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HP Cabinet Decisions Sept 2017: Free medicines, Jobs, financial benefits to PTA and NPS

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HP Cabinet Decisions September 2017

Shimla: Ahead of Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls 2017, the state government held a cabinet meeting on September 5, 2017. The cabinet took some major decisions aimed at pleasing the employees through financial benefits and lure unemployed by announcing filling up of vacant posts or creation of new posts in various departments. 

Financial Benefits to PTA Teachers

From June 1, 2017, the PTA (GIA) teachers, who have not served on the contract basis, will get financial benefits including annual increase along with honorarium for vacation period on the notional basis at par with their counterparts.

Free Medicines and Consumables across State

The government decided that under Indira Gandhi Free Medicines Scheme, it will provide about 300 medicines (drugs) and some consumable free of cost to all the patients irrespective of any income criteria. The provision will extend to all public health facilities in the State. The government said it has set aside a budget of Rs. 71 for this scheme.

Retirement and Death Gratuity to NPS

The New Pension System (NPS) employees will now get retirement and death gratuity. It will apply from the prospective date on terms and conditions as applicable to the employees covered under CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 subject to maximum limit of 25 years of qualifying services.

Hike in Monthly Honorarium of Panchayat Chowkidars

The government also increased the honorarium of Panchayat Chowkidars from Rs. 2350 to Rs. 3050 per month – an increase of Rs. 700 per month. The Chief Minister said Rs. 300 was already enhanced earlier and with this decision, there will be an increase of total Rs. 1000 (700+300).

Jobs/Filling Up Vacant Posts

The government has decided to fill up the following vacant post or create new posts in the following departments:

  • To fill up 110 vacant posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in Health and Family Welfare Department on a contract basis.
  • To appoint 110 staff nurses for Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Medical College, Chamba
  • To create 96 posts of Foreman by upgrading the vacant posts of Pump Operators in IPH Department
  • To fill up 20 posts of Assistant Professors (College Cadre) in Sociology and Physical Education on contract basis
  • To fill up 31 backlog posts of Lecturers of various discipline in government polytechnics
  • To fill up 12 posts of Publicity Assistants grade-I and 12 posts of Grade-II in Information and Public Relations Department on contract basis
  • To create 4 posts of Superintendent Grade I in IPH department
  • To fill up 3 posts of various categories in Institute for Children with Special Ability Dhalli
  • To fill up 1 post of Research Officer in Planning Department on contract basis
  • To fill up 16 posts of drivers in Forest Department through LDR amongst the Class IV and 16 posts be filled up through direct recruitment.
  • To fill up one post of Ayurveda Medical Officer, 3 posts of caretaker and 1 other in Old Age Home at Basantpur.
  • To fill up 2 vacant posts of Statistical Assistant by way of promotion in Social Justice and Empowerment Department
  • To create 1 post of Associate Professor in Cardiac Anesthesia Department of IGMC Shimla
  • To create 1 post of Assistant Professor (Neuro Anesthesia) in IGMC, Shimla by creating Neuro Anesthesia Cell
  • To create and fill 1 post of Law Officer in State Women Commission
  • To fill 6 posts of artists in Information and Public Relations Department on contract basis through direct recruitment
  • To create and fill up 6 posts in H.P. State Legal Services Authority
  • The cabinet decided to absorb the surplus number of employees in education department who hold essential qualifications for the post of clerk as per R&P Rules on the secondment basis.

The Cabinet also decided to increase the cadre strength of HPAS from 206 to 228 as per the recommendations of Cadre Review Committee.

The Cabinet said the World Bank and JICA assisted projects in Forest Department namely HP Forest for Prosperity Project (FPP) and HP Forest Ecosystem Management and Livelihoods Improvement Project (HPFEM LIP) now in the preparation phase.

It would be executed by re-positioning of the externally aided posts including the Mid Himalayan Watershed Development Project and Swan River Project.

The government said the headquarter of FPP will be set up at Una while that of HPFEM LIP will be at Kullu/Shamshi with one regional office at Rampur.

Both the projects require about 67 people as manpower in the preparation phase.

Misc News/Press Release

Video: Fire Wreaks Havoc at Solan Mall Road

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Solan Fire Break out 2021

Solan-A fire broke out at the congested Solan Mall Road today evening, which engulfed about three shops including a medical store and garment and shoe shops. According to the initial report received from the district administration, the fire reportedly started from a medical store, which was closed.

People first noticed smoke rising from inside the building and informed the owner of the shop and fire services. By the time, fire tenders reached the spot, the fire had spread considerably to a large part of the multi-story building. Sounds of explosions from inside the medical store caused a panic among the adjoining shopping mall and people present on the scene. These sounds of explosions reportedly came from bottles of sanitisers and other flammables products kept inside the medical store.

No loss of life was reported.

According to a report, two fire hydrants installed at the Solan Mall Road for such emergency situation did not work, which led to delay in extinguishing the fire. Meanwhile, property worth lakhs in three to four shops turned to ash. It took over two hours to extinguish the fire with the help of locals. 

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Ajay Kumar, had arrived at the spot. The exact losses were yet to be assessed. It’s pertinent to mention that the Solan Mall is a congested place with a large number of shops and the fire could have easily turned into a bigger disaster if it were not controlled. 

The cause of the fire is believed to be a short-circuit. But it would be possible to cite the exact cause only after an inquiry, if conducted. More information was awaited.

