He told the employees to join the new campaign titled “Go for 100 days, Dil Se” to complete the pending works and set their own targets and to implement the programmes of the government in letter and spirit.
Shimla: After romping into power in the State, the Bhartiya Janata Party’s Government in Himachal Pradesh is promising to fulfil all aspirations of the public, for which the new Chief Minister, Jairam Thakur, is after improving the work-culture in government institutes across the state.
His body language suggests he sincerely wishes to introduce austerity in the functioning of government departments and his ministers. BJP government will fix the lacklustre approach of the government employees, the Chief Minister said on Monday while launching a 15-days statewide campaign to clean the drinking water reservoirs.
To make the government departments and their employees work committedly is the biggest challenge for the Jairam-led government. No doubt, there are exceptions and the government has honest and committed employees too. However, such employees are scarce.
Moreover, now the State government should not face any conflict of interests as the BJP is in power in Centre and State. The seat of Governor is already in the hands of the party. For the same reason, the BJP-led Shimla Municipal Corporation is expected to work smoothly without any deficiency of funds.
In alignment with the usual tradition that every government follows after winning elections, the administrative re-shuffle is already in progress as favourite ones are receiving incentives.
So far, departments of 17 senior IAS officers, including six additional chief secretaries and five principal secretaries have been shuffled.
Take a look:
|Tarun Kapoor||ACS, Forest, Town and Country Planning, Urban Development and Housing|
|Nisha Singh||ACS, Ayurveda with additional charge of Labour and Employment|
|Dr Shrikant Baldi||ACS, Finance and Planning with additional charge of Agriculture|
|Manisha Nanda||ACS-cum-Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister with additional charge of ACS, Environment, Science and Technology, Tourism and Civil Aviation and Information and Public Relations|
|Sanjay Gupta||Technical Education, Transport and Youth Services and Sports|
|RD Dhiman||Personnel, Power, Cooperation and Industry with additional charge of Chairman, HP State Electricity Board|
|Prabodh Saxena||Principal Secretary, Home, Vigilance and Health and Family Welfare with additional charge of Social Justice and Empowerment|
|Tarun Shridhar||ACS, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries|
|Onkar Chand Sharma||Revenue, Food and Civil Supplies and Tribal Development|
|Arun Kumar Sharma||Secretary, Education|
|R Selvam||Excise and Taxation Commissioner|
|Rajesh Sharma||Secretary to the Governor with additional charge of Director, Industry|
|Anil Kumar Khachi||ACS, Public Works Department (PWD) with additional charge of Chairman, HP Sales Tax Tribunal|
|Jagdish Sharma||Horticulture, Excise and Taxation,, Information Technology and Home and Vigilance|
|RN Batta||Registrar, Cooperative Societies|
Like the previous governments, the BJP government has sworn to have zero-tolerance towards corruption even at the highest level and to work at the ground-zero level.
He also talked about reducing the current debt of about 45000 crores on the state with the support of the Centre.
He also targeted the inaugurations and foundation stone laying spree during the previous regime to take credit.
Our Government believes in doing work, getting the job done and not to publicize the same amongst the people for the sake of propagating,
The aforesaid statements came on Monday from the Chief Minister’s first meeting with the administrative secretaries and Head of Departments after taking over the charge as the Chief Minister.
He told the employees to join the new campaign titled “Go for 100 days, Dil Se” to complete the pending works and set their own targets. He wants the employees to implement the programmes of the government in letter and spirit.
Not just a routine work, but you have to think beyond that, you have to think ‘out of the box’ so that we all together can make Himachal a State for others to follow,
said the Chief Minister.
The BJP had been harping that the Congress government had sidelined the centrally sponsored schemes, and their work was going on at the snail’s pace. The Chief Minister also claimed that there was “no dearth of funds and projects from the Central Government during the last few years.”
The new Cabinet, in its first meeting, had fired re-employed retired officials and decreased the age limit for the old age pension from 80 years to 70.
On Monday, he launched a campaign to clean all the drinking water reservoirs in the state. It was launched from the largest water tank of Himachal situated in Sanjauli, Shimla. The water storage capacity of this tank is 90 lakh litres.
I assure that every kitchen and bathrooms will have water taps,
the Chief Minister assured.
He cut the fare for HRTC taxis to IGMC from earlier Rs. 20 to Rs. 10. He also assured construction of an over-bridge at Sanjauli to give the public a respite for the pedestrians from traffic chaos.
On the same occasion, Mahendar Singh Thakur, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, assured undertaking strict measures to mitigate water-borne diseases.
BJP MLA and the Education Minister, Suresh Bhardwaj, reminded the people that a body of a small boy was found in the water tank in Shimla.
The Mayor of Shimla, Kusum Sadret and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Shimla, CG.C. Negi along with Ward Councillors, and the Engineer-in-Chief IPH, Anil Bahri, also attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, the cabinet ministers are also showing an activeness, which we hope isn’t ephemeral. Virender Kanwar Rural development, Panchayati Raj and Animal Husbandry Minister has also assured dealing with the stray cattle menace.
