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Final list of ‘HP Cabinet portfolios’ allotted to ministers

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HP CM Jairamthakur with Modi

Shimla: The Chief Minister Jairam Thakur has finalized allotment of the portfolios to the ministers of his cabinet. On Thursday, the ministers desperately waited for the decision on the portfolios, which did not arrive. However, the suspense ended on Friday. 

HP Cabinet Portfolios

Jai Ram Thakur Public Works Department, Tourism and Excise and Taxation, Revenue (CM)
Mahender Singh  Irrigation and Public Health besides Horticulture and Sainik Welfare.
Kishan Kapoor Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Elections.
Suresh Bhardwaj Education, Parliamentary Affairs, Law and Legal Affairs
Anil Sharma Minister for Power and Multipurpose Projects in additional to Non-Conventional Energy Resources.
Sarveen Chaudhary Urban Development, Town and Country Planning and Housing.
Ram Lal Markanda Agriculture, Information Technology and Tribal Affairs
Vipin Singh Parmar  Health, Medical Education, Ayurveda, Science and Technology.
Virender Kanwar Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
Bikram Singh Industries, Labour and Employment, Technical Education, Vocational and Industrial Trainings.
Govind Singh  Forests, Transport, Youth Services and Sports.
Rajiv Saizal Social Justice and Empowerment besides Minister for Department of Cooperation

Earlier, on Thursday, maintaining the tradition, the Chief Minister also made courtesy calls on Prem Kumar Dhumal and Virbhadra Singh at their respective residences.

Related Story: For more details read about all ministers of Jairam’s newly formed HP Cabinet

After giving a jolt to the chairmen and re-employed retired bureaucrats of various Departments of the Himachal Pradesh Government on his swearing-in day, the newly appointed Chief Minister, Jairam Thakur, remained in news on Thursday for the announcement of a new year gift of three percent dearness allowance (DA) to the employees of the State government.

 

DA to hp govt employees

After the internal tussle for the seat of the Chief Minister, now the elected cabinet ministers were said to have been lobbying to get their desired portfolios.

Jairam Thakur at Virbhadra Singh residence

Jairam Thakur at the residence of former CM- Virbhadra Singh/ Photo: Virbhadra Singh

Earlier, on Thursday, the CM addressed the employees of the HP Secretariat and announced that the government employees will receive a DA at the rate of three percent with the salary on February 1, 2018. The DA will be calculated since July 1, 2017, to January 2018. The pensioners will also receive the benefits, the CM had informed. For the allowance, the government will bear an additional financial expenditure of approximately Rs. 187 crore per annum.

He told the government employees to not consider their duties secondary. Though it is least expected from the employees, the CM did appeal to the to work beyond the duty hours to give enough time to the society and for the benefit of the people.

Like the previous-CM Virbahdra Singh, Jairam said,

Though the government endeavours to provide jobs in the government sector, I do believe that the mindset for only seeking government jobs be eschewed

There was no age to learn and one should learn at every stage of life, said the Chief Minister very sincerely.

I am open to the suggestions everytime, and I believe that suggestion by a common man can be fruitful and can be a turning point for betterment in the life,

he said.

Misc News/Press Release

A dozen of BJP Councillors demand removal of Kusum Sadrate as Mayor, warn of boycott

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MAyor kususm sadret

Shimla: The Shimla city is facing more neglect from the Municipal Corporation as it continues to be in a defunct state owing to the internal feud between the Ward Councilors and the current Mayor Kusum Sadrate and Deputy Mayor Rakesh Sharma.

The Mayor was seen running after the annoyed Councillors to save her seat while the Deputy Mayor has no say.

A couple of days ago, about 11 BJP Councilors had reportedly expressed their disappointment with the performance of the Mayor by submitting a written complaint to the government.

The Councillors have warned the government that they will boycott the upcoming monthly meeting of the SMC House if the Mayor and Deputy Mayor were not removed.

The Sadrate has completed one year in the office of the Mayor on June 20, which made the situation more awkward for the party. 

In order to avert an embarrassment, the duo would have to make sure that majority of BJP Councillors attend this meeting.

The Councillors alleged the Mayor of displaying arbitrary attitude while conducting the business of the house. They also complained that majority of the developmental projects in their wards are either stuck or progressing at a snail’s pace.

The Councillors say they are not able to face the people of their respective wards, especially after what happened during the water-paucity.

Moreover, the Councillors were not happy with Mayor’s decision to leave the city for about a week to attend a conference in China amid an acute shortage of drinking water supply.

If that was not enough, she denied the suffering of the people by rejecting reports of a water-crisis situation in the town. According to the Mayor, the crisis was just a media hike and propaganda of the opposition.

At the same time, the Councillors are complaining that despite such clamour in the city, the Mayor is still not available even for them as she hardly stays at the office.

The Mayor reportedly joined the Chief Minister’s visit to Sawada while the Councillors were waiting for her to arrive at the office.

The Councillors said the Mayor is seen attending events or photo-shoots with Chief Minister or the Ministers, and rest of the time is spent in visits to the party office and Secretariat.

Further, these Councillors have been maintaining that the Mayor was not able to run the business of the MC House properly. The meetings of the House were not conducted regularly, and whenever they are conducted, there was hardly any time to debate the issues of the public interest. The last meeting did not last for even half-an-hour, said one of the offended Councilors.

Councillor Arti Chauhan has asked the Mayor to resign by taking moral responsibility of failure to fulfill the commitments made to the people before the elections.

Another Councillor said they had not elected Sadrate to enjoy tours and photo-shoots.

While the Mayor was in China, for the first time, Councillors and the Deputy Mayor of the ruling party had staged a walked out from a meeting when they were cornered by the opposition over the issue of failure to respond properly to the water crisis.