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Environment

Himachal First State to Complete Assessment of Snow Leopard and its Wild Prey

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Snow Leopard Population Assessment in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-The assessment of snow leopard population in Himachal Pradesh has been completed by the state wildlife wing in collaboration with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) Bangalore following the protocol aligning with the SPAI (Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India) protocols of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state to complete assessment of snow leopard and its wild prey.

The state has an estimated population of up to 73 snow leopards.

It is the first scientifically robust estimate of snow leopards and its prey for the State. Since snow leopard is the state animal, the study assumes great significance for Himachal Pradesh.
The exercise revealed that snow leopard density ranged from 0.08 to 0.37 individuals per 100 sq.km., with the trans-Himalayan regions of Spiti, Pin valley and upper Kinnaur recording the highest densities, both of the predator and its prey, mainly ibex and blue sheep.

This study covered the entire potential snow leopard habitat of Himachal Pradesh: an area of 26,112 sq.km., utilising a stratified sampling design. Camera trapping surveys were conducted at 10 sites to representatively sample all the strata i.e. high, low and unknown. The camera trap deployment over the mountainous terrains was led by a team of eight local youth of Kibber village and more than 70 frontline staff of HPFD were trained in this technique as part of the project. Snow leopards were detected at all the 10 sites (Bhaga, Chandra, Bharmour, Kullu, Miyar, Pin, Baspa, Tabo, Hangrang & Spiti) suggesting that snow leopards are found in the entire snow leopard habitat in Himachal Pradesh either as resident individuals of a population or as dispersing individuals navigating through these connecting habitats.

Another revelation from the study is that a bulk of snow leopard occurrence is outside protected areas, reiterating the fact that local communities are the strongest allies for conservation in snow leopard landscapes.

The NCF and wildlife wing collaborated in the effort and it took three years to complete the assessment. MoEFCC had launched the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India, on the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day. You can read the complete protocol here.

Snow leopard is the icon of high mountains of Asia. In India, they inhabit the higher Himalayan and TransHimalayan landscape in an altitudinal range between approximately 3,000 m to 5,400 m above MSL, spanning c. 100,000 km2 in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. This area contributes to about 5% of the global snow leopard range.

Snow leopards occur over a vast, relatively remote and difficult to access mountainous area. Together with their elusive nature, this makes a complete population census of snow leopards an unfeasible goal. Even their distribution remains unclear. For example, recent surveys show that they do not occur in 25 % of the area that was thought to be their range in the state of Himachal Pradesh Their density is expected to be variable in space, dependent on several factors such as habitat suitability, prey availability, disturbance and connectivity. Variation in density across space also poses the risk of biased sampling, and, indeed, most of the snow leopard population assessments conducted so far across the world are biased towards the best habitats.

Feature Photo: Pexels/Charles Miller

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Records 81% Turnout in 3rd Phase of PRI Polls, Congress Makes a Come Back in Theog MC after 20 Years

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third phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The third phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutes in Himachal Pradesh recorded around 81 percent polling on January 21, 2021. The elections were held in 1137 Gram Panchayats in this phase. The highest 94 percent polling was registered in Lodhi Majra Panchayat of Nalagarh development block in Solan district. This information was released by a spokesperson of HP Election Commission

District-wise, Sirmaur recorded 85% turnout, followed by Solan (85%) Kullu (84%),Chamba (82.8%), Mandi (82.7%), Una (81.1%), Shimla (82%),Una (81%), Bilaspur (80.3%), Hamirpur (78.1%), Kangra (78%), and Kinnaur (70%).

 Further, 48 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation also cast their votes.

The Spokesperson said that the poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state.

Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on January 22, 2021, at block headquarters.

Congress made a come back to Theog Municipal Council after 20 years. While Vivek Thapar was elected as the Chairman of the MC, Reen Roy was elected as the Vice-Chairman. Congress has already registered wins in Rohru and Rampur MCs and Chopal, Kotkhai and Sunni Nagar panchayats.

Theog MC Polls 2021

Congress After Registering Victory in Theog MC Elections

The HPCC chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, while speaking to media persons yesterday, said that of the total seven Wards of the Theog MC, Congress has claimed victory on four wards while remaining three Wards went to independent candidates. Congress alleged that BJP had left no stone unturned to pressurize, lure, and threaten elected members to gain their support. 

Rathore mocked at the defeat of BJP MP’s bother in Mandi district. Further, the candidate in Ghumarwin of Bilaspur – home district of BJP Chief Jagat Prakash Nadda-  had also faced defeat, Rathore said. BJP candidate in Sujanpur – home to Union Minister for State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur-could also not register a victory and lost, he said.

Congress also registered a victory in elections to Parwanoo MC. Kuldeep Singh Rathore, said that winning candidate Nisha Sharma joined Congress yesterday. She had won twice from the same Ward on BJP ticket. This time, she was denied ticket and fought the elections as an independent candidate. 

Parwanoo Counciloor Nisha sharma

Nisha Sharma Joins Congress

Rathore alleged that the government has been trying to threaten Nisha by registering a fake case of illegal construction. Similarly, husband of Chandrawati – another Congress councilor in Parwanoo- who runs a depot was fined wrongfully yesterday, Rathore alleged.   

While BJP has been making claims of victory on the majority of seats, Congress had been terming it as a bluff.  Also, it had been alleging BJP of misusing government machinery. Independent candidates are being bought and allurements are being given to winning Congress candidates, Rathore alleged.  

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