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 HP Govt approves hydro-policy amendments, regularization of contractual staff, white cement plant  

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HP cabinet decision taken in may 8, 2018 meeting

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on May 8, 2018, approved amendments to the existing hydropower policy of the State to rationalize the rates of royalty to be applicable for allotment of new projects.

The decision was taken in view of the provisions of national hydro-power policy and also keeping in view the provisions of bordering the States of Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir, the government said.

Now, the State would defer 12 percent free power for first 12 years in case of the already allotted projects.  Also, the government made it mandatory for the HP State Electricity Board to purchase the power of hydro projects up to 10 MW capacities.

The generic tariff will be applicable in case of HEPs up to 25 MW from the date of commissioning instead of that of the implementation agreement.  The wheeling charges/open access charges will not be levied for HEPs up to 25 MW capacity.

The government expects these decisions would gear up the execution along with offering a lifeline to 737 stalled projects of around 5100 MW capacity

There are 300 projects of 2200 MW capacity in the State for which there were no takers despite repeated advertisements under the old policy.

The government said it would catalyze private investment in hydropower sector at least to the tune of Rs. 70,000 crore over the next ten years.

School To Be Named After Kasauli shoot Out Victim

It was informed that the Government Senior Secondary School, Baldwara in Mandi district as Smt. Shailbala Government Senior Secondary School, Baldwara, as a mark of respect to late Smt. Shailbala, Assistant Town and Country Planner, who was shot dead by a hotelier during demolition drive against illegal constructions.

Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kissan Scheme

Further, the Cabinet accorded approval to guidelines for implementation of ‘Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kissan’ scheme worth Rs. 25 crore. It would reduce the cost of cultivation and enhance farm income through zero budget natural farming, the government said.

The Cabinet gave its nod to allocate 66 MW Dhaulasidh hydro project on Beas river in Hamirpur district to SJVN Ltd. for implementation on standalone, BOOM basis instead of Special Purpose Vehicle on the pattern of Luhri Stage-I, II and Sunni Dam hydroelectric projects.

Regularization of Contractual Staff

It also decided to regularize the services of contractual employees working in different departments of the state government who have completed three years of continuous services as on March 31, 2018, and September 30, 2018.

It gave its nod to regularize the services of daily waged/ contingent paid workers appointed in various departments who have completed five years of continuous services as on March 31, 2018, and September 30, 2018.

White Cement Plant in Sirmaur

The Cabinet also decided to issue ‘Letter of Intent’ for grant of mining lease over an area measuring 108 hectares for setting up of a white cement plant at Noradhar in district Sirmaur in favour of M/s FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals India Ltd.  (a Government of India undertaking), Jodhpur, Rajasthan.   

Yuva Vigyan Purskar Yojna

In order to encourage students to take interest in Science subject, the Cabinet decided to introduce ‘Yuva Vigyan Purskar Yojna’ for 10+2 students.  Under the scheme, ten meritorious students obtaining highest marks in Science stream of 10+2 standard Board examination will be given a scholarship.

 The Cabinet gave its nod to open new government college at Jawali in district Kangra along-with 18 posts of various categories to manage the educational institution.

It gave its nod to upgrade Sub Tehsil Thural to Tehsil in Kangra district along-with requisite staff to manage the office. 

The cabinet gave its approval to Himachal Pradesh Victim Compensation Fund (Victim of Crime-Compensation) Scheme, 2018.

It decided to fill up six posts of different categories from wards of freedom fighters in Home Guards and Civil Defence Department. 

It also decided to create a post of Assistant Professor, Physical Education in Government Degree College, Jukhala in district Bilaspur and one post of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in State Court Management Committee in H.P. High Court on a contract basis.

The Cabinet accorded its approval to fill up 12 vacant posts of sweepers in H.P. Secretariat on daily wages.

Misc News/Press Release

IIT Roorkee Proposes Earthquake Early Warning System for Himachal

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Earthquake Early Warning System for Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Seismic hazard in Himachal Pradesh is very high as the maximum area of the state lies in the Himalayas, which is one of the most seismically active regions in the world. A developed Earthquake Early Warning System could be an effort in the direction to mitigate the seismic hazards in the state.

Therefore, IIT Roorkee has sent a proposal to the State Government to establish an Earthquake Early Warning System(EEW). IIT Roorkee has already installed such Earthquake Early Earning System in Uttarakhand with the help of State Government, which is running very effectively by generating a database of earthquake events, generating public awareness and detailed research on seismic activities.

According to IIT Roorkee’s proposal, Himachal Pradesh may put earthquake sensors in different parts of the State which will detect earthquake activities in real-time. The warning may be communicated to the general public by a network of sirens. If the earthquake has its epicentre in Kangra or Mandi regions, the people in the State Capital may get lead time to take action say by 30 to 35 seconds.

