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Will do away with Himachal’s ‘retired & tired’ officers and VIP culture: Jairam

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Jairam Thakur press conference

The oath-taking ceremony of Thakur on the historic Shimla Ridge Maidan will be attended by the Prime Minister, BJP Chief Amit Shah, and over a dozen of Chief Ministers of other states.

Shimla: The Chief Minister-designate Jairam Thakur, in his first media interaction, made admirable announcements over vital issues like firing “retired and tired” officials and abolishing the VIP culture. The first thing the new government would do is to send all those employees home who were re-appointed by giving them extensions after their retirement, said Thakur.

Secondly, the new BJP government would abolish the prevailing VIP culture, he told the media.

Firing unworthy, retired bureaucrats, who were granted extension as incentives for their loyalty to the ruling Congress party, is a much-needed action to cut-lose the additional financial burned on the State and to pave way for promotion of worthy and deserving officials.

All the retired and blue-eyed bureaucrats who were re-employed by the previous government will have to go now,

he told the media.

Further, all decision taken by the government during the period of three months before elections would be scrutinized and reviewed, Thakur told the media, which means re-shuffling of the bureaucrats as per the suitability of the party. It is not about political vendetta or revenge, he explained.

The oath-taking ceremony of Thakur will be held on December 27 on the historic Shimla Ridge Maidan, which will be attended by the Prime Minister, BJP Chief Amit Shah, and over a dozen of Chief Ministers of other states.

Though still to sworn in, Thakur has been given all facilities provided to the CM, and his mobility has also increased as the CM.

On December 25, Thakur visited the patients at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital on the occasion of the birthday of the former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Jairam Thakur at the Rippon hospital shimla

Pursing works of “social good and alleviate suffering” was cited to be the main motto of his government.

Meanwhile, after a boisterous show and lobbying for the top post, the elected MLAs are eyeing seats in the 11-membered cabinet of Himachal.

Thakur says his cabinet would incorporate both new and old generation leaders.

The cabinet will have both experienced and new faces, he said.

The speculated names for the Cabinet includes Rajeev Bindal, Kishan Kapoor, Sarveen Chaudhary, Mohinder Singh, Anil Sharma, Narinder Bragta and Ramesh Dhawala. Among the new faces, Gobind Thakur, Vikram Jaryal, Rakesh Pathania and Rajeev Sahjal are believed to be the eligible candidates that the government could include in the Cabinet.

The State Transport Authority Secretary Vinay Singh has been appointed Principal Private Secretary to the Chief Ministers.

The hopes of the people from the new, younger Chief Minister are sky-high owing to his individual image and political history.

The 13th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, a five-time Member of the Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur hails from a poor family of farmers in Tandi village of Mandi’s Thunag region, and he has struggled a lot for education. This is what Thakur and his octogenarian mother, Biri Singh, told the media about the family background.

His mother is the happiest of all among those who wanted to see Jairam Thakur as the Chief Minister.

My son has seen extreme poverty in his childhood,

she said.

My childhood was like any other village lads. My parents worked in the fields, and for us (three brothers and two sisters) life was not a luxury due to our father’s limited earning,

Thakur told the English daily Indian Express.

I realised my parents could not have afforded my college education, so I did not force them to. I used to work with my parents and helped augment the family income until I managed to collect money for college,

he added.

The new to be Chief Minister has an image of clean politician,  and hardly any controversy surrounds him despite a long political career in which he has not only represent the Seraj constituency as the elected MLA but also held the command of the State unit of the Bhartiya Janata Party in Himachal from the year 2009 to 2013.

Thakur had done a much better job as the party president than the current chief and defeated candidate Satpal Singh Satti. 

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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