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Open letter to Deputy Speaker Himachal Jagat Negi on siding with private companies, mocking at labor laws

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Rakesh-Singha

My Dear Jagat Negi Ji,

For quite sometime, certain issues have been agitating my mind, therefore this letter to you. I, also choose to make it public.

You are well aware, under the Parliamentary form of democracy adopted by us, the office of a Speaker and Deputy Speaker of a Legislative Assembly is a honorable position. They are given to those who are not partisan in their conduct. In public discourse, a person holding this high position is expected to be judicious, fair and must direct his conduct clear above any narrow partisan interest.

I do not know what were the compelling circumstances which forced you to side with the Patel Engineering company in an industrial dispute with its workers. This dispute has a background of more than 120 days strike since 17th March, 2016. Remember the genesis of the dispute has a longer history. It goes back to September 2013. You would recall in early 2013, the workers of Patel Engineering had built up courage to demand the enforcement of the law of your govt.

The law of payment of minimum wages declared and notified by your govt, the law to provide earned wages before the 7th day of each month, the law to provide the wages in presence of an officer of the principal employer to be counter signed by him accompanied by a documentary evidence of a wage slip, the law of providing a weekly off, the law of providing the social benefits attached to the Provident Fund Act, the law of providing accommodation and living conditions as per the various provisions of the contract labour (regulation and abolition) Act etc.

Just examine how justice was done with the workers. Instead of directing the company to implement law, the leadership of the workers was terminated from service. The management in order to ensure that the workers do not raise the demands again, terminated Jeet Negi the president of the union, Rajvansh the secretary, Baldev the vice president, Soam Dev an active member of the union along with two other activists. Their only crime was to organise the workers so that the labor laws could be implemented.

I am grateful to the judicial system of this country, those who knocked on its door against this unjust act were provided justice. The labor court ordered in the month of May 2016 that the termination of Jeet Negi, Rajvansh and Baldev was illegal and directed their reinstatement. Soam Dev Negi did not have money to fight a legal battle and after having faced humiliation by the sub-contractors he decided to end his life. He committed suicide on 18th Nov 2013 by jumping into the Satluj river. His body was recovered six months later on 24th April 2014. The painful death of Soam Dev the only earning hand of the family, becomes even more painful when one learns that the cause of his death has not been investigated till date.

I want to know from you, are you the MLA of only the Rich, the Patel’s, the JP’s, the Jindal’s, the contractors etc. How long will the poor have to suffer and die like Soam Dev died.

Is the version of the people correct? They say in order to protect the pecuniary interest of your brother Mohinder Negi who is a big contractor under the Patel Company, you have become totally intoxicated by the ill-gotten money. Is it correct the stone crusher belongs to your brother? Is it correct people have complaint against the illegal mining being done for this stone crusher? Is it correct that he is illegally operating it by violating the condition attached to its operation? You may be correct to state why your brother and relatives are not allowed to make money when the others are doing so.

You and your brother want to treat the police as your personal army. Do you know in an industrial dispute the police cannot take sides, either with the industrialists or with the workers. But you desire that they should stand with the exploiters. Are you not ashamed you ordered a few days back to arrest 95 workers under a false and fabricated case of attempt to murder. Once the workers were in police custody you ordered their home to be raised to the ground by plying of a bulldozer. They have become homeless with all their lifelong savings having been destroyed, their bedding, their clothes, their utensils and all the little savings they had made in their life time, all have been buried under the mud. Even tyrants do not carry out such inhumane acts. The bulldozer has buried their life long earnings, but it cannot burry their history.

I can assure you, you have broken their homes, but you and your government cannot break their courage to fight back the ruthless exploitation. The fight will continue till they get justice.

With Regards

Rakesh Singha

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Himachal Watcher.

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Shimla-Based IT Start-Up Scaling Global Market in Short Span of Time

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Shimla based it company netgen solution

Shimla-A youth from a small town of the Mandi district – Sarkaghat- started as a freelancer and went on to launch his own start-up in 2014. By 2021, the start-up grew into a company that has garnered international clients  and also designed and developed websites and web apps for several Departments of the Himachal Pradesh Government.   

Netgen IT Solutions Pvt Ltd- a young agile company- has, so far, developed websites for the Department of Information Technology,  Women & Child Development, Rope & Rapid Transport Development Corporation, HP Milk Federation Cooperation,  and the HP AIDS Control Society.

Besides, it also developed  HimSuraksha Abhiyan App (National Health Mission) and the website of the Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation along with a  Services Portal.

