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Read about all ministers of Jairam’s newly formed HP Cabinet



Shimla: Today, the new Cabinet of the Himachal Government was formed. Along with Jairam Thakur, who sworn-in as the Chief Minister, 11 other ministers also assumed their offices. Right after the oath-taking ceremony, Jairam Thakur held first meeting with his cabinet ministers.

As per the analysis of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) Three ministers are 12th pass, eight are graduates, and one minister is PhD. Five ministers, Anil Sharma, Govind Singh Thakur, Mahender Singh, Kishan Kapoor, and Bikram Singh have criminal cases against them.

The new cabinet has two ministers in the age group of 41 to 50 years, while six are in the age group of 61 to 70 years. Remaining four are in age group of 61 to 70 years.

Let us take a brief look at the new cabinet:

Jairam Thakur

Jai thakur oath taking ceremony

It is obvious that Jairam Thakur is the leader of the council of the ministers. He was born on 6 January 1965 in Tandi village of Murahag panchayat of Seraj Assembly constituency in Mandi district. His father’s name was Jethu Ram and mother’s name is Briku Devi. Thakur did his primary education from Kurani School and studied in High School Bagsyad near Thunag. 

In 1998, he won his election from Chachiot Assembly constituency and has been MLA from Chachiot (which after delimitation was known as Seraj Assembly constituency).

He won for five consecutive terms as an MLA. He remained State BJP President and was Cabinet Minister in previous BJP government. He has also remained as Vice Chairman, State Civil Supplies Corporation. He also remained as President of BJYM. He has declared total assets worth  Rs 3.28 crore.

Mahender Singh

Mahender Singh


  • Mahender Singh was born on 22 February 1950.
  • He was elected to State Legislative Assembly in February 1990 as an Independent.
  • Elected again in 1993 as Congress candidate.
  • In 1998 elected on HVC ticket in 2003 as Lok Tantrik Morcha (H.P.) candidate.
  • Won in 2007 on BJP ticket.
  • He also won 2012 Assembly election as BJP candidate.
  • For being elected to the Assembly in five consecutive elections, on five different election symbols has been recommended for entry in the Guinness Book of World Record.
  • He remained Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and PWD from March 1998. 
  • He resigned from the Council of Ministers in December 2004.
  • He also remained Chairman, Estimate Committee besides being Member of various other House Committee.
  • Total Assets declared Rs 15.38 crore

Kishan Kapoor

Kishan Kapoor

  • Kishan Kapoor was born on 25 June, 1951.
  • Remained Member Bhartiya Jan Sangh and Janata Party before being associated with the BJP.
  • Kapoor was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1990 as BJP candidate.
  • He was re-elected to the Assembly in 1993 and 1998.
  • Elected to State Assembly again in December 2007 and appointed Transport Minister.
  • Total Assets declared Rs 7.99 crore

Suresh Bhardwaj

Suresh Bhardwaj

Suresh Bhardwaj was born on 15 March 1952 at Village Bhamnoli, PO Summerkot, Tehsil Rohru, district Shimla

  • He had also won the last Assembly election 1n 2012.
  • He is a BSc and LLB and remained actively involved in student movement during college days
  • He was the National Secretary of ABVP from 1973-74.
  • He remained in jail on several occasions, particularly during the emergency.
  • He was elected as the Convener, Himachal Pradesh Loktantrik Morcha in 1977
  • He was elected President of the Janata Yuva Morcha from 1978-81.
  • He was elected as the Himachal Pradesh BJYM National Treasurer in 1987-88.
  • He was elected as the President State Bhartiya Janata Party from 2003-2006.
  • He was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 1990 and to Rajya Sabha in 2002.
  • He remained Member of various standing Committees of the house as also the Consultative Committee of various ministers.
  • Returned to the State Legislative Assembly in December 2007 and appointed Chief Whip of Bhartiya Janata Legislature Party and Chairman, Human Development Committee of the house.
  • Total Assets declared Rs 93.53 lakh

