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All panchayats in Himachal computerized, have all facilities, adequate staff: HP Govt

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HP Panchayati Raj System Implementation

Owing to the successful enforcement of 50 percent reservation policy for women, 58 percent of elected PRI representatives in this hill state are women, it said.

Shimla: Amid allegations of minimal development ahead of the assembly polls, Himachal Pradesh Government claims to have made the state a role model in the implementation of the Panchayati Raj system in India.

In an official statement, the government released some statistics claiming success in implementation of the Panchayati Raj system in the state.

Owing to the successful enforcement of 50 percent reservation policy for women, 58 percent of elected PRI representatives in this hill state are women, it said.

The government claimed that all PRI’s are now entirely computerized, have all infrastructural facilities, adequate staff and frequent training are being organized.

Hundreds of vacant posts were filled in various PRIs and more will be filled in future, it claimed. The statement said Rs. 48.06 crore has been further approved for various activities in the PRIs. The honorarium of elected representatives of the PRIs was also enhanced, said the statement.

Out of the approved amounts of Rs. 48.06 crore under Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan, Rs. 7.42 crores will be spent on the renovation of 226 Panchayat Ghars and Rs.7.50 crores for the construction of new Panchayat Ghars.

A State Panchayat Resource Center will be constructed at Mashobra, Shimla, at a cost of Rs.1.25 crore. Rs.1.56 crore will be spent on construction of 13 block level resource centres. Further for the construction of District Panchayat Resource Centers at Mandi, Solan, Hamirpur, Shimla, Kangra, Kinnaur and Bilaspur, Rs.2.50 crore will be spent on each.

Rs. 50 lakh will be spent on development of Panchayati Raj Institution, Baijnath.

The Mission Mode Project (e-Panchayat project) of the Government of India has proposed 11 core software applications for the PRIs, and Himachal has already provided seven of them. Training sessions related to using these softwares for the officials of the Panchayats/Departments were organized at the Panchayati Raj Training Institute, Mashobra. The PRIs have started working on these software applications, said the statement.

In order to make the panchayats free from stray cattle, the government has rolled out a scheme under which two best panchayats in each block will be awarded Rs.7.80 crore prize money.

The honorarium of elected representatives of the PRIs was increased from July 1, 2016, from Rs.5910 to Rs.7000 per month. The honorarium for the tailoring teachers was increased from Rs.2300 to Rs.2600 per month.

Two Assistant Engineers, 172 Junior Engineers, 12 Junior Scale Stenographers, 1297 Panchayat Secretaries and 10 Junior Accountants were regularised, said the statement.

Some amendments have been made in HP Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 to ensure attendance, it said.

As per the amendment, the Gram Sabha meetings will be held in the month of January, April, July, and October in such a manner that all panchayats are covered in a district in each of such months. The quorum for the general meeting of Gram Sabha has been reduced from one-third to one-fourth.

To discuss the issues relating to the women and children and other issues, a provision has been made to organize two Mahila Gram Sabhas – first on March 8 and second on first Sunday of September in every Gram Sabha.

So far, 400 vacant posts of Panchayat Sahayaks were filled and 200 more posts of Panchayat Sahayaks will be filled. Further, 33 posts under various categories of Class-III and Class-IV have been created in the PRIs.

Further, the government claimed that the accounts and records of the PRIs are properly maintained with complete transparency and accountability in the functioning of the department.

Photo: RGPRS

Campus Watch

As major achievement, Nauni varsity scientists bag International project on oilseed research

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Nauni varsity scientists bags international project

Solan: Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, was in news last week after Jagriti Thakur, a research scholar at the varsity, won US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar Award for the year 2018.

This week, in a major achievement, the scientists of Department of Plant Pathology at the UHF, have bagged an International collaborative project on developing cutting-edge technology for inducing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability.

The University will work with nine leading research organisations of the country besides seven renowned research institutes of United Kingdom in the project. The three-year project has a total budget outlay of more than Rs 7.27 crore as Indian component, which will be distributed to the 10 Indian institutes, which are part of the project. Each Indian institute will work on a different aspect of the project with a researcher working on the same area in the UK.

The project has been sanctioned under the prestigious NEWTON BHABHA Fund UK- India Pulses and Oilseed Research Initiative (PORI). The fund has been created by BBSRC of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoI.

BBSRC which is a part of UK Research and Innovation, a body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations and government for promoting research and innovation is also making upto £3.5 million available to support the UK components of this research.

Dr HR Gautam, Professor and Head of Department of Plant Pathology informed that Dr Anil Handa, Professor of Plant Pathology will be the Principal Investigator and coordinator of this project while Dr Rajnish Sharma working in the Department of Biotechnology will act as the Co-Investigator.

He added that this achievement is one of the cherished moments in 55 years history of the department. Dr JN Sharma, UHF Director of Research, said that the University is making continuous efforts to get projects from various funding agencies and engage in collaborative work to strengthen the research capabilities and infrastructure.

India is one of the major producers and consumers of oilseeds crops in the world. The university scientists will work on ‘Genomics-led improvement of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability’ by utilizing state-of-art advanced molecular approaches like CRISPER/Cas9 for mapping the genes conferring resistance to turnip mosaic virus (TuMV).