Further, the website of the Department of Information & Public Relations and the single window system was also developed by NetGen.

Having developed over 2500 websites, Netgen IT Solutions has an imprint of having worked for clients spread over 25 countries in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

Bootstrapped as a Start-Up on 7th July 2014, the company has evolved to offer a diverse set of services for web, e-commerce and mobile solutions that have enabled Global and Indian business to adapt to a Digital First environment. In seven years, this Shimla-based company has carved out a niche for itself.

The company started with a small team of just four people, and today it employs strong-heeled 25 IT professionals. The skillset of web developers, designers, networking specialists, social media marketers and others is expanding with the growth of the company.

To mark the NetGen Foundation Day, the company hosted a live inter-action of the team members with some clients to understand the need for future technologies and solutions for a fast-changing business environment in the shadow COVID pandemic.

Mr Rajneesh Rana, Founder and Managing Director of the company, is a computer science graduate. Speaking about the company’s journey, Rana’s says, “Stepping out from working as a freelancer at the small township of Sarkhaghat, in Himachal Pradesh, to launching a start-up company, was my first step in entrepreneurship. The company was founded on a shoe-string budget with a small capital outlay. After overcoming the initial hesitancy, we’re on the firmer ground today.”

With the growth in demand for IT Services, the company in the initial year faced manpower shortages. The management took to train and equip freshers in a mentorship program to meet its needs for IT Professionals and also to equip others to find gainful employment elsewhere. Netgen till date has trained over 50 freshers with essential and advanced IT skills. Most of them for the first time in their careers got exposure to the IT Industry.

The company’s IT Technical Team today is professionally equipped to work in 20+ technologies that can be deployed across a vast network of industries. 

The Netgen team of IT professionals has expanded the services that the company now provides. A multitude of projects employing creative website design-development; customised software products; e-Commerce solutions; server administration – web security – networking services; mobile application design – development; social media marketing; stand completed.

“There is a growing demand for many other IT and IT-enabled services that the company has successfully delivered for Global and Indian clients,” said Rajneesh. 

“Since the breakout of the COVID pandemic, the demand for online services has increased. It created an environment that demands moving things onto digital platform, bringing more opportunities for the IT sector ,” added Rajneesh.  

“Take the case of the Government of Himachal Pradesh, India. To secure baseline health data of the over 70 lakh residents in the state and to prepare effective strategies for countering the spread of the pandemic in challenging hilly terrain, the state government needed a simple but effective IT-enabled solution to capture the data as fast as possible,” he said.   

“The ‘Him Suraksha Abhiyan’ application designed and developed by NetGen IT Solutions was used by thousands of teams spread under 2300+ sub-centres. In just over a month, the software solution created successfully captured the data of over 68 lakh residents of Himachal Pradesh,” he added.

The 70:30 Percent (%) Global – Domestic revenue stream of Netgen has prepared the company to expand both its export and domestic service portfolios, said Rajneesh. 

Mr Ravinder Makhaik, Director of the company says, “growing steadily, Netgen is a debt-free, profit-making company. A healthy mix of domestic and international businesses, with sound financials, gives the company strength to take up more challenging projects. Our portfolio of government projects is making good progress.”

Founded as a 1 lakh authorized capital company and with annual revenues rising at a 25 % compounded annual growth rate, the Netgen Board of Directors has decided to expand the authorized capital of the company to Rs 10 lakh to meet future growth needs.

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Who is IPS Gaurav Singh, the Officer in News for Slapping CM Jairam’s Security Personnel

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WHo is IPS Gaurav Singh

Kullu-Superintendent of Police, Kullu, Gaurav Singh became a national sensation after he allegedly slapped the security personnel of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Wednesday. The incident occurred outside Bhuntar Airport where the Chief Minister had come to welcome Nitin Gadkari, Minister, Road Transport & Highway, who is on a five day visit to Kullu.

Also Read:  IPS Gaurav Singh and CM’s Security Personnel Exchange Slaps & Kicks, Video Goes Viral, Inquiry Ordered

The incident, where SP Kullu is first seen slapping a security official of CM’s convoy, ASP, Brijesh Sood, and another security official kicking Gaurav Singh afterwards, was shared widely on social media and has garnered a lot of criticism. This incident has created curiosity among the people to know more about the IPS officer who was once termed as the Singham of Himachal Pradesh.