The rebel Councillors also expressed concern over degrading state of sanitation as the workers remained on strikes as many as four times during last one year. Further, the workers are now annoyed with the MC for its decision to out-source the door-to-door garbage collection in five Wards to a private contractor.

The Mayor, however, said she has done the best she could do. She showed faith in the government and her organization by denying news of revolt among the Councilors.

In the 34-member SMC, BJP had managed to grab power of the civic body for the first time in the elections held in 2017. While BJP has a support of 19 Councillors including two independent, Congress is not far behind at 14. The CPI (M) has one elected Councillor in the house too.

Earlier, the opposition Congress had almost convinced one of the BJP’s Councillor to support a motion to dissolve the MC and dethrone the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The Councillor was reportedly offered the Deputy Mayor’s chair as an incentive. The opposition had even taken signatures of 14 Councillors who were supporting the dissolution of SMC.

However, the party high command had somehow managed to silence this Councillor as well others protesting against the current Mayor.  As it turned out, the situation has now become more complicated as the Councillors report no change in the attitude of the Mayor. 

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Meet Himachal’s Virender who bagged silver for India in his first international boxing tournament

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Himachali boxer Virender Kumar wins medal in russia 9

Mandi: Virender Kumar (25), a resident of Bobar (बोबर) village of Sundernagar in Mandi district, has made Himachal Pradesh proud by bagging a silver medal at the Umakhanov Memorial Tournament in Kaspiysk, Russia. The tournament was held between June 5 to 13, 2018.

Virender, who is currently serving in the Indian Army, was one of the three Indian boxers who bagged medals for India in their respective categories. Other two were Brijesh Yadav and Gaurav Bidhuri who won a silver and bronze in 86 kg and 56 kg categories respectively.

Himachali boxer Virender Kumar wins medal in russia 2

It was Virender’s first foreign tournament and he made it count. Kumar had entered the finals after defeating Azerbaijan’s Gulguseyn Agazade in 91 kg category by a score of 5-0.

He was not born with a silver spoon and he completed his education from Government Senior Secondary School Jarol. He continued his college education at Maharaja Lakshman Sen Memorial College, Sundernagar.

Himachal Boxer Virender

His first experience with boxing dates back to his school days. However, it was not his school that encouraged him or offered any sort of assistance in his training. The spark for boxing in Virender grew as his parents supported him.

Virender has trained in Sundernagar under the guidance of his coach Mr. Naresh Kumar, who is also a local.

Virender had first come to me when he was a class IX student, thereafter, he trained under me until his college was finished. I have several students who have won medals at national level tournaments, but Virender made me proud by claiming a medal at his first international tournament,

the coach Mr Naresh told Himachal Watcher.

Mr. Naresh had begun his own career back in 1989, but the scope of boxing was very bleak in the State at that time. However, Mr Naresh still decided to develop this sport in his native place. He started his journey with 12 pairs of boxing gloves, and today he is training over 60 students daily.

Himachali boxer Virender Kumar wins medal in russia 8

Virender has won medals for his university, which was followed by several medals at the national tournaments.

After completion of his college education, he joined the Army in 2013 and trained further at the Army Sports Institute, Pune. There he bagged a gold medal at the Inter Command boxing championship organized by Indian Army at the national level.

His father Mr. Prakash Chand(54) is serving with the State Electricity Board while his mother is a housewife.

Other than his parents, Virender gave credit of his success to the Army Officials and Boxing Federation of India too. 

It was an incredible experience for me to compete in Russia. I settled with a silver medal this time, but I will try my best to perform better in future,

said Virender.

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Linking Digital Ration Cards to Adhaar caused automatic cancellation of bogus cards: CM

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digital ration card holders in Himachal pRadesh

Shimla: As a step to make Public Distribution System more effective against diversions, leakages and inefficiency and to ensure benefit of subsidy to the genuine beneficiaries, the Himachal Pradesh Government has provided as many as 18.26 lakh QR Based PVC digital Ration Cards to the consumers of the State, informed the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday.

About 87 per cent ration cards have been linked with Aadhar Number of the beneficiaries. This has resulted in an automatic cancellation of bogus ration cards and fake beneficiaries, he further informed. He said that this would reduce the diversion/pilferage of food articles, which in turn would reduce the burden of subsidy on the State Government.

In order to ensure easy availability of essential commodities to the consumers at subsidized rates and quality of products being supplied, ‘e-PDS’, ‘HP Mobile App’ has been introduced for mobiles of the consumers, he informed adding this initiative has further strengthened the PDS in the State.

He said the consumers can obtain a print of their duplicate ration cards through the official website of PDS, if they don’t have PVC ration cards.

After getting these cards signed by the specified authority i.e concerned Panchayat Secretary or Inspector Food and Supplies, the consumer can receive their monthly quota of ration from the Fair Price Shops, he said.

Chief Minister said that cashless transaction at Fair Price Shops was also underway and was likely to be implemented very shortly, which would further facilitate the consumers in getting ration from the Fair Price Shops.

He said that in order to educate and motivate the general public about their Digital Ration Card and Aadhar Seeding, video tutorials in simple Hindi have been posted in the transparency portal of the department at the website.

He said the entire digitization process and seeding ration cards with Aadhar Number of the beneficiaries would go a long way in eradicating ghost/bogus and duplicate ration cards. This would help the genuine consumers in getting food grains and other essential commodities at subsidized rates easily.

He said that a Toll-Free No 1967/1800-180-8026 has been established at the ePDS Call Centre to redress grievances of the general public. This facility is functional on all working days from 10 am to 5 pm.

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