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RKMV Shimla to get a new complex, 5 crore announced

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While attending the 35th Annual Prize Distribution Function of RKMV here today, the Chief Minister announced announced Rs. five crore for the construction of new complex of Arts and Administrative Block of Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya (RKMV), Shimla

Shimal-Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh announced Rs. five crore for the construction of new complex of Arts and Administrative Block of Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya (RKMV), Shimla. Foundation stone of this block was laid by Shri Virbhadra Singh during previous tenure on 9th August, 2007 but the previous Government had diverted the funds allocated for the block elsewhere and work on this project was stalled.

While presiding over the 35th Annual Prize Distribution Function of RKMV here today, the Chief Minister said that this college had rich legacy and had produced some of the best students who had contributed in different spheres of life. Congratulating the meritorious students who had secured top ranks in academics besides sports and various co-curricular activities, he said that their achievements would inspire other students to excel themselves in various fields. He congratulated the Principal and staff members of the college for getting best out of their students.

Shri Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government was contemplating to establish a Skill Development Corporation with an initial investment of Rs. 500 crore, which would help in checking unemployment on a large scale and would provide ample employment opportunities to the youth in the industries being set up in the State. He said that a Skill Development Authority would also be constituted in the State and efforts would be made to create at least five lakh job opportunities during the next five years. He said that since press was regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy, the State Government would open University of Journalism and Mass Communication at a suitable place in the State.

Shri Virbhadra Singh said that State Government was according utmost priority to the education sector and efforts were being made to provide ‘State of the Art Education’ facilities to the youth of the State near to their homes. He said that the State was spending about Rs. 962 crore on Higher Education during the 12th five years plan and added priority was being given for construction of buildings in government colleges and schools by spending Rs. 74 crore during the current financial year.

Chief Minister said that the State Government was laying special emphasis on education of girl child which has resulted in better female literacy in the State as compared to other parts of the country. He said that at present out of 74217 students studying in government colleges, 45156 were girls, which was more than 60 percent. Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of Higher Education in Himachal was 23.9 percent, while at National level it was 15 percent. Our target was to take it to 35 percent by the year 2020, he said.

Chief Minister said that soon after assuming power, the State Government decided to reopen all those 149 Government Schools which were de-notified during previous Government’s regime. He said that the State Government had also decided to provide free travelling facility to all the students of government schools from home to school and back, in Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses from 1st April, 2013.

Chief Minister directed the district administration to identify suitable parking place for RKMV at circular road to facilitate the students and teachers of the college. He said that lady police constable would be deployed in the college campus during college hours to ensure safety and security of the students. He also announced deployment of regular pharmacist and lady health worker in the college.

Chief Minister distributed prizes to various meritorious students excelling in education and other co-curricular activities.

Principal of RKMV Prof. Meera Walia while presenting the Annual Report detailed various activities and demands of the college. She said that Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh had always laid special emphasis on education especially on girl education. She said that it was during his Chief Ministership that Himachal Pradesh became first State in the county to provide free education to girl child upto graduation level including professional courses.

Director Higher Education, Shri Dinkar Burathoki proposed vote of thanks.

Industries and Information & Public Relations Minister, Shri Mukesh Agnihotri, MLA Shri Anirudh Singh, Mayor MC Shimla Shri Sanjay Chauhan, President, Himachal Pradesh Sports, Cultural and Environment Association Shri Vikramaditya Singh, Vice Chancellor, H.P. University Dr. A.D.N. Bajpayee, Member Executive Council, H.P. University Shri Harish Janartha, Councillors, MC Shimla Smt. Archna Dhawan and Shri Inderjeet Singh and senior officers of the State Government were present on the occasion among others.

Art & Culture

Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18 Announced, These 4 Persons Would be Honored

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Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18

Shimla– ‘Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman’ Award has been announced for the year 2017-18, informed the Secretary Academy Dr. Karam Singh on June 6, 2020.  

The recommendation of the jury the winners have been announced, he said, adding that four Shikhar Samman (awards) would be given in the field of language, culture and literature for two years and Rs. one lakh each would be given to each awardee.

He said that for the year 2017, Prof. Keshav Sharma would be honoured for contribution in Literature and special achievements. Folk Singer Mohan Rathour would be honoured with Language and Culture Shikar Samman.

For the year 2018, Dr. O.C. Handa would be honoured with Sahitya Shikhar Samman, whereas Dinesh Kumari of Kangra would be honoured in Art and Culture sector.

