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Kullu caste discrimination row: All 3 including headmaster get bail within 24 hours of arrest

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arrests in Kullu Cast discrimination case

Kullu: In the case relating to alleged caste discrimination with Dalit students of government high-school Chesta in Kullu district, the Bhuntar police had made three arrests yesterday after questioning about 35 people.

The probe team led by Shamsher Singh Thakur, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Manali, indicated more teachers could be arrested in the same case. As per the Superintendent of Police, Kullu, Shalini Agnihotri, the police has total 22 accused in the case. 

However, as a jolt to the police, before it could reach remaining accused staff,  the three arrested persons easily obtained a bail within 24 hours of their arrest.  Though the police had requested a judicial custody for the arrested accused, the District and Session Court reject it and granted bail to accused.

It might bring relief to the accused staff from the possible suspension. 

The police said it is trying to get its hands on the remaining accused. The investigation is still in progress, said the SP.

Earlier, in the magisterial probe conducted by the district administration, the allegations labelled by some Dalit students against the school staff were found true. 

Following it, the local police on February 22 had lodged an FIR against the school administration and management committee of the school under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (PoA), 2015, at the police station, Bhuntar.

On Tuesday, the police had summoned the Headmaster of the school, Rajan Bhardwaj, drawing teacher, Ajai Thakur, and Mid-Day meal worker, Dile Ram (दिले राम) for questioning. After hours-long questioning, all three were arrested by evening.  

The students had alleged that while upper cast students were allowed to enter the house to watch and listen to PM Modi’s ‘Pariskha Pe Charcha’ on February 16 on television, some Dalit students were allegedly made to stand outside the house at a place meant for cattle and horses. 

Read More: Kullu Caste Discrimination Row: Students refuse to eat mid-day meal with Dalit classmates in front of probe committee

 Rs.1 Lakh compensation to each victim of caste discrimination

Earlier, the administration had announced a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to each of 12 identified victim (children). There is a provision of compensation under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (PoA), 2015.

About SC/ST PoA Act, 2015

The new clause was introduced in the principal SC/ST PoA Act, 1989, through an amendment in 2015 to ensure more stringent provisions for prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. 
The amendment was passed in the Lok Sabha on August 04, 2015 and Rajya Sabha on December 21, 2015
Act was assented by the President on December 31, 2015
It was enforced on January 26, 2016 

 

About Types of Offences in SC/ST PoA Act 2015

Inclusion of new offences of atrocities like tonsuring of head, moustache, or similar acts which are derogatory to the dignity of SC/ST members
Garlanding with chappals
Denying access to irrigation facilities or forest rights
Dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or to dig graves, 
Using or permitting manual scavenging, 
Dedicating a Scheduled Caste or an SC/ST  women as devadasi, 
Abusing in caste name
Perpetrating witchcraft atrocities 
Imposing social or economic boycott
Preventing SC/ST candidates from filing of nomination to contest elections
Hurting an SC/ST woman by removing her garments 
Forcing a member of SC/STs to leave house, village, or residence 
Defiling objects sacred to members of SC/ST community
Touching or using words, acts or gestures of a sexual nature against SC/SC community members

Other than the aforesaid offences, certain IPC offences like hurt, grievous hurt, intimidation, kidnapping etc., were also introduced through this amendment. The act provides for a sentence of less than ten years of imprisonment if convicted. 

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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