UHF Nauni Lab

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology is an internationally acclaimed laboratory and has facilities for conducting molecular level research for determining the genetic diversity of TuMV in Northern India and developing a panel of Indian TuMV isolates for evaluating European and Indian sources of resistance.

Besides Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, the University of Delhi, South Campus; NIPGR, New Delhi; NBPGR, New Delhi; NRCPB, New Delhi; IARI, New Delhi; PAU, Ludhiana; CAZRI, Jodhpur; DRMR, Bharatpur and IIT Kharagpur will be a part of the project. The University of York, University of Hertfordshire, University of Warwick, University of Essex, Earlham Institute and Rothamsted Research will be the investigators from the United Kingdom.

While congratulating the scientists, UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma said that the project will go a long way in using the latest techniques in biotechnology for disease management to increase the productivity of oilseed crops. This project will also help train our students in using molecular markers for crop improvement.

Through this collaborative project, efforts are being made to encourage multi-institutional collaborations between UK and Indian researchers to undertake high-quality research aimed at increasing crop productivity, resilience, sustainability and quality of pulses and oilseeds grown for food or feed in India. Pulses and oilseeds are important crops in India.

Pulses are relatively under-used crops in the UK but are a major source of dietary protein in India. Oilseeds are grown in both countries and are a valuable source of oil for a variety of uses, as well as animal feed. This collaborative project aims to develop exploit genomic and bioinformatic resources to aid the development of improved varieties for sustainable crop production.

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MoU to construct Naina Devi-Anandpur Sahib ropeway signed

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naina devi-anandpur sahib ropeway mou signed

Shimla: A Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) to build ropeway between Shri Naina Devi and Shri Anandpur Sahib was signed by Additional Chief Secretary Tourism Ram Subhag Singh, Himachal Pradesh and Secretary Tourism Punjab Vikas Pratap Singh, in Chandigarh today.

The MOU in the presence of Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his Punjab counterpart Captain Amrinder Singh.

This ropeway will be constructed by Shri Naina Devi and Sri Anandpur Sahib Ji Ropeway Company Pvt Ltd with an estimated cost of Rs. 210 crores. The ropeway would cover a distance of 3.5 km.

A 10-member Board of Directors would be formed, and each government would nominate five members. The Chairman of the Board of Directors would be nominated by the Punjab government and the Managing Director would be appointed by the Himachal government. Both the governments will deposit 50 Lakhs each as an initial investment.

Chief Minister said that the lower terminal of this project would be at Rampur near Shri Anandpur Sahib, the Intermediate station will be at Toba in Himachal and the upper terminal point would be at Shri Naina Devi. The tourism departments of both the states would work as nodal agencies for this work.

The Tourism and Local Bodies Ministers Navjot Singh Sidhu said that inking of MoU by both the Chief Ministers on the auspicious birthday of Sheed-e- Azam Bhagat Singh is a big gift to the mankind.

In 2012-13, the efforts were made to build this ropeway and 14 acres of land was also acquired for this but due to some circumstances, the work could not be completed.

Naina Devi is one of the 52 famous Shakti Peethas of the country and is one of the most prominent religious places for not only the peoples of the country but the entire world. Likewise, Shri Anandpur Sahib is also a prominent international the religious place.

This project would boost the tourism sector in both the states alongwith strengthening the bond between two states besides facilitating the devotees visiting these two religious places.

It was informed that 80 percent pilgrims come to Shri Naina Devi from Punjab and during last one year, 20 Lakh devotees paid their obeisance in this Shakti Peeth.

The Chief Minister informed that for the construction of this impending ropeway, the matter had been taken up with his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder Singh on February 26, 2018.

The Chief Minister of Punjab said that with the construction of this ropeway the pilgrims of Punjab would get rid of the difficulty in reaching Shri Naina Devi.

He said that people of both the states would like to see this project completed at earliest and three year’s time frame has been fixed for its completion.

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Himachal suffers Rs. 1479 crore losses in 4 days alone, Centre releases Rs. 122 crore for rehabilitation

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Monsoon losses in Himachal pradesh in 2018

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has suffered losses of about Rs. 1479 crore and during the last four days alone. Five choppers of Indian Air Force had been pressed into service to evacuate the stranded tourists and local people.

Chief Minister, who chaired a review meeting today, informed that the Centre Government has released Rs. 122 crore as the first instalment for the State for undertaking immediate rehabilitation measures.

himachal cm in meeting

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur during meeting held today

Over one thousand people have been rescued from Lahaul valley out of these 147 have been airlifted and remaining have been evacuated by road.

He said the road would be cleared upto Baralacha by this evening. All the rescued people were being taken for medical examinations. Efforts were being made to restore communication network in Lahaul valley.

He directed the officers to ensure adequate availability of essential commodities in the valley. He said that a team of BSNL would visit Sisu today for the restoration of communication in the area. The Government has assured all possible help to the BSNL in restoration work.

Out of 18 towers of BSNL in the valley, seven were working properly.

It was informed in the meeting that 18000-litre petrol and 27000-litre diesel was made available. LPG and other food items were also in sufficient quantity. It was informed in the meeting that water Supply to Manali has been restored and Lahaul valley was also almost restored.

Till the electricity supply was restored in the valley, efforts would be made to provide solar lamps and lights to the people, it was informed. Small transformers would be airlifted from Kullu to replace damaged transformers.

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