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Central government approves Rs.22,800 crore to Himachal in 12th Five-Year Plan

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Vigyan-Bhawan

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Council (NDC) held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi today. In his address, Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh revealed that the 12th five year plan allocation was 65% higher in comparison to 11th five year plan which was highest in the country.

Chief Minister said that State Government had targeted an annual growth rate of 9% per annum in comparison to National average growth rate of 8.2% per annum. He said that higher growth rate of 4.5% was targeted in agriculture and allied sectors as compared to 4.2% growth rate at present, by increasing the farm productivity. He said that Government was spending more then nine percent of its plan allocation on agriculture and allied sector and requested the Union Government to offer incentives to the State Government by providing at least 50 percent of state outlay under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) during the 12th plan period. He said that Government would ensure efficient management of pre-harvesting and post harvesting operations and encourage cultivation of off-seasonal vegetables, organic farming, setting up poly houses, drip and micro irrigation facilities to raise the farm income during plan period.
He said that State Government would bring additional 27000 hectare of land under irrigation during plan period by executing different irrigations schemes. He said that target had been fixed to provide 70 litres drinking water per person per day in the State in comparison to National average of 55 litres per person per day. He said that all the left-out 10,725 habitations out of total 53,201 habitations would be provided safe drinking water during the plan. He requested the Union Government to increase the cost norms under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Project (AIBP) programme keeping in view of the tough geographical, topographical conditions and limited working season in the hill state. He requested for increase of per hectare cost norm from present Rs. 1.5 lakh to four lakh and increase the completion period from present two years to three years.

Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh urged Government of India (GoI) to assist the State Government for setting up food processing industries in the state and to increase the import duty three times on imported apples in order to safe guard the interest of fruit growers of the State besides to restore the air traffic to the state to promote tourism and also provide subsidy on heli-taxi service on the pattern of north eastern states. He requested GoI for liberal financial assistance for expansion and up-gradation of existing civil aviation infrastructure in the state and pleaded for extension of Shimla airport runway through extensions. He urged to declare Baddi- Kalka and Bilaspur- Leh via Manali railway lines as project of National importance and early completion of ongoing Nangal-Talwara and Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri railway line by allocating adequate budget provision. He said that State Government would construct about 7500 Kms of new road network to connect all the villages with population of more than 100 persons during the plan and added that 2000 Kms of National Highways and proper maintenance of already existing road network would be undertaken.

Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh said that additional 4630 MW Hydropower would be generated in the state during the plan period and added that the state had so far harnessed 8368 MW hydro-electric potential out of total potential of 23000 MW. He requested the central Government to delegate the power of environmental clearance to State Government to expedite the power generation process in the state.
He insisted to continue the subsidy on LPG cylinders due to higher fuel requirements in the in high altitude areas and said that in absence of LPG subsidy, the demand of fuel wood would increase leading to extra pressure on forest wealth. He also requested to revive the industrial package of the Himachal Pradesh and suggested that hilly backward areas of the neighboring states could also be included in the new industrial package on the basis of tough geographical conditions similar to Himachal Pradesh.

He said that Himachal has been ranked as third on human development indicators by Union Government and added that the state had achieved 83.78% literacy rate. Besides, the State Government proposes to make right of secondary education during twelfth plan with an object to universalize the access to secondary educations.

Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh told that infant mortality rate would be brought down to 22/1000 from existing level of 40/1000 and hundred percent institutional deliveries would be achieved in Government health institutions in the plan period. He said that so far 2.07 lakh persons had been benefited through 108 ambulance service introduced through NHRM in the state. He requested the Prime Minister to upgrade Tanda Medical College to the status of AIIMS, new Delhi and said that demand of specialists, physicians and other trained medical professionals would be met through three medical colleges of the state. He requested the Union Government to provide more fiscal autonomy to the states and provide flexibility while implementing centrally sponsored schemes and other flagship programmes keeping in mind the local conditions.

