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H.P. Cabinet Decisions

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Cabinet relaxes norms for admission in engineering courses

Cabinet relaxes norms for admission in engineering courses

The Cabinet in its meeting held here today decided to provide additional honorarium of Rs 1000 to as many as 518 Special Police Officers (SPOs) rendering service in remote areas of district Chamba and Lahaul & Spiti bordering Jammu and Kashmir. This follows the announcement of Chief Minister on his tour to Salooni in district Chamba in February this year.

The meeting was presided over by Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh.

It was decided to provide forest land on lease to M/s Om Energy Generation Private limited for construction of seven megawatt Holy–II Power Project in Chamba district at fixed lease amount for forty years.

Regarding relaxation and exemption in the prescribed criteria of AICTE and H.P Private Technical and Vocational Educational Institutions (Regulation of admission & fixation of fee) Act, 2008, it was decided that criterion of 50 percent marks in qualifying examination be made mandatory for admission this year with relaxation of 5 percent for reserved categories. However, it would be a final relaxation and from next year no relaxation/exemption in the prescribed criteria of All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and HP Act, 2008 will be allowed. It was also decided that security amount of students passed out be refunded within stipulated time.

It was decided that faculty members of Medical and Dental colleges be allowed time bound up-gradation of designations upon fulfillment of eligibility criteria in their substantive pay subject to fitness and approval was also given for establishing collegium style of functioning in two medical colleges and a dental college of the State.

The Cabinet accorded approval for opening Veterinary dispensary in Gram Panchayat Shilladesh, in Chohara block of district Shimla with two posts necessary for its functioning on contract basis. It was also decided to open Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Pulwahal in Gram Panchayat Jawag in district Shimla. Approval was given to open Tehsil Welfare Office at Rait (Shahpur) in district Kangra.

A decision was taken to relocate the H.P PWD Shimla Rural Division Dhami to Totu and a new PWD Sub-Division to be opened at Dhami.

It was decided to raise one additional company of Home Guard Volunteers at Sub-Division Chopal in Home Guard and Civil Defence Department as per the announcement of Chief Minister.

The decision was made to amend Rule 26 and 28 of H.P Stamp Rules, 1973 wherein the limit to sell the judicial and non-judicial stamp papers has been enhanced from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 20,000.

The Cabinet gave its approval to allot land on lease to DAV College Trust and Management Society New Delhi for construction of school building and play ground at Rehan in district Kangra.

It also gave approval for filling up posts of various categories in district Lahaul-Spiti.

It approved broucher/guidelines for inviting applications for allotment of small hydroelectric projects up to 5 MW capacity under identified and self identified basis as proposed by HIMURJA.

It was decided to engage teachers through School Management Committees (SMC) on period basis in elementary and higher education departments in all the newly upgraded schools in the State and it also approved to extend this SMC policy to the schools where any sanctioned post was remaining vacant for over two years.

It also decided to create and fill up 24 posts of different categories in Rajiv Gandhi Government Engineering College, Kangra at Nagrota-Bagwan.

The approval was accorded to create 13 posts of Supervisors in Municipal Corporation, Shimla from retrospective date by upgrading the posts of Mate/Labourers.

The Cabinet approved amendment in Rule 45, 50 and 50(4) of the H.P Value Added Tax Rules, 2005.

It was decided to grant the pay structure of 10,300-34,800 +4800 grade pay to Ward Sisters in Health & Family Welfare Department from prospective effect.

The Cabinet gave approval for constructing two-storeys parking floor and two-storeys Sarai Bhawan in Lakkar Bazar area of Shimla for cancer patients.

The Cabinet also approved revision of pension for pre-2006 pensioners of UGC pay scales to H.P Government College Cadre Employees.

It was also decided to fill up one vacant post each of Assistant Professor and Associate professor in department of Nephrology in IGMC Shimla through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission by direct recruitment.

Decision was taken to fill up ten posts of Havildar Instructor/Quarter Master Havildar in Home Guards & Civil Defence department.

A decision was taken to filling up of 50 posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in Treasury, Accounts and Lottery department on contract basis. A decision was taken to engage manpower of as many as 100 in number (both un-skilled and semi skilled) on contract basis from some approved service provider in Himachal Pradesh Forest Corporation.

It was decided to fill up 20 posts of Assistant District Attorneys on contract basis in Prosecution department and filling up three posts of civil judge in Himachal Subordinate Judiciary.

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Haryana Tourists Fire Bullets in Air at Hatu Mata Temple, Brandish Rifle, Manhandle Priest

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Hatu temple gun fire by tourists

Shimla-Following regular instances of hooliganism and assaults with weapons by tourists from neighbouring states, especially Punjab and Haryana, the Himachal Pradesh Police had announced regular checking of tourist vehicles on borders to prevent them from carrying weapons into the state. However, the tourists continue to bring weapons, including firearms, into the state.   

In a fresh incident, some tourists from Haryana on October 13, 2021, reportedly fired bullets in the air near the Hatu Mata Temple, Narkanda.  On hearing the sound of gunshots, the priest of the temple, Lalit Sharma, approached these tourists and objected to it. The tourists allegedly grabbed him by the neck and gave him life threats.

The priest freed himself somehow and immediately informed the temple committee about the incident. A member of the temple committee also informed the local police.

The priest said that a special pooja (worship) was organized at the temple on the occasion of Durga Ashtami and a large number of people was present inside the premises to participate in the pooja. This incident created panic among these devotees.