Anil Sharma

Anil Sharma

  • Anil Sharma was born on June 30, 1956.
  • He is BSc (Diary Technology).
  • Sharma was elected to State Legislative Assembly in November 1993
  • He remained Minister of State for Youth Services, Sports and Forest from 1993-96
  • He remained Member Rajya Sabha, 1998-2004.
  • He was elected again to the State Legislative Assembly in December 2007.
  • He remained General Secretary Pradesh Congress Committee and Chief Whip, Congress Legislative Party.
  • He was elected to State Legislative Assembly in December 2012 and remained Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister.
  • Total Assets declared  Rs 40.20 crore

Sarveen Chaudhary

Sarveen Chaudhary

  • Sarveen Chaudhary was born on 21 January, 1966 at Dharamshala
  • She did MA in classical dance and Diploma in Yoga, Painting and Cookery
  • She took part in Nehru Yuva Kendra and NSS activities during student life
  • She remained an active worker of R.S.S.
  • She entered politics in the year 1992
  • She remained Mandal Pradhan of BJP Mahila Morcha in 1992 to 1994
  • She remained the president of the Bhartiya Janata Party, district Kangra from 1995-97
  • She was elected to the State Assembly on BJP ticket in 1998 and remained Parliamentary Secretary from 3 November 1998 to March 2003
  • She was elected again to the State Assembly in December 2007 and was appointed Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment
  • She again won 2012 Assembly election
  • Total Assets declared Rs 4.19 crore

Ram Lal Markanda

Ram Lal Markanda

  • Dr. Ram Lal Markanda was born on 17 October 1966.
  • He remained active in State NSUI during 1989-93
  • He remained General Secretary H.P. Youth Congress,
  • He remained President Himachal Vikas Congress, District Lahaul & Spiti
  • He remained Minister of State for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (Independent charge)
  • He remained Minister for State for Animal Husbandry (Independent Charge) and attached with the IPH and Minister for IPH
  • He was given additional charge of PWD (attached with the CM) in 2001 and resigned from the Council of Ministers on 3.2.2003.
  • Total Assets declared Rs 87 lakh

 Vipin Singh Parmar


  • Vipin Parmar was born on 15 March 1964.
  • He was active worker of Rashtriya Sevak Sangh (RSS)
  • He remained organizing secretary State Akhil Vidyarthi Parishad
  • He remained the Secretary of All India Akhil Vidyarthi Parishad
  • Elected to State Legislative Assembly in 1998
  • He was  re-elected in December 2007
  • Total Assets declared Rs 1.44 crore 

Virender Kanwar

Virender Kanwar

  • Virender Kanwar was born on 29 January 1964.
  • He is BA, LL.B. and Diploma in Pharmacy.
  • He remained a member of RSS since childhood
  • He remained convener of ABVP, district Hamirpur between 1981-85
  • He remained General Secretary and President of BJYM, district Una from 1992-95 and 1995-2000 respectively
  • He remained Member of the State Bhartiya Janata Party, Executive during 2003-06
  • He was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 2003.
  • He was re-elected in December 2007
  • Total Assets declared 3.38 crore

Bikram Singh

Bikram Singh

  • He is the Son of Kishan Chand, and was born on 28 August 1964 at village Jole, Tehsil Jaswan, District. Kangra
  • He is a B.Sc., B.Ed
  • He was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2003 from Jaswan Assembly segment which has now been renamed as Jaswan-Pragpur after delimitation.
  • He remained Vice Chairman of  H.P. Khadi & Gramudyog Board during1999-2003
  • He remained the  President of the State BJYM in 2000, and Vice President State BJP 2008
  • He was re-elected to the State Legislative Assembly in December 2012
  • Total Assets declared 74 lakh 

Govind Singh Thakur

Govind Singh Thakur

  • He is the Son of Kunj Lal Thakur (Ex. Minister)
  • He was  born on 3 October 1968 at Village Kanyal, Tehsil Manali, District Kullu
  • He is a  Graduate


Dr. Rajiv Saizal

Dr Rajiv Saizal

  • Dr Rajiv Saizal was born on 11 July 1971.
  • He is a BAMS.
  • He remained the General Secretary of Doctors Cell, BJP, district Solan
  •  He was first elected to the State Legislative Assembly in December in 2007
  • He was re-elected in 2012
  • Total Assets declared 77 lakh

Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity Admissions Open for Diploma in Fruit, Vegetable Processing & Bakery products



Nauni varsity admissions for diploma

Solan-The Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has invited applications for its one-year Diploma in Fruit and Vegetable Processing and Bakery products. The diploma will be run by the Department of Food Science and Technology of the university.

