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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.

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Himachal Bags Three National Awards Worth 2.25 Crores Under Poshan Abhiyan

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Poshan Abhiyan Awards to Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has won three national awards under the Poshan Abhiyan. These awards were given by Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday at a function in New Delhi to the States, Districts, Blocks and Anganwadi Workers for their contributions in scaling up the Poshan Abhiyaan.

Himachal Pradesh was selected for three national awards including convergence and community mobilization, ICDS-CAS and overall excellence in Poshan Abhiyan. The state has received total award money of Rs. 2.25 crore for these awards.

The convergence awards for best performance of Anganwari Kendras were given to Mandi and Kalpa in Kinnaur district. Shimla Urban Block has been conferred block-level leadership and convergence award in the state under the Poshan Abhiyan.

Solan district won the best district award in the state for Poshan Abhiyan which was received by the Deputy Commissioner K.C Chaman.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has congratulated the Department of Women and Child Development for winning three national awards for the state under Poshan Abhiyan.

Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Dr Rajiv Saizal received the awards from the Union Minister along-with Director, Women and Child Development Kritka Kulhari and other senior officers.

Additional Chief Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment, Nisha Singh, has also congratulated the entire team of the department for this achievement. 

Further, Eight other states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand and three Union Territories – Chandigarh, Daman &Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were given 23 excellence awards consisting of a certificate and cash prize of Rs. 1 crore to 1st position and Rs. 50 lakh to the 2nd position for ICDS-CAS implementation and capacity building, convergence, behaviour change and community mobilisation.

For overall excellence, the award amount was Rs. 1.5 crore to 1st position holders and Rs. 75 lakh to 2nd position holders.

At the District Level, 53 officers of19 districts of different States/UTs were given awards comprising of a certificate and a medal. At the Block Level, 50 officers of 24 Blocks of different States/UTs were also given awards comprising of a certificate and a medal.

For exemplary services, 237 field functionaries comprising of Anganwadi Workers, Anganwadi Helpers, Lady Supervisors, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nurse and Midwives (ANM) were given a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each, a certificate and a medal.

Total 363 POSHAN Abhiyaan Awards were given away with a total cash prize of Rs 22 crore. Twenty-two certificates of appreciation were also given to the line Ministries and Development Partners.

 

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HP Govt Schools Lag Behind in Imparting IT Education, Put Future of Children at Stake

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IT Education in HP government schools

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Government schools are lagging behind in imparting IT Education to children in the 21st Century in which this knowledge has become a basic requirement. The Centre government boasts of Digital India initiative and the state government never misses an opportunity to mention that Vidhan Sabha has gone fully digital. At the same time, government schools are awaiting critical reforms to keep up with the modern world.

As per information provided by MLA, Sarkaghat Constituency, Colonel Inder Singh, in Vidhan Sabha, in state’s government schools, IT is taught as an optional subject only from class IX to Class XII, that too only in Senior Secondary Schools. The subject is not available in middle and high schools. The students who opt for IT as a subject are charged Rs. 110. Students falling under SC and BPL category are given exemption of 50 per cent, he informed.

In Centre schools, on the other hand, IT is taught as a compulsory subject from Class III to Class X and as an optional subject from Class XI to Class XII, Inder Singh said in the Vidhan Sabha. The fee in Centre schools in Rs. 100 per student.

He said, in Navodaya Vidayalas, IT is taught as a compulsory subject from class VI to class X and as an elective subject from class XI to XII.

The private schools running in the state do not follow any set pattern in terms of the class from which the students are introduced to IT and fee charged for it, he added. However, there is no doubt that every student enrolled in private schools do receive IT education irrespective of the level at which the subject is introduced.

As far as the neighbouring states are concerned, Inder Singh said, in the state of Haryana, IT education is taught as a compulsory subject from class VI to Class VIII and as an optional subject from Class IX to Class XII. No fee is charged from students upto class VIII. Thereafter, Rs 30 is charged during Class IX and X and Rs 35 during Class XI and XII, he informed.

In Chandigarh, IT education is a compulsory subject from Class VI to VIII and no fee is charged from the students for it.

The MLA pointed out that our education system has serious loopholes when it comes to imparting IT education to children in a government schools. The students are introduced to this subject in class IX, which is very late considering the need of the time. Also, this subject is not compulsory. Moreover, as the fee charged for opting IT as a subject is higher, students who find it unaffordable to pay this fee remain deprived of this necessary knowledge.

The future of such students who could not afford to study IT could be imagined in the current scenario. They would find it quite difficult to adjust in professional courses at the graduate or postgraduate level. Later, in terms of career opportunities, they would lag behind, the MLA said.

Inder Singh requested the government to consider making IT Education a compulsory subject from Class VI to Class VIII and provide at least two to three computers at middle and high schools along with computer teachers.

Further, he informed that the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology is facilitating IT Education in 1,131 schools of the state, and 1,367 teachers have been recruited for this purpose. In remaining Senior Secondary schools, PGT (IT) teachers have been recruited by the Education Department.

The leader of the opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri, also supported this argument and questioned the government over non-delivery of laptops promised to school students.

In response to this request, the Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the total number of government schools in the state is over 18,000. Considering a lack of sufficient resources, it is not feasible to provide computer labs in all schools, he said.

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Video: Army Truck Falls Into Gorge in Shimla, 1 Lost His Life, 3 Injured

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Army truck accident in shimla

Shimla– A truck of army carrying four jawans of 18 Mahar Regiment fell into a 100 feet gorge near Lambidhar in Theog, Shimla, on Friday. As per initial reports, one of the jawans lost his life while three others were injured. The injured were taken to Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, for treatment.
army truck in Shimla

The deceased was identified as Rajesh (37). As per the report, he was brought dead to the hospital. Other injured were identified as Surajn, BK Rai, and Nagppa.

The cause of the accident is not known yet. The truck was reportedly on its way from Ambala to Jhakri. A case has been registered at the police station, Theog. More details are awaited.
shimla army truck accident

List of injured

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