A taxi driver, Shravan Kumar, told police that two cars – HR 16X-3753 MG Hector & PB 26G-5555 Fortuner- were parked in the middle of the Hatu Mata link road, blocking the traffic. The tourists in these vehicles were brandishing guns and creating a nuisance. A short video clip showing one of these men brandishing a gun from their vehicle has also appeared. It was speculated that these men were intoxicated. 

Later, the local police arrived at the scene and apprehended about eight tourists for questioning. The police recovered a pistol, a rifle, and a dozen of bullets from the men. Cases were filed against two of them. When inquired in front of the temple committee, the two tourists told the police their names and addresses. They were identified as Kuldeep, 37, of Tehsil Lauharu, District Bhiwani, Haryana,  and Abhishek Kumar, 27, of district Bhawani, Harayana.

A case was filed at the Police Station, Kumarsain under Section 336, 34 of IPC and 25-54/59 of the Arms Act. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rampur, Chandrashekhar confirmed the report.

The temple committee has expressed concern over the incident and asked the police and the district administration to take stringent action against these men for hooliganism and creating a nuisance. The committee also urged that steps should be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.

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New Chief Justice of HP High Court Justice Mohammad Rafiq Takes Oath

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New Chief Justice of Himachal PRadesh High Court justice mohammad rafiq

Shimla-The new Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, Justice Mohammad Rafiq, was today administered the oath of office by Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar in a ceremony held at Raj Bhawan.

Justice Mohammad Rafiq was born on 25th May 1960 at Sujangarh in the Churu district of Rajasthan. He completed B.Com in 1980, LL.B in 1984 and M.Com in 1986 from the University of Rajasthan.

He, later on, joined the Bar and practised as an Advocate after enrolment with the Bar Council of Rajasthan on 8th July 1984. He practised exclusively in Rajasthan High Court at Jaipur in almost all branches of law and specially conducted constitutional matters, service matters, land acquisition cases, land revenue cases, preventive detention cases, customs & excise matters, railway claims cases, tax matters, company matters and criminal matters before the High Court.

He worked as Assistant Government Advocate for the State of Rajasthan from 15th July 1986 to 21st December 1987 and Deputy Government Advocate from 22nd December 1987 to 29th June 1990. He appeared before the High Court as panel advocate for various Departments of the State Government for five years i.e. from 1993 to 1998.

He also represented the Union of India as Standing Counsel from 1992 to 2001 before the High Court. He also represented the Indian Railways, Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board, Rajasthan Board of Muslim Wakfs, Jaipur Development Authority, Rajasthan Housing Board and Jaipur Municipal Corporation before the Rajasthan High Court.

He was appointed as Additional Advocate General for the State of Rajasthan on 7th January 1999 and worked as such till his elevation to the Bench. He was appointed as Judge of the Rajasthan High Court on 15th May 2006. He also worked as Acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court twice; from 7th April 2019 to 4th May 2019 and from 23rd September 2019 to 5th October 2019. He was also the Executive Chairman of the Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority and the Administrative Judge of the Rajasthan High Court before elevation as the Chief Justice. He was the Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya from 13th November 2019 to 26th April 2020. Justice Mohammad Rafiq was administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on 27th April 2020, on being transferred from the Meghalaya High Court. He was administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh on 3rd January 2021, on being transferred from the Orissa High Court.

The ceremony took place at the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhawan, where Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh conducted the proceedings of the oath ceremony and read out the notification issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Law and Justice regarding the transfer of Justice Mohammad Rafiq as Chief Justice of the HP High Court.

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HP Bypolls 2021: Bragta Doesn’t Withdraw Nomination, Remains Out of Sight Entire Day to Evade BJP Leadership

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chetan bragta's election symbol is apple

Shimla-Chetan Bragta, who has revolted against the Bharatiya Janata Party over denial of ticket to him, didn’t withdraw his nomination. October 13 was the last day for the withdrawal of nominations.  BJP leaders, who had been claiming that Bragta would withdraw his nomination, kept searching for him throughout the day but couldn’t find him or connect to him.

As per reports, Bragta had disappeared this morning to avoid BJP leaders and his mobile numbers were also switched off. However, Bragta posted a video on social media after the time for withdrawal of nomination ended. In this video, Bragta informed that the Election Commission has allotted “apple” as his election symbol. He also said that he would not step back and would fight the elections as an independent candidate.


The reports also said that BJP workers and leaders kept searching for Bragta in order to convince him to withdraw his nomination. However, the reports said, to avoid this pressure for withdrawal, he decided to disappear and switch off his mobile numbers.

Meanwhile, there are speculations that BJP is likely to expel him from the party. BJP, while denying him a ticket for the HP by polls 2021, had cited discouraging ‘dynastic politics’ as the reason. 

Pertinent to mention that BJP had denied a ticket to Chetan Braga – son of former MLA Narender Bragta- from the Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly seat that had fallen vacant after the demise of his father. The ticket was instead given to Neelam Seraik.

While the chances of Neelam’s victory already seems to be bleak, Chetan Bragta has further aggravated the tension for BJP. This rebellion could benefit Congress Candidate Rohit Thakur.

BJP had faced revolt on all three Assembly seats over denial of ticket. However, somehow it convinced the miffed leaders on Arki and Fatehpur Assembly seats to not file nominations as independent candidates. However, BJP failed to do so in the case of Chetan Bragta. BJP had been maintaining that there is no resistance to its selected candidates from within the party.

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