The ‘Shikhar Samman’ is given to the Himachali writers in the field of art and culture and to littérateurs from the country who worked for the promotion of Himachali language, traditions and culture.

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Health Dept Scam: One More Person Arrested by Vigilance

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Shimla-In the alleged scam related to the purchase of medical equipment including PPE kits by the Health Department, Himachal Pradesh Government, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau has arrested another person – Prithi Singh – the man who had accepted to have recorded telephonic conversation with the ex-director Ajay Kumar Gupta.

Gupta was arrested on May 21 after the said recording appeared in media. Later, he was granted bail by a special court, Shimla (forest). The vigilance had questioned Prithvi Singh earlier but had not arrested him. Prithi had claimed that he recorded the audio because his payment worth a crore was put on hold. Gupta, Pritiv had told Vigilance, was demanding a bribe to release the payment. It wasn’t clear what charges have been labelled against Prithvi – an employee of the firm which had supplied equipment to the Health Department.

About the Case

Director, Health Services, Dr. Ajay Gupta was suspended after a 43-second-long audio clip leaked in the media on May 21, 2020. In the audio, two persons can be heard talking about bank accounts and transactions of Rs. 5 lakh. The charges are that the Director was allegedly asking for a bribe in purchase-related to health equipment in wake of the pandemic.

Additional Chief Secretary RD Dhiman had to hand over the case to the Vigilance department soon after the audio clip appeared. Ordering immediate probe is something that BJP is presenting as proof of State Government and Chief Minister Jairam Thakur’s innocence.

Just after a week of an audio clip of an alleged deal between the Director, Health Services, Dr. Ajay Gupta and an employee and close aid of a politician appeared; Dr. Rajiv Bindal resigned from the position of State BJP Chief. His resignation was also accepted almost immediately. He claimed that he resigned on “moral grounds” as he was hurt after the party’s name was associated with the alleged scam. 

The opposition, some senior leaders of the ruling party, MLAs, and activists in the State have been demanding a probe under a sitting judge of the State High Court and the resignation of the Chief Minister as he holds the charge of the Health Ministry. They are of the opinion that the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau is just another tool under the State Government. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is running the Health Ministry, and the sudden resignation of BJP Chief Rajeev Bindal after a week the scam came to light has already raised several questions.

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Himachal- Unemployed Rural Persons Allowed to Work on Own Land Under MGNREGA

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Himachal Pradesh MGNREGA sceme for umemployed rural

Shimla-The State Government has allowed the unemployed rural persons in Himachal Pradesh to work on their own land under MNREGA, even if the work was not in the shelf of projects approved by the Gram Sabhas. The decision was taken during a review meeting of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department on June 6, 2020.

The State Government informed that total expenditure of Rs. 859 crore have been incurred thereby generating 260 lakhs person-days during last financial year whereas Rs. 54 crore has been spent and 22 lakh person-days were generated under MNREGA during the current financial year so far.

The Government informed that to ensure transparency in the works of MNREGA, the department has implemented SECURE software. Hundred percent payments regarding works under MNREGA has been implemented through DBT.  For worksite facilities, homemade protective face cover, soap and water were being provided to MNREGA workers. About 12835 MNREGA workers registered with Buildings and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board had completed 90 days, the Government informed.

Further, the Government informed that under the Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojna 610 houses have been constructed during the last financial year and the target has been fixed to construct 998 houses during the current financial year. The department was also planning to impart rural mason training to the interested persons, the Government informed.

HP Government has launched Mukhya Mantri One Bigha Scheme recently by the convergence between National Rural Livelihood Mission and MNREGA.  Over 2000 Self Help Groups of women have applied under this scheme till date. The government claimed that it was laying special focus on skilling and placement in the formal sector for rural poor above the minimum wages. Under the Project UNNATI, a target has been fixed to train youth in various new trades such as Fashion Designing, Assistant Hair Stylist, Multi Skill Technician, Dairy Processing Equipments etc.

The State Government said that, under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, Rs. 23.70 crore have been released to the Jal Shakti Vibhag for the establishment of Sewerage Treatment Plants on a pilot basis in Thunag, Dharampur and Janjehli in Mandi district and Bangana in Una district. Projects of wayside amenities have been sanctioned in four districts viz. Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur and Una for Rs. one crore each.

The Government also said that the panchayats should enhance capacities to raise their sources of revenue.

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