In one year, all stray cattle would be rehabilitated at farms or sent to animal shelters, he assured.
Social Media Platforms Agree to Come up With Code of Ethics, says ECI After a Meeting With Representatives
New Delhi-The usage of Social Media ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 is one of the biggest causes of worry for the Election Commission of India as well as the people. The social media platforms do not have any provisions like the Model Code of Conduct.
The role of social media in helping spread information as well as curbing misinformation cannot be underestimated. There is a desperate need to come up pro-actively with deterrents like some punitive action against users misusing the platform.
Considering this issue of ethics, the Election Commission of India today had an interactive session with representatives of various Social Media Platforms and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The representatives from social media organizations such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat, TikTok and BigoTV attended the meeting.
The Chief Election Commissioner cited Model Code of Conduct as a unique and historic document, which is followed by all political parties /entities from the date of declaration of schedule of elections till the election process is concluded.
Arora said the Social Media Organizations are formidable force-multiplier and asked them to come up with a similar Code for the ongoing election process in the immediate context and a lasting document in the long run.
Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa pointed out that today’s has been a momentous meeting for the evolution of ‘behaviour’ of Social Media platforms on Social Media.
Voluntary restraint is a hallmark of civilized society and works as effectively as any regulation, he said. He suggested that the management should consider a clear clause on users’ voluntarily agreeing not to misuse social media platforms for election or political purposes.
The need for the appointment of dedicated grievance channel for expeditious action by the organizations, pre-certification, and transparency in the expenditure of political advertisements was also raised in the meeting. The meeting focused on evolving a notification mechanism by social media platforms for acting upon the violations of Section 126 of R.P. Act, 1951 and preventing misuse of these platforms.
Manohar Parrikar Was ‘Chief Minister of Commoners’, Says Cabinet condoling his demise
New Delhi– The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today condoled the sad demise of Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister on March 17, 2019, at Panaji, Goa. The Cabinet observed silence for two minutes in his memory. Parrikar had been in and out of hospitals since February last year after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
He was cremated with full state honours at Panjim’s Miramar Beach this evening. He was 64-years-old.
The Cabinet had also approved observing one day of mourning by the Government of India and flying the National Flag at half-mast on March 18, 2019, in all the States/UTs Capitals including Delhi and throughout the State of Goa.
The Cabinet expresses profound sorrow at the sad demise of Shri Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa in the evening of 17th March 2019 at Panaji, Goa. In his passing away, the country has lost a veteran and distinguished leader, affectionately called as the Chief Minister of commoners,
said a condolence Resolution of the Cabinet.
The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, also condoled the passing away of Parrikar.
Extremely sorry to hear of the passing of Shri Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa, after an illness borne with fortitude and dignity. An epitome of integrity and dedication in public life, his service to the people of Goa and of India will not be forgotten.
the President said
About Manohar Parrikar
Born on December 13, 1955, at Mapusa, Goa, Parrikar was educated at Loyola School, Margao and later graduated in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai in 1978. Before entering politics, Parrikar had joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at a young age and became a Mukhya Shikshak (Chief Instructor) in the final years of his schooling itself. After graduating from IIT, he resumed RSS work in Mapusa and became a Sanghchalak at the age of 26.
As a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Parrikar was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Goa in 1994. He became the Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on 24th October 2000 and continued till 27th February 2002. He was re-elected as Chief Minister on 3rd June 2002 and served till 2nd February 2005. He became Chief Minister of Goa for the third time on 9th March 2012 and continued till 8th November 2014. On 9th November 2014, Shri Parrikar became Union Minister of Defence and continued till 13th March 2017, he was again sworn in as Chief Minister of Goa on 14th March 2017.
He is credited with the building of modern Goa and to the modernization of India’s Armed Forces as well as improvement to the lives of ex.-Servicemen.
Parrikar was awarded the ‘Distinguished Alumnus Award’ by IIT Mumbai in 2001, Honorary Doctorate by National Institute of Technology, Goa in 2018, and the Dr. S.P. Mukherjee Award in 2018, among others. He is survived by his two sons.
Parents Protest Loot by Himachal’s Private Schools, Education Minister Advises Sending Children to Govt Schools
Shimla- Levying of
Now, their free booklets have removed the
Distressed parents have organized under the banner of Parent-Student forum and are again out on the roads to protest against private schools and incapability of the government to take appropriate action. They are asking the government to regulate private schools and make them accountable and responsible. Three main demands of the parents include regulation of fee structure, syllabus, and admission process.
On March 11, 2019, parents gathered outside the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, to hold a protest. On March 13, the forum staged another protest outside the Directorate of Higher Education. The protests are likely to continue until the government addresses the issue, suggested the convenor of the forum, Vijender Mehra.