He suggested for incorporation of special chapter to elaborate strategy for development of northern hill states on the analogy of north eastern states and also requested for enhancement of Gross Budgetary support to all special category states alike and to provide uniform funding pattern in the ratio of 90:10 for all special category states. He urged the Union Government to compensate the Himalayan states for conserving ecology and said that the State would review the forest policy to ensure that natural resources were not over exploited and livelihood of those people who depend on forest resources are not adversely affected. He requested for raising the financial allocation of the state to meet its developmental needs.

Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh welcomed the Union Government’s decision of direct cash subsidy and told that entire population of the state would be covered under the scheme in phased manner. He said that State Government would follow policy of zero- tolerance towards corruption and clean, transparent and accountable administration would be provided to the people. He said that e-governance would be utilised to ensure timely and effective redressal of public grievances.
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Press note: Information & Public Relation, HP Govt.

Campus Watch

As major achievement, Nauni varsity scientists bag International project on oilseed research

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Nauni varsity scientists bags international project

Solan: Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, was in news last week after Jagriti Thakur, a research scholar at the varsity, won US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar Award for the year 2018.

This week, in a major achievement, the scientists of Department of Plant Pathology at the UHF, have bagged an International collaborative project on developing cutting-edge technology for inducing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability.

The University will work with nine leading research organisations of the country besides seven renowned research institutes of United Kingdom in the project. The three-year project has a total budget outlay of more than Rs 7.27 crore as Indian component, which will be distributed to the 10 Indian institutes, which are part of the project. Each Indian institute will work on a different aspect of the project with a researcher working on the same area in the UK.

The project has been sanctioned under the prestigious NEWTON BHABHA Fund UK- India Pulses and Oilseed Research Initiative (PORI). The fund has been created by BBSRC of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoI.

BBSRC which is a part of UK Research and Innovation, a body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations and government for promoting research and innovation is also making upto £3.5 million available to support the UK components of this research.

Dr HR Gautam, Professor and Head of Department of Plant Pathology informed that Dr Anil Handa, Professor of Plant Pathology will be the Principal Investigator and coordinator of this project while Dr Rajnish Sharma working in the Department of Biotechnology will act as the Co-Investigator.

He added that this achievement is one of the cherished moments in 55 years history of the department. Dr JN Sharma, UHF Director of Research, said that the University is making continuous efforts to get projects from various funding agencies and engage in collaborative work to strengthen the research capabilities and infrastructure.

India is one of the major producers and consumers of oilseeds crops in the world. The university scientists will work on ‘Genomics-led improvement of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability’ by utilizing state-of-art advanced molecular approaches like CRISPER/Cas9 for mapping the genes conferring resistance to turnip mosaic virus (TuMV).

UHF Nauni Lab

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology is an internationally acclaimed laboratory and has facilities for conducting molecular level research for determining the genetic diversity of TuMV in Northern India and developing a panel of Indian TuMV isolates for evaluating European and Indian sources of resistance.

Besides Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, the University of Delhi, South Campus; NIPGR, New Delhi; NBPGR, New Delhi; NRCPB, New Delhi; IARI, New Delhi; PAU, Ludhiana; CAZRI, Jodhpur; DRMR, Bharatpur and IIT Kharagpur will be a part of the project. The University of York, University of Hertfordshire, University of Warwick, University of Essex, Earlham Institute and Rothamsted Research will be the investigators from the United Kingdom.

While congratulating the scientists, UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma said that the project will go a long way in using the latest techniques in biotechnology for disease management to increase the productivity of oilseed crops. This project will also help train our students in using molecular markers for crop improvement.

Through this collaborative project, efforts are being made to encourage multi-institutional collaborations between UK and Indian researchers to undertake high-quality research aimed at increasing crop productivity, resilience, sustainability and quality of pulses and oilseeds grown for food or feed in India. Pulses and oilseeds are important crops in India.

Pulses are relatively under-used crops in the UK but are a major source of dietary protein in India. Oilseeds are grown in both countries and are a valuable source of oil for a variety of uses, as well as animal feed. This collaborative project aims to develop exploit genomic and bioinformatic resources to aid the development of improved varieties for sustainable crop production.

