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46th Statehood Day celebrated at Jaisinghpur

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The 46th Statehood Day of Himachal Pradesh was celebrated with great gaiety today. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh presided over the Statehood Day function organized at Jaisinghpur in Kangra district.

He hoisted the National flag and took salute from the impressive march past by contingents of Police, Home Guards, NCC Cadets and school children.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said 25 January was a historic day for the people of Himachal Pradesh as this hilly State got Statehood status on this day. He remembered first Chief Minister of the State Dr. Y.S. Parmar and former Prime Minister late Smt. Indira Gandhi who played a significant role in getting Statehood status for the State in 1971.

He said that the real credit of the unprecedented development goes to the hardworking people of the State and also to the leadership provided by successive Congress governments at the Centre and the State.

Virbhadra Singh announced Sub-Divisional offices at Nagrota-Bagwan and Shahpur, HPSEB division at Jawalamukhi, DSP office and Fire Brigade unit at Jaisinghpur and up-gradation of Panchrukhi police post to fully fledged Police Station in Kangra district. He also announced government Degree College at Rakkar in Dehra sub-division and to take Sugh-Bhatoli and S.D Rajpur private colleges under the control of State government.

He announced up-gradation of Government Middle School Jhunga-Devi to Government High School and GHS Harsi to Government Senior Secondary School, construction of science block at Jaisinghpur College and starting of science classes at GSSS Sari. He also announced up-gradation of GHS Tangroti to GSSS at Dharamsala. He also announced construction of additional accommodation in PWD rest house Jaisinghpur and new Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Jagrupnagar besides a Veterinary Hospital at Harsi.

The Chief Minister said Dharamshala had been made second Municipal Corporation of the State to ensure planned development of this town. He said Chadiar, Haripur, Gangath, Panchrukhi, Alampur and Darini were made Sub-Tehsils and Dadasiba as Tehsil by the present government. Apart from this, a new sub-division had been approved for Jawalamukhi whereas Tehsil Welfare Offices had been opened at Shahpur, Nagrota-Bagwan and at Rakkar in Pragpur in Dehra sub-division.

Counting the development achieved in the Kangra district during last three years, he said a sum of Rs. 26 crore was being spent under Rajeev Gandhi Electrification programme and to give fillip to tourism in the district, approval had been given for Himani-Chamunda rope-way and the foundation stone of rope-way between Dharamsala to Macleodganj had been laid which would be completed within one and a half years. The work to replace the old transformers in Dharamsala and Yol Cantt was in progress and Rs 3.60 crore new electric Sub-station would be constructed at Damtal.

The Chief Minister said 166 kilometres of new roads and 29 bridges were constructed in the district. He said 8842 hand-pumps were installed during this period and 62 new irrigation schemes were under construction. AS many as 66,450 persons in the district were being provided social security. He added the decision had also been taken to open Football academy at Dharamshala.

Virbhadra Singh said last three years had witnessed speedy and all-round development of all areas of the State and government was implementing various policies and programmes to ensure welfare of every section of the society. He said with the blessings and affection of the people of the State, he was fortunate to serve the State as the Chief Minister for sixth time and his top priority was ensure a transparent, responsive and efficient administration for welfare of the people.

He said that government had adopted its election manifesto as a policy document and had gone beyond to fulfill the promises made in the manifesto. Around 1365.65 kilometers of new motor-able roads and 134 bridges were constructed during last three years and 255 villages had been provided road connectivity.

The Chief Minister said emphasis was being laid on providing houses to poor and needy. As many as 13652 houses had been constructed under Indira Awas Yojana by spending Rs. 8538.65 lakh and 2141 under Rajiv Awas Yojana at a cost of Rs. 2280.47 lakh. Besides, three Biswas of land was being provided to the landless in rural areas and two biswas in urban areas.

He said 994 new schools had been opened or upgraded and 25 new degree colleges have been opened in rural areas during last three years. More than 100 health institutions were opened or upgraded and 1775 posts of various categories had been created for three new medical colleges to be opened shortly in the State. The government was effectively implementing ”Rajiv Gandhi Anna Yojana” to provide ration at subsidized rates to about 37 lakh people of the State. All ration card holders covering more than 77 lakh people of the State had been brought under PDS BPL families were being provided 35 kilograms ration as before.

The Chief Minister said social security pension had been enhanced from Rs 450 to Rs 600 per month and persons above 80 years of age were being given Rs 1,100 per month irrespective of their income. As many as 6,949 additional habitations had been covered under rural water supply scheme and Rs.

773 crore were spent on water supply schemes besides installing 4,887 hand pumps during this period. He said 10,586 hectare area had been provided irrigation facility by spending Rs. 400 crore. The work was in progress on channelization of Swan river in Una district and Chhonchh Khad in Kangra district while Rs. 191 crore River Pabbar channelization Project in Shimla district had also been approved.