This year, the university has also reduced the fee charged for the diploma to Rs 5000. Earlier, the fee for this diploma was Rs 20,000. The decision was taken to ensure that more and more people can apply for the programme.

In addition, the programme has also been linked to the Skill Development Allowance scheme of the Government of Himachal Pradesh. Any person enrolled in the programme can also apply for this allowance.

The minimum educational qualification for this diploma programme is Class 10+2 with at least 40 per cent with no age cap for admission. The last date of application is 17 January 2019 and the counselling will be held on 19 January.

A total of 35 seats are available in the programme. Prospectus and application form can be downloaded from the university website(

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234 Ambulance Roads in Shimla City Declared ‘No Parking Zones’, Parking woes to Intensify



List of ambulance roads in Shimla City declared no parking zones

Shimla- The parking woes have intensified in Shimla City as the District Magistrate of Shimla, Amit Kashyap, issued an official notification on December 19, 2018, in which 234 ambulance roads in Shimla city were declared as “No Parking Zones.

As per the notification, based on the report received from the Superintendent of Police, Shimla, it was found that the residents, as well as outsiders, had turned link roads into unauthorized parking spaces, which results into huge traffic jam and inconvenience to the smooth passage of ambulances carrying patients along with the general the public.

Therefore, the District Magistrate declared all the following 234 ambulance roads as “No Parking Zones”:

He said the decision was taken keeping in view the necessity of smooth flow of traffic and passage to ambulances on ambulance roads in Shimla City.

As per the notification, the matter was highlighted as the local residents of the Middle Cemetery, upper Gahan, Bhatttakufar, Dhingu Bawari, Frud, Lower Gahan, and Nerridhar had requested to declare the ambulance roads leading from Dhigu Bawari to Lower Gahan and From PWD Workshop Bhattakuffer to Jai Moti Bhawan (Cemetary) as “No Parking Zone” as some of the people park their vehicles on these roads resulting in traffic jams and obstruct ambulances.

While the government has a policy to allow buying vehicles only if an applicant could provide evidence of having a parking space, there are a large number of cars which were either bought before the formation of this policy or are registered in other districts of the State.

A section of vehicle owners have expressed unrest against this decision and argued that it was not fair, as the government did not provide sufficient authorized parking spaces in localities.

Having a personal parking space doesn’t matter as soon as an individual drives to other parts of the city. Sufficient parking spaces based on the required capacity of a particular Ward or locality are needed to fix this problem, and it is apparently the government’s job

said a resident of Khalini, Shimla.

On the other hand, the majority of the general public has supported the decision expecting that it would make these roads more convenient and smoother for traffic.

However, the district police is likely to face a lot of resistance from local residents while ensuring compliance with the orders passed.

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Opposed to Tribal Minister’s promise in Assembly, FRA claims of Kinnaur tribals rejected to favor hydro-power company



HP Govt Rejects FRA Claims of Kinnaur villagers

Doling out forest land to the company but cannot grant tribal rights, shows government priorities; Empty promise on FRA made in Vidhan Sabha: Lippa Forest Rights Committee

Kinnaur: Barely few days after tall promises were made about implementation of the Forest Rights Act in the Legislative Assembly by the Tribal Minister Ramlal Markanda, the District Level Committee (DLC) at Rekong Peo has rejected the Individual Forest Rights claims of 47 tribal claimants of Lippa Village in Kinnaur District, said Forest Rights Committee, Lippa in a media statement. The order of the DLC, which was not signed by the three non-official members of the committee out of the six members, was termed as illegal and unjust by the Lippa Forest Rights Committee.

We condemn this order led by the Deputy Commissioner because the arguments for not recommending the 47 claims are totally baseless. It is clear that the officials are ignorant about the provisions of the FRA 2006. The DLC has just blindly accepted the incorrect decision taken by the bureaucratic members of the Sub Divisional Level Committee, where as we have provided the DLC detailed objections to the same, based on the provisions in the Forest Rights Act 2006,

said Subhash Negi of President of the Forest Rights Committee, Lippa.

