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Setback for Virbhadra in Money Laundering Case as special court confirms seizure of Delhi-based farmhouse

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Virbhadra Money Laundering Case 2

Shimla: Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s Delhi-based farmhouse worth 27. 29 crores was provisionally attached by the Law Enforcement Directorate in relation to money laundering probe against the Chief Minister and his family in March 2017.

A special court has now confirmed the attachment of this farmhouse located in Dera Mandi near Mehrauli of south Delhi area. The attachment was confirmed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Based on the FIR registered by Central Bureau of Investigation, a criminal case under the PMLA was filed by the ED against Virbhadra Singh in 2015.

The allegations said the property was also purchased “out of money laundered through shell firms”.

Funds were routed through certain paper entities or shell firms, ED had alleged. The allegation also included use of fake addresses for these bogus firms and fake bank account.

Chief Minister’s son Vikramaditya and daughter Aprajita hold shares in the Maple Destination and Dreambuild Private Limited – the firm on the name of which the farmhouse was purchased at a cost of Rs. 1.2 crores.

The news came as another setback for the Congress leader and the State government ahead of assembly polls that are just a couple of month away.

CBI had also registered a case of disproportionate assets (DA) against the Chief Minister. 

In this case, charges against Singh relates to his term as union minister of steel in Dr. Manmohan Singh government. It was alleged that Singh and his family members had amassed wealth of Rs 6.1 crore from unknown sources of income during 2009-2011.

The Chief Minister is already facing the wrath of opposition over the alleged shoddy investigation in the murder and rape case of a minor in Kotkhai, Shimla district. Almost entire Shimla Police Department is in Delhi for CBI questioning. Eight police officials including then Inspector General of Police, Zahur H Zaidi, and DSP Theog, were arrested on August 29 over alleged killing of accused Suraj Singh in police custody. 

Then SP Shimla, DW Negi, DSP Ratan Singh Negi, and ASP Bhajan Dev Negi are also being questioned by CBI in Delhi.

It would increase the troubles for the Congress government as a group of Congress MLAs allegedly headed by the President of the State Congress Committee is already against fighting upcoming assembly elections under Vibhadra Singh due to the controversy over the corruption case and shoddy police work in the aforesaid gangrape case.

File Photo: HW

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Misc News/Press Release

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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