Virbhadra Singh said new state-of-art industrial areas were being established at Kandrauri in Kangra district and Pandoga in Una district at an estimated cost of Rs 95.77 crore and Rs 88.05 crore respectively. Time bound clearances are being ensured within 45 days from the date of submission of common application form for setting new industries. He said that 1,07,887 youth had been benefitted under Skill Development Allowance Scheme so far being implemented for skill development of the unemployed youth.

The Chief Minister also distributed the prizes to the participants of the cultural troupes.

Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Housing and Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Jagjivan Pal and Neeraj Bharti, MLAs Sanjay Rattan, Ajay Mahajan, Kishori Lal and Yadvinder Goma, Vice-Chairman Freedom Fighter Welfare Board Pandit Sushil Rattan, Chairman State School Education Board Balbir Tegta, chairman KCCB Jagdish Saphehiya, Vice-Chairman State Forest Corporation Kewal Singh Pathania, Ex-MLA Milkhi Ram Goma, Chief Secretary P. Mitra, DGP Sanjay Kumar and senior civil and police officers were present on the occasion.

Misc News/Press Release

UHF Nauni With Western Sydney Varsity Launches Online Course on ‘Agri Skills Empowerment’

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UHF Nauni online course on agri skills launched

Solan-An international agricultural research programme between several Indian agricultural Universities including Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni and Western Sydney University (WSU) was launched recently through online mode, informed the Public Relation Officer of the varsity, Suchet Attri.

He said that the online programme titled ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme- Entrepreneurs’ has been started under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) National Agricultural Higher Education Plan (NAHEP) funded by the World Bank. Under NAHEP, UHF has been awarded the Institutional Development Project(IDP). Some of the agricultural universities, who are a part of the NAHEP have tied up with WSU for this programme. 

A total of 60 final year UG students from three colleges of the university will be undertaking the 20-week course. These students will also get an opportunity to visit WSU and have an opportunity to interact with researchers to develop an awareness of new research areas and business leaders to learn real-life examples and cutting-edge research, he informed. 

The online programme launch was done by WSU which was attended by Dr A. Arunachalam, ADG (International), ICAR.

Speaking at the event, UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr Parvinder Kaushal congratulated the WSU and all the partner agricultural universities.

 He said,

“We are keenly looking forward to this partnership as our students and faculty will be exposed to contemporary knowledge in both innovation and entrepreneurship and a range of techniques and tools that have practical importance.”

The objective of the programme is to develop an Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme for high performing final year undergraduates in Agricultural, Horticultural and Forestry Science which will provide prospects for students to explore opportunities to become future leaders in research, academia or business. The programme will provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic and business leaders to identify and understand technology gaps, business ideas and strategic choices that lead to innovation-driven advantages in the agritech sector. Student learning will be through the exposure to research-informed new knowledge and business cases from the industry that will inspire students towards entrepreneurship.

UHF recently signed an MoU with WSU and three short-term courses on Entrepreneurship Development, Remote Sensing and Scientific Numeracy for the UG will also be started soon. 

The Vice-Chancellors of partner agricultural universities namely Dr Parvinder Kaushal, VC UHF Nauni; Dr Nazeer Ahmad, VC, Sher-e-Kashmir University for Agricultural Science and Technology; Dr Anupam Mishra, VC CAU, Imphal; Dr Ajoy Kumar Singh, VC, Bihar Agricultural University; Dr S Rajender Prasad, VC UAS, Bangalore and Dr RS Srivastav, VC Dr Rajendra Prasad CAU also joined the launch ceremony. 

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Read Cabinet Decisions on Regular School Classes, UG Students, General Tax Relaxation on Land/Buildings, Police Recruitment & More

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Himachal Pradesh- Regular school classes

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on October 27, 2020, held a meeting in which it took several decisions including resuming regular classes in schools. The Cabinet decided to conduct regular classes from 9th to 12th standard in educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh from November 2, 2020. Besides colleges of the State would resume classes by following the SOP/guidelines of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 

The Cabinet gave its approval to promote students enrolled in 1st and 2nd year UG courses for academic session 2019-20 to the next academic year based on the UG guidelines keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic.

It gave its approval to provide an extension in services of already engaged SMC teachers of various categories in Elementary and Higher Education Departments for the academic session 2020-21 and their remuneration may also be disbursed to them for the academic session 2020-21 subject to the outcome of Special Leave Petition (Civil) pending in Hon’ble Supreme Court.    

The Cabinet decided to raise the honorarium of IT teachers engaged on an outsource basis in the Education Department by 10 percent from 1st April 2020. This would benefit 1345 IT teachers.

