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Kotkhai Row: Congress Govt cornered, BJP demands CM & DGP’s resignation after arrest of police officials

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HP Government jobs not possible for all

Shimla: The Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is completely cornered by the oppositions over alleged conspiracy in the investigation conducted by Himachal Pradesh Police in the gangrape and murder of a minor girl in Kotkhai, Shimla district.

Entire Himachal is now wondering how the State Police has left states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh behind in terms of lawlessness with this single leap.

The Chief Minister, right from the beginning, whole heartedly supported the investigation conducted by the State Police SIT formed under Inspector General of Police, Zahur H Zaidi.

He had refused having any knowledge regarding the posting of four photos on his official Facebook page, which were deleted after few minutes of posting. His IT Cell had claimed it to be a technical glitch. These photos had vent viral and deepened the doubts of people.

He was also criticised for insensitive remark over this gruesome crime after he said such kind of incidents keep happening in society.

The Chief Minister had also remarked “CBI is not God” and that the state police was equally competent in investigating this crime and deliver justice to the victim. He consistently maintained the state police have done a remarkable job by nabbing all accused within a few days.

While addressing a public gathering in Padhar, Mandi, in July, he said the issue was being given hype to gain political benefits ahead of upcoming HP Assembly polls.

A day before the police officials were arrested, the Chief Minister had tapped the back of State police in relation to this investigation. In a statement given to a Hindi daily during an interview, he had said the state police did an admirable job, but opposition created all the rucksack.

The aggressive protests and violence in Kotkhai after custodial death of Suraj was only a political vendetta to defame the government ahead of assembly polls, had said the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister was forced to order a CBI inquiry only after these protests begun to take aggressive form. A day after HP Police claimed to had solved the case in a press conference held on July 13, angry locals in Theog had roughed up the police staff including then Superintendent Police of Shimla, DW Negi.

No one except the State government and police believed the case was solved and all real culprits were arrested. From parents to locals, majority suspected conspiracy and manipulation of true facts in the investigation.

However, after eight police officials were arrested by the CBI in relation to the alleged murder of a Nepalese accused at the Kotkhai Police Station, the state government came under fire.

On August 30, Gudiya Nyay Manch had staged an aggressive protest in front of the Police Headquarters in Shimla. They demanded the removal of the Director General of the State Police.

Now the forensic reports of the DNA tests conducted on samples taken from the all six arrested accused were also reported to be negative. None of the samples matched with the samples collected from the crime scene, said sources.

Oppositions (BJP and CPIM) are now demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister and the DGP over complete failure in the investigation of the case. Oppositions are alleging the government is directly involved in shielding the real culprits. BJP staged a protest on August 31 too, and said it will continue to protest until these two don’t resign and President rule isn’t imposed till assembly polls.

Following the arrests of police officials, BJP MP Shanta Kumar said it was a blot on the state. BJP MP Anurag Thakur also questioned the credibility of state government and functioning of its police.

Former Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal, while addressing media-persons at Bangan on August 30, said the arrests have proved that the government was trying to shield the culprits and facts related to the investigation.

Not just political parties are protesting, but the common people are also shocked with these developments in the case. The distress in pubic is again aggravating as the CBI investigation is picking up momentum.

It would be a dark chapter in the history of Himachal Pradesh and a blot on the Indian Police if police department was proved guilty.

The common people, especially the poor will have no reason to believe they are safe or their right to justice is safe. Of arrested six accused, five were from poor families. Two of them were Nepalese laborers who worked in orchards of a local.

The next hearing is scheduled for September 6, 2017. The current course of investigation suggests huge damage to the credibility of the Congress government ahead of assembly polls.

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal’s Schools, Colleges to Re-Open for Regular Classes in Feb, DDU Shimla to be Notified Non-COVID Hospital

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Schools re-opens in Himachal Pradesh pradesh

Shimla-Schools in Himachal Pradesh would open for regular classes from February 1, 2021, the State Government decided in a meeting of Cabinet held on Friday.  

All the teachers of summer closing government schools have been asked to attend the schools from 27th of this month. The students of classes 5 and 8 to 12 of summer closing schools would be allowed to attend regular classes from 1st February 2021 by strictly following laid down SOPs. The school management would have to ensure strict use of face masks, social distancing and use of sanitisers in the school premises.

In winter closing schools of Himachal, the students of classes 5 and 8 to 12 would be allowed to attend regular classes after winter vacations with effect from 15th February 2021. Online system for education under Har Ghar Pathshala would continue. The similar system can be adopted by the private schools in the State, the Cabinet suggested.  

 Similarly, ITIs and Polytechnic and Engineering colleges would also be opened from 1st February 2021.  

All the government colleges would be opened for regular classes from 8th February 2021 after winter vacations.

There were reports that the government has also decided to allow gathering of more than 50 people.

It also decided to notify Zonal Hospital Dharamshala and DDU Hospital Shimla as Non-Covid Hospitals.

Further, State Government has constructed four Make Shift Hospitals at IGMC Shimla, CH Nalagarh, RPGMC, Tanda and Medical College, Ner Chowk. Now, the Cabinet said that due to reduction in Covid-19 active cases, the Cabinet decided to use the Make-Shift Hospital at:

  1. IGMC as Medicine Intensive Care Unit
  2. Make-Shift Hospital at RPGMC Tanda as Communicable Diseases/ Infectious Diseases Ward,
  3. Make-Shift Hospital at CH Nalagarh as Trauma Care Centre
  4. Make-Shift Hospital at SLBSGMC Mandi at Ner Chowk as Super Specialty Ward.