At that time, IPS Gaurav Singh had also been in news for being the youngest serving IPS in the state. He has been in news for his extraordinary work ethics often and has an impression of an honest and fearless officer. A 2013 batch IPS officer Gaurav Singh was born on 1 July 1990 in Agra. He has earlier served as the ASP Shimla, Baddi, Kangra and Solan, before assuming his duties in Kullu.

Gaurav Singh is widely known in Himachal Pradesh for his exceptional case solving skills. He, as ASP Shimla in 2015, had solved the infamous (Boileauganj) blind murder. In 2017, he was awarded the prestigious Disc Award by then DGP Sanjay Kumar for solving the murder case and for his good working culture and behavior.

Also Read: Himachal’s Singham is back in Baddi – hub of drug and mining mafia

IPS Gaurav Singh was also praised for solving 177 cases of illegal excavation in Baddi and imposing a fine of 26 Lakh rupees. Similarly,  he had also busted 13 cases of illicit drug and 75 cases of illicit liquor manufacturing.  Gaurav was then transferred under alleged political pressure by Virbhadra government. He served for a period of 7 months in that office.

Also Read: Baddi’s Singham – IPS Gaurav Singh slapped with transfer orders for standing against mining and drug mafia

Other than his exceptional case solving skills, Gaurav is also known for his strict work ethics. He had taken action against 26 police and home guard officials, out of which 22 were from Lahaul-Spiti and 4 from Baddi. As ASP Solan, Gaurav Singh had solved cases of ATM cash theft, chain snatching, and two murder cases. He challaned the tipper of  ex-Congress MLA’s wife in relation to illegal mining. He was transferred immediately to Kangra following alleged political pressure from the Doon MLA. 

Following the Buntar incident, Gaurav was transferred to the Range office Kullu. DGP Sanjay Kundu is conducting an inquiry into the matter. He has sent two Chief Minister’s security personnel, involved in the incident, on compulsory leave till the inquiry is complete.

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No Dialysis at Tanda Medical College; No Nephrologist, Machine Dysfunctional, Patients from Five Districts Left in Lurch

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Tanda Medical college dialysis facility

Kangra: Amid regular press statements of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur led Himachal Pradesh Government over its consistent efforts to improve the state’s health infrastructure, media reports have been highlighting facts contrary to these statements.

According to a report published in Hindi daily, Covid-19 patients with kidney-related medical conditions from Hamirpur, Mandi, Una, Kangra and Chamba are left in the lurch. The report said that these patients have no nearby options as none of the hospitals in the above mentioned five districts have dialysis facility for Covid patients. These patients are either referred to IGMC, Shimla, or PGI, Chandigarh. Also, the report says, the multi-specialty Hospital Tanda Medical College does not offer dialysis to kidney patients. Dharamshala hospital is unable to offer dialysis to Covid positive kidney patients as it lacks ventilator support.

The report cited a reference of a local who alleged that his mother, who was on dialysis, was admitted to a hospital in Nurpur. She was referred to Tanda Medical College where she tested positive. He said the hospital told him that they don’t offer dialysis facility. He was told that dialysis is performed at Dharamshala. But the hospital in Dharamshala lacked ventilator support for covid patients. The mother died while the son tried to arrange dialysis outside the state. The son said his mother would have survived if she could receive timely dialysis.

Dr. Bhanu Awasthi, the principal of the College, told the daily that Tanda Medical College does not have a Nephrologist and the available dialysis machine is not functional. The hospital has been requesting the government to fill the vacant post, he said. G.D Gupta, CMO Kangra, confirmed that patients in the district have died as they could not receive dialysis treatment because the hospitals in the district don’t have dialysis facilities for COVID patients.

Another report published in an English daily highlight the plight of cancer patients who are deprived of their chemotherapy session, posing threat to their lives.

The report says that various hospitals in the state were converted into Covid-19 treatment centres, and patients suffering from other severe illnesses were not receiving treatment in the districts of the lower Himachal Pradesh. Cancer patients in Kangra have alleged that they are not receiving treatment at Tanda Medical College which they fear could be life-threatening.
The report said Tanda Medical College is the only hospital with a facility for cancer treatment in the lower Himachal which was converted into a Covid hospital. The super-speciality wing of the hospital which caters to cancer, cardio and neuro patients has remained closed since last month. This is causing a delay in the completion of chemotherapy sessions.

Dr Bhanu Awasthi told  the daily that the treatment was suspended temporarily due to a surge in Covid cases. He said that patients who require immediate chemotherapy can go to Indira Gandhi Medical College. He said the cases in Kangra district were coming down and if the situation improves, they will be able to open the super specialty wing soon.

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