Parents complained that schools did not consult them before implementing fee hikes for the current session. They also alleged that schools flaunted all regulations while doing so. After extracting hefty fees, some schools were charging an additional Rs. 35-40 in the name of tours, parents alleged. If that was not enough to burden the parents, the schools charge money for their events too, the convenor of the forum said.
My son was in the second class last year, and I paid about 50,000 to the school as various fees. This year, I will have to pay more,
a father told Himachal Watcher on the condition of anonymity.
Schools have imposed compulsions on parents regarding purchase of books and uniforms. Parents are strictly ordered to buy them from shops selected by schools, where books and uniforms are sold at thrice or four times the normal cost, the convenor said.
Vendors selected by schools set stalls inside the campus and parents must buy books from these vendors. It’s a strict instruction given by the school. These vendors sell books at a higher price as parents are rendered helpless by the school,
said another parent on the condition of not mentioning the name of the school.
Schools tie up with these vendors and fetch fat commissions from them every year on the sale of stationary and uniforms, the parents allege.
If the number of students enrolled in these schools is considered, then they are earning almost over Rs.6 crores per year. Including the commissions from books and uniforms, this amount increases to almost Rs. 7 crore. Their expenditure including salaries of teachers doesn’t exceed Rs. 3 crores. Rest of the amount is their surplus,
the convenor of the forum said.
Himachal Watcher talked to some parents of children enrolled in various private schools in Shimla. It turned out that Rs. 30,000 – 50,000 per annum is a common amount for the majority of schools. For reputed ones, this cost reaches
I have two sons
enrolleda reputed private school in Shimla. Elder one is in class II and younger one is in LKG. Last year, I paid about Rs. 90,000 as their fee,
a mother – resident of Summerhill- told HW.
The schools justify annual hike and hefty charges saying that they are fully self-funded. To hike
According to Right to Education (RTE), all private schools are supposed to reserve 25 percent of the seats for children hailing from economically weaker sections. In 2014, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had also issued fresh guidelines to private schools. The parents alleged that schools are not following these rules. The government, they alleged, is behaving like a mute spectator.
It is seen that MLAs, bureaucrats, leaders of the ruling, as well as the opposition, enroll their children in reputed private institutes because they don’t believe in the quality of education and facilities provided in government institutes. While
I won’t send my children to government schools because I want them to explore their full potential and develop their personalities. I want them to develop enough self-confidence and communication skills to face the modern, tough competitive world. Currently, government schools are just not able to offer much to children,
said a father of two and resident of New Shimla.
What Does Education Minister Says?
The Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, in response to these protest, told media that he is well aware of this loot. His advice to parents was to send their children to Government schools. As per the Minister, the Government schools are tip-top and quality of education is at par with private schools.
Since assuming the office, the Education Minister was reluctant to accept that a decline in enrollments in government schools is a result of the degrading quality of education. As per his statement in February 2019, parents send their children to private schools for it has become a status symbol. He also claimed that introducing p
It’s pertinent to mention that the HP Private Education Institutions (Regulation) Act does exist, but its hardly playing any role in regulating schools.
The school aren’t even following the instruction given by the Directorate of Higher Education to submit records of their annual charges for the session 2018-2019.
Other states have developed their own regulatory mechanism to deal with loot by private schools. For example, the State of Gujarat has the Self Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act. It makes State Government competent of forming laws for state boards, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).
However, it appears that the Government in Himachal is trying to delay forming and implementing any such regulatory law.
Parents also question the government’s disinterest in the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
Moreover, irrespective of political parties in power, private schools are hardly audited.
In January 2018, right after coming into power, the Education Minister had assured the people that a policy would be introduced to check arbitrary fee structures of private schools in the State. The laws formed by other states to prevent private schools from exploiting parents financially would be studied, he had said. He had also said that very soon these schools would be brought under the Regulatory Commission.
In March 2019, the Education Minister has again given an assurance that the Government would make provisions to regulate private schools. The Government did not mention any deadline or estimated time it would take to frame laws and implement them. Meanwhile, schools have already begun extorting this year’s fees.
The parents also said that they would be meeting the Education Minister during the current week with their plea. The parents have warned the government of more such protests if no action was taken to tighten the noose around these schools.
What Does Law Say?
Operation of private schools and commercialisation of education has long been a matter of litigation across the country. The Supreme Court in December 2018 had ordered a 20 per cent decrease in fees charged by upscale private schools. The schools were ordered to return half the fees they had charged for summer vacations. This order was applicable across the country whose fees were in excess of Rs 5, 000.
The apex court had also ordered that private schools can only increase their fee by five percent each year.
Before it, cases like Islamic Academy of Education versus State of Karnataka (2003) and Modern School versus Union of India (2004) have clearly stated that educational institutions should be allowed to make only ‘reasonable surplus’. The schools were expected to use this profit to provide better facilities and not for profiteering by the school management.
Apparently, the welfare of society lies in putting a check on the commercialisation of education. Good education lies at the foundation of a strong, healthy democracy. At least, education must not be put on sale.
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