The Cabinet gave a mining lease on 599.1935 hectares of area for extraction of limestones and mining minerals for cement plant in villages Kamandal, Kumarla, Gitrata and Aara of Chopal Tehsil in Shimla district for three years to RCCPL Private Ltd., Navi Mumbai.

The Cabinet decided to set up Women Help Desks in District Police Offices and Police Thanas in the State. It also gave its nod to purchase 136 scooty/scooter alongwith 272 helmets and 136 Desktop Computer for the Women Help Desks in Police Department. 

Further, six posts of different categories for newly created Civil Courts at Jhandutta in Bilaspur district and Jaisinghpur in Kangra district would be created and filled, the Cabinet decided.

 

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Environment

The GHNP and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary Ranked as Best Managed Protected Areas of India

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MEE Rank himachal pradesh GHNP

Shimla-The Great Himalayan National Park and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) have been ranked as the best managed protected areas in India. Sainj WLS has also been placed among the top five Sanctuaries.

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, on January 11 released Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Country. At present, India has a network of 903 Protected Areas in the country covering about 5% of the total geographic area of the country. The purpose of it was to assess the efficacy of Protected Areas, evaluation of management effectiveness.

The evaluation process was executed by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, in which  nation-wide 146 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, including 13 protected areas of Himachal Pradesh, were assessed through a team of evaluators. The score is given for various parameters including staff position, provision of financial resources, degree of protection, peoples’ participation and awareness of the communities towards the conservation values. Against a national average of 62 percent GHNP and Tirthan WLS scored a high of 84.17 percent while Sainj recorded 82.5 percent.

Currently, Himachal Pradesh has a network of 5 National Parks, 28 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 3 Conservation Reserves covering 8391.42 km2 which is 15 percent of the total geographical area of the state.

Top five and bottom five scored NP&WLS

Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India 2

Source: MEE Evaluation Report

According to this Evaluation three of the top five best managed Protected Areas in the country are from Himachal Pradesh. However, the Evaluation also mentioned weaknesses in management in these National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. (Scroll down for details info)

Top two highest and lowest scored NP&WLS in five regions

Managemaent Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

Source: MEE Evaluation Report

What is Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)?

Protected area (PA) management effectiveness evaluation (MEE) is defined as the assessment of how well NP&WLS are being managed—primarily, whether they are protecting their values and achieving the goals and objectives agreed upon.

The term ‘management effectiveness’ reflects three main themes of PA management -design issues relating to both individual sites and PA systems, the adequacy and appropriateness of management systems and processes, and delivery of the objectives of NP&WLS, including conservation of values.

 Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Protected Areas (PAs) has emerged as a key tool for PA managers and is increasingly being used by governments and international bodies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protected area management systems.

MEE is a very important document that provides valuable guidance on various aspects of wildlife and protected area expand MEE of Marine Protected Areas. A new framework for MEE of Marine Protected Areas has been also jointly prepared by WII and MoEF&CC.

In recent years there has been a general concern amongst PA professionals and the public that many NP&WLS are failing to achieve their objectives and, in some cases, are actually losing the values for which they were established (Hockings et al. 2008).

As a result, improving the effectiveness of PA management has become a priority throughout the conservation community. Protected areas that are effectively managed generally lead to improved biodiversity outcomes.

However, only 20% (21,743 NP&WLS) of the total coverage of protected areas reported in the WDPA has been assessed for management effectiveness according to the Global Database on Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (UNEP-WCMC, IUCN and NGS 2018). The result indicated that only 17.5% of the countries have achieved the 60% score of management effectiveness (Coad et al. 2015).

Further, Javadekar also announced that from this year onwards 10 best National Parks, 5 coastal and Marine parks and top five Zoos in the country will be ranked and awarded every year.

Management Strengths and Weaknesses of National Parks and Wild Life Sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh

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Campus Watch

Proposed HPBOSE Date-Sheets for 8th, 10th, 12th Exams 2021 Issued, Objections Invited till Feb 10

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HPBOSE Exam Datesheet 2021

Shimla-Date-sheets for Class 10, 12, and 8 yearly examinations for the 2020-21 session have been released by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education yesterday. These schedules would apply to both regular and State Open School (SOS) students. 

These are proposed date-sheets, which have been uploaded on the official HPBOSE website and objections have been invited from teachers, students, and parents. Objections can be mailed on [email protected] till 10 February 2021.

According to the proposed HPBOSE date-sheets, examinations for 10th class would be held from May 5 to May 20, 2021. For 12th class, exams would be held from May 4 to May 29. Exams for 8th class would be held from May 5 to May 19. While timings for class 10th and 8th would be 8:45 to 12 PM, class 12th exams would be conducted from 1:45 PM to 5 PM.

The Board has already decided that yearly examinations of HPBOSE for Class 10th and 12th for the session 2020-21 would not be conducted online. The decision was taken considering the fact that several regions of the state do not have Internet connectivity due to which students face difficulties.

HPBOSE Class 12 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 10 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 8 Date-Sheet 2021

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