Similarly, the expected lead time to the major cities if 1905 Kangra earthquake repeats in the region would be Solan 42 seconds, Mandi 20 seconds, Dalhousie 8 seconds, Dehradun 77 seconds, Chandigarh 43 seconds, Ludhiana 37 seconds, Amritsar 38 seconds, Panipat 93 seconds and Delhi 123 seconds.

Timely action may save many lives if there is an earthquake in the State in future and such an early warning system is in place and institutionalized and such EEWS will help generating a database of earthquakes in the state and generating mass awareness on earthquake safety.

Regarding this proposal, a meeting to develop Earthquake Early Warning System in Himachal Pradesh was held under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Onkar Chand Sharma today.

After detailed deliberations, Onkar Sharma said that the State Government may consider and more discussion will be held to take up this proposal.

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Misc News/Press Release

HP Excise and Taxation Department Collects Rs. 6421.55 crore in 2018-19 Financial Year: Govt

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HP Excise and Taxation Department tax collection for 2018-29

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Excise and Taxation department collected Rs. 6421.55 crores towards government ex-chequer during the financial year 2018-19 against the target of Rs. 5860.63 crores.   The department has collected Rs. 1159.74 crores up to May 2019 during current fiscal. This information was released by Principal Secretary (E&T) Sanjay Kundu.

Kundu stressed on the need to run special campaigns for the realization of arrears due under all heads so that more revenue could be added to government ex-chequer. He also directed to work for plugging loopholes and leakages at all levels.

While expressing concern over pending arrears, he directed the department to take a fresh look at the provisions of Excise and Toll policy to make it more effective and realistic to achieve and secure higher revenue. He exhorted to make the excise policy more tourist-friendly by amending the relevant provisions and also by securing the government revenue. 

He emphasized conducting intensive and adequate training programmes for capacity building and to emulate the best practices and models available in the country.

He directed that the department should adopt a more proactive approach for revenue enhancement under Goods & Services Tax Act. The departmental officers in the field should take more interest in tax collection from the service sector in co-ordination with various government departments.

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Campus Watch

HPU VC Faces Backlash After Varsity Releases PG Merit List Without Settling UG Results

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ABVP Protest at HPU against suspension 3

Shimla– The Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh Univesity, Sikander Kumar, is facing backlash from students after he made the varsity a laughing stock by releasing merits list for PG classes without completely declaring and settling results of UG classes.

Both student organisations, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Student Federation of India (SFI) are up in arms against the VC, alleging him of incompetence to handle the affairs of the varsity properly. Also, both students organizations have been alleging the varsity of irregularities in admissions to P.hD and MCA.  

The students are alleging that not only the dictatorial attitude of the VC mentally harassing thousands of students across the state but also harassing those students who are protesting against prevailing disorder and irregularities in the working of the authorities.

It’s pertinent to mention that the varsity on Thursday suspended 10 members of the ABVP for staging protest over delay and irregularities in the UG results due which students were facing huge inconvenience.

ABVP, during another protest on July 19, termed it a dictatorial and one-sided action aimed at suppressing the voices protesting against corruption and the harassments students were facing.

SFI also criticized this action of the varsity. Irrespective of the organization to which they belong, SFI condemns the suspension of these students who were protesting against prevailing disorder at the campus, said SFI campus secretary Jeevan Thakur.

Today, ABVP staged another protest over the suspension of its members at the campus in which students laid down on the ground pretending to be dead bodies, terming it a symbolic representation of the future of students.

ABVP Protest at HPU against suspension5

The students warned that a movement similar to JP Narayan of 1975 that was organized to end the emergency like situation would be re-created against VC’s dictatorship.  ABVP demanded to revoke the suspension of 10 students and properly declare the UG results. The organization warned that if the varsity does not accept these demands, a massive protest would be organized on July 22 – the foundation day of HPU. Chandel has warned that not even the Chief Minister would be allowed to enter the varsity campus on that day.

ABVP Protest at HPU against suspension6

SFI also alleged the current VC of adopting a completely dictatorial attitude towards students and raised questions over the working of the varsity authorities.

The varsity failed to settle the results of the sixth semester of UG classes by July 19. The students are compelled to visit the varsity themselves to get their results corrected. Moreover, without settling UG results, the varsity has released the merit lists of the entrance exams for PG classes, said SFI.

It said the VC is more concerned about protecting his staff responsible for creating disorder and indulging in corrupt practices. Letters with false allegations against them were being sent to the parents of those students who were taking part in protests, which is leading to mental harassment of both students and parents, SFI alleged.

Students are being treated like captives in hostels. Even 24×7 library was made inaccessible to students. The inter-hostel outing in girl hostels was also suspended, said SFI.

The campus president of SFI Vikram Thakur alleged that the varsity is consistently depriving students of their democratic rights. He urged the students to unite in order to end this dictatorial attitude of the VC.

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