ingredient of the famous Hyderabadi Biryani.
  • lichens are used to prepare indigenous perfumes in Kannauj.
  • They are also used in sunscreen creams, dyes and some medicines.
Lichen is a composite organism that is formed by a symbiotic relationship between algae or cyanobacteria and some fungi species. Lichens occur from high alpine elevations to sea level and have the ability to grow on almost any surface.

Gairsain declared summer capital of Uttarakhand


Gairsain in Chamoli district was declared as the summer capital of Uttarakhand.A notification in this regard was issued by Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh after Governor Baby Rani Maurya gave her assent to the move, news agency PTI reported. With this decision, Uttarakhand became the 2nd state in India after Himachal Pradesh with two separate capitals(Shimla and Dharamshala).

Key Points

  • On November 9, 2000 Uttarakhand was made as a separate state from Uttar Pradesh & became India’s 27th state.
  • Uttarakhand has two divisions namely Garhwal and Kumaon with 13 districts.
  • Dehradun will remain the winter capital.
  • Uttarakhand’s Chief Minister(CM) Trivendra Singh Rawat announced that Gairsain will have an e-Vidhan Sabha on World Environment Day (June 5,2020). The state Assembly is located Dehradun, but sessions are held in Gairsain as well.

Uttarakhand CM inaugurates ‘Smriti Van’ on Harela festival, urges people to plant saplings


On the occasion of Harela festival in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Thursday inaugurated ‘Smriti Van’ at Asthal village of Dehradun district in the memory of famous folk singer of the state late Jeet Singh Negi.

About Harela Festival

Harela festival, which marks the onset of monsoon in Uttarakhand, is celebrated across hills three times every year. Harela means the day of green.

Key Point

  • CM requested everyone to plant a sapling in the memory of their departed family and friends or on any auspicious occasion.
  • Over 1.5 lakh saplings were planted in one hour in Almora district during the festival.
  • Over 3.5 lakh saplings planted across the state on the occasion.

India’s largest butterfly: Golden birdwing


Golden Birdwing from Uttarakhand surpassed “Southern Birdwing” to become India’s largest

butterfly after 88 years.

Key Points:

  • Scientific Name of Golden Birdwingis ‘Troides Aeacus’
  • It has a wingspan of 194 mm and the female of the species is marginally larger than the Southern Birdwing (190 mm) and the male Golden Birdwing is much smaller at 106 mm.
  • Discovered at -The female Golden Birdwing was recorded from Didihat in Uttarakhand, the largest male was from the Wankhar Butterfly Museum in Meghalaya.
  • The only measurement used in the study of Lepidoptera is wingspan, a simple concept with various interpretations of the term.

Southern Birdwing-

  • Scientific Name-Troides minors
  • It was the largest Indian butterfly that Brigadier William Harry Evans, a British military officer and lepidopterist, had recorded in 1932 which was then treated as a subspecies of the Common Birdwing.

Snow Leopard Conservation Centre in Uttarkashi forests


India’s 1st snow leopard conservation centre is to be set up in Lanka, near Bhaironghati bridge in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand.

About the News

  • It will be built by the Uttarakhand forest department along with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of its six-year long project Securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems (SECURE) Himalayas.
  • Dutch Conservation Architect Anne Feenstra shared the details of the conservation centre.
  • The conservation centre is expected to create awareness of the Big Cat among the people.

Snow Leopard in Uttarakhand:

  • According to several researches, Uttarakhand is home to 86 snow leopards at present.
  • In Uttarakhand, snow leopards are found in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Gangotri National Park, Askot Wildlife Sanctuary and other places of altitude between 3000-4500 meters.

About Snow Leopard

  • According to the World Wild Fund for Nature India (WWF), India is home to 450-500 snow leopards.
  • Snow Leopard is listed under Schedule – I of Wildlife Protection Act of India which gives the big cat absolute protection against hunting and poaching.
  • It is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list.

SECURE Himalayas

  • Securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems (SECURE) is a programme which aims to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity in the high himalayan ecosystem.
  • The programme aims to enhance the lives and livelihoods of local communities.
  • It was launched by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in January, 2017.

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