The Municipal Councils of Mandi, Solan and Palampur would be upgraded to Municipal Corporations by the inclusion of adjoining areas, the Cabinet decided. It also decided to create six new Nagar panchayats – Kandaghat in Solan district, Amb in Una district, Ani and Normand in Kullu district and Chirgoan and Nerwa in Shimla district. It also gave its nod for re-organization of these Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). This includes Ner Chowk and Karsog in district Mandi and Nagar Panchayat Jwali in Kangra district by exclusion and inclusion of certain areas.

The Cabinet decided to exempt land and buildings in newly included areas of these Urban Local Bodies from payment of general tax for a period of three years and to retain the customary rights as provided in the Wazib-Ul-Urz in the record of rights.

Election to the ULBs in the State (including newly created Nagar panchayats) and newly created Municipal Corporations of Mandi, Solan and Palampur would be conducted in January 2021, after consultation with State Election Commission, the Cabinet decided. The elections to Municipal Corporation Dharamshala would also be conducted with all ULBs in January 2021. The elections for Shimla Municipal Corporation will be conducted in due course in 2022.

The Cabinet gave its nod to fill up:

  • 1334 vacant posts of Constables which includes 976 male and 267 female and 91 drivers on regular basis through direct recruitment.
  • 32 posts of leading fireman, 11 posts of driver cum pump operator in newly opened Fire Posts at Sansarpur Terrace in Kangra district, Bahawalnagar and Sangla in Kinnaur district and Patlikuhal in Kullu district.
  •  22 posts of Copyists in 22 Subordinate Courts of the State on regular basis.
  • 9 posts of different categories in the State Food Commission for its smooth functioning.

The Cabinet also decided to restore ‘Janmanch’ Programme from 8th November this year.

It gave its nod to allow one-time amnesty by redefining zero dates for projects which are under investigation and clearance stage where Implementation Agreements (IAs) have already been signed and by redefining Scheduled Commercial Operation Date (SCOD) for projects under construction stage.  This decision will benefit 221 power projects having a total capacity of 1060 MW.

The government has also decided to rename Government College Takipur in Kangra district as Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government  College, Takipur.

It also gave its consent to create and fill up one post of Assistant Professor in Super Specialty Surgical Oncology Cell in Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla.

The Cabinet decided to employ Miss Tanzin Dolkar sister of martyr Tanzin Chhultim of the village and P.O. Karpat in Lahaul-Spiti district who laid down his life during terrorists in Srinagar on 3rd August 2017. She would be appointed as Junior Office Assistant (IT) on contract basis in the office of DFO Lahaul-Spiti. 

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Himachal May Witness Second Wave of COVID-19 During Winter Season: Govt

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Himachal Pradesh-second wave of covid-19

Shimla– After lockdowns, the people seems to have resumed their normal routine and the government seems to have reduced tracing of COVID-19 cases, but the pandemic continues to tighten its grip. Official data released by the State Health Department, Himachal Pradesh had reported 20585 confirmed cases of COVID-19 till October 26, 2020, and witnessed 288 fatalities. Till yesterday, a total of 371107 persons were tested for COVID-19 in the state.

Though it should have been a priority since the beginning of the pandemic, it was on yesterday that the Chief Secretary Anil Khachi mentioned that the State should aim for zero fatality, and to achieve it, home isolation protocol should be strictly reinforced.

Currently, the state government has not formed any effective mechanism for medical check-up of COVID-19 patients under home isolation. It was only yesterday that the Himachal Pradesh Government spoke about regular medical check-ups of the people who have opted for home isolation. Directions have been issued to the health officials to ensure it. Such patients would be rushed to hospitals only if their condition worsens, the government said. 

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin- October 26, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh Winters-second wave of covid-19

If the Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi was to be believed, the department was conducting about four thousand tests per day. He said that people need to be more cautious as the second spikes of the virus may take place during the winter season.

The government claimed that about 90 percent of deaths reported due to COVID-19 took place within 24 hours of patients being admitted in health institutions. The government admitted that the aged people and patients with co-morbidity need special attention.

The festive season ahead of Diwali poses another challenge for the government in making the public maintain social distancing, use face mask and hand sanitizers. There is hardly any check on unnecessary gathering in social functions.

Existing COVID-19 Care Centres and Hospitals are already over-burdened, the government accepted. However, the government is yet to work on increasing the testing facilities, procure adequate machinery in the makeshift hospitals, and provide staff on outsource basis.

According to Director General of Police, Sanjay Kundu, the police was taking all possible steps to persuade the people to maintain social distancing in public places.

Further, senior doctors have been asked to visit patients admitted to hospitals. The government said that thrust must be laid on Education, Information and Communication (IEC) so that the person with any kind of symptoms immediately visit the hospital for COVID-19.

According to Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, to monitor the situation he held 34 video conferences with the Deputy Commissioners, Superintendent of Police and Chief Medical Officers of the State. He said that necessary directions were given to the district officers to take steps to mitigate the crisis. He said that 14 video conferences were also held with the elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions to ensure people’s participation in effectively combating the crisis.

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