The order of the DLC dated December 17, 2018, gives three arguments for not recommending the claims. The first is that the claims are not from ‘unsurveyed villages’ but from revenue villages. The second argument is that the evidence submitted by the claimants does not provide proof of three generations. The third argument says that the act was only for those who are primarily residing in forests and dependent on the forest land, implying that the claimants were not eligible. As per the FRC as well as the written objection submitted by the Individual claimants, all three arguments have been legally countered.

This Act is not just for ‘unsurveyed villages’ but is also applicable to revenue villages with residents who are dependent for their ‘bonafide livelihood’ needs on forest land. This has been adequately clarified by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in a circular dated June 9, 2008.

This argument by the officials that claimants from revenue villages are not eligible is ridiculous because all 17,503 FRCs in Himachal are formed at Revenue Village level. If we go by their argument then the FRA 2006 cannot be implemented in Himachal at all since there almost no forest villages here. The FRA 2006 is applicable where ever people depend on forest land,

according to Prakash Bhandari, of Himdhara Collective advocating for the implementation of the Act.

Secondly, the Act requires the three-generation evidence clause only for non-tribal people (referred to as Other traditional forest dwellers in the Act), Whereas the applicants in the case of Lippa are all belonging to the category of Scheduled Tribe. Thirdly, the SDLC and DLC have both recommended the Community forest rights for the Lippa village without any objections.

This is s a partial reading of the law. While issuing the CFR title we are considered as ‘primarily residing in the forest, forest dwellers’, while considering the individual claims won’t the same criteria apply? This shows that the officials do not have even basic knowledge of the act,

added Negi.

It needs to be noted that individual claims can be made, as per the law for both housing as well as land being cultivated. The Gram Sabha of Lippa has recommended all 47 claims almost 6 months ago.

The decision of the DLC is also contentious because the forest land under Lippa Village was leased out to Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited for the Kashang Stage 2 and 3 hydropower projects by the State cabinet on 0ctober 13, 2018. The Paryavaran Sangharsh Samiti, Lippa which has been opposing the forest clearance to the project, has objected to the cabinet decision taken on the grounds that it “is a clear violation of not only of the PESA, FRA, 2006 and the NGT judgment dated 5th May 2016 but also the state’s own legislation”.

In 2016 the Green tribunal had ordered that the forest rights of the communities be settled as per provisions of the FRA and only after that the project proponents could approach the Gram Sabha for NOC.

The lease order was made under Himachal Pradesh Lease rules, 2013 for an underground area of 06-03-20 ha, situated in Up-Mohal Lappo of the Lippa Village. According to Tashi Chewang, Secretary Paryavaran Sanrakshan Sangharsh Samiti, “Rule 11 sub-rule 2 (iii) of the Himachal Pradesh Lease Rules, 2014 clearly states that

In Scheduled areas, the Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) shall also refer the lease application to the concerned Gram Sabhas for consultation. He shall proceed further only after obtaining the Gram Sabha’s resolution

in this regard.

But during the whole process of leasing out land to HPPCL, neither the SDM has ever approached or consulted with the Lippa gram sabha nor the gram sabha ever passed any resolution in this regard.

The ‘Vanya Prani, Van Evam Jaivividhta Sanrakhsan Samiti’ formed under rule 4(E) of the FRA 2006 by Lippa Gram Sabha has issued a legal notice to the Chief Secretary and 6 other high level officials challenging the lease order.

The people of Lippa village for the last ten years have been struggling against the projects because of the havoc that diversion of the Kerang Khad would cause. Kerang is a perennial stream that flows adjacent to the Lippa village and it helps in flushing out the huge silt and debris that come towards the village from another stream called the Pager Khad.

If the Kerang is diverted by the project then the Pager khad will destroy the village, added Chewang. The Chilgoza forest and other biodiversity on which the livelihood of locals is directly dependent will also be impacted by the forest diversion and construction

, according to members of the Paryavaran Sanrankshan Sangharsh Samiti.

Our struggle is for our day to day survival and livelihood using every law that is available for protection of tribal rights. But when the State is violating all these constitutional laws and provisions, what is the community to do?

asks R.S Negi leader of Him Lok Jagriti Manch, Kinnaur, a platform for tribal rights in the District.

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