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MoU to construct Naina Devi-Anandpur Sahib ropeway signed

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Shimla: A Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) to build ropeway between Shri Naina Devi and Shri Anandpur Sahib was signed by Additional Chief Secretary Tourism Ram Subhag Singh, Himachal Pradesh and Secretary Tourism Punjab Vikas Pratap Singh, in Chandigarh today.

The MOU in the presence of Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his Punjab counterpart Captain Amrinder Singh.

This ropeway will be constructed by Shri Naina Devi and Sri Anandpur Sahib Ji Ropeway Company Pvt Ltd with an estimated cost of Rs. 210 crores. The ropeway would cover a distance of 3.5 km.

A 10-member Board of Directors would be formed, and each government would nominate five members. The Chairman of the Board of Directors would be nominated by the Punjab government and the Managing Director would be appointed by the Himachal government. Both the governments will deposit 50 Lakhs each as an initial investment.

Chief Minister said that the lower terminal of this project would be at Rampur near Shri Anandpur Sahib, the Intermediate station will be at Toba in Himachal and the upper terminal point would be at Shri Naina Devi. The tourism departments of both the states would work as nodal agencies for this work.

The Tourism and Local Bodies Ministers Navjot Singh Sidhu said that inking of MoU by both the Chief Ministers on the auspicious birthday of Sheed-e- Azam Bhagat Singh is a big gift to the mankind.

In 2012-13, the efforts were made to build this ropeway and 14 acres of land was also acquired for this but due to some circumstances, the work could not be completed.

Naina Devi is one of the 52 famous Shakti Peethas of the country and is one of the most prominent religious places for not only the peoples of the country but the entire world. Likewise, Shri Anandpur Sahib is also a prominent international the religious place.

This project would boost the tourism sector in both the states alongwith strengthening the bond between two states besides facilitating the devotees visiting these two religious places.

It was informed that 80 percent pilgrims come to Shri Naina Devi from Punjab and during last one year, 20 Lakh devotees paid their obeisance in this Shakti Peeth.

The Chief Minister informed that for the construction of this impending ropeway, the matter had been taken up with his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder Singh on February 26, 2018.

The Chief Minister of Punjab said that with the construction of this ropeway the pilgrims of Punjab would get rid of the difficulty in reaching Shri Naina Devi.

He said that people of both the states would like to see this project completed at earliest and three year’s time frame has been fixed for its completion.

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Himachal suffers Rs. 1479 crore losses in 4 days alone, Centre releases Rs. 122 crore for rehabilitation

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Monsoon losses in Himachal pradesh in 2018

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has suffered losses of about Rs. 1479 crore and during the last four days alone. Five choppers of Indian Air Force had been pressed into service to evacuate the stranded tourists and local people.

Chief Minister, who chaired a review meeting today, informed that the Centre Government has released Rs. 122 crore as the first instalment for the State for undertaking immediate rehabilitation measures.

himachal cm in meeting

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur during meeting held today

Over one thousand people have been rescued from Lahaul valley out of these 147 have been airlifted and remaining have been evacuated by road.

He said the road would be cleared upto Baralacha by this evening. All the rescued people were being taken for medical examinations. Efforts were being made to restore communication network in Lahaul valley.

He directed the officers to ensure adequate availability of essential commodities in the valley. He said that a team of BSNL would visit Sisu today for the restoration of communication in the area. The Government has assured all possible help to the BSNL in restoration work.

Out of 18 towers of BSNL in the valley, seven were working properly.

It was informed in the meeting that 18000-litre petrol and 27000-litre diesel was made available. LPG and other food items were also in sufficient quantity. It was informed in the meeting that water Supply to Manali has been restored and Lahaul valley was also almost restored.

Till the electricity supply was restored in the valley, efforts would be made to provide solar lamps and lights to the people, it was informed. Small transformers would be airlifted from Kullu to replace damaged transformers.

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