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Conference held on ‘Artificial Intelligence: Potential Applications in Himachal Pradesh’

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HIMCOSTE conference on artificial intelligence

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE )today organized a Conference on ‘Artificial Intelligence: Potential Applications in Himachal Pradesh’ at at the State Secretariat in Shimla.

Though the State Government is still struggling to provide basic facilities like water, waste treatment facilities, good roads, parking etc. to the citizens in Himachal’s towns, the Chief Minister has still ensured maximum use of AI and technology in governance and administration.

The tech-team supposed to run the show also appeared to be struggling with projectors and laptops.  

However, the presence of the national experts gave some relevance to the conference.  

Among these, the Chairperson, Department of Computer Science and Engineering IIT Madras and Chairperson Artificial Intelligence Task Force Prof V. Kamakoti said that AI was poised towards economic transformation in the next few years.

He said that all the systems in the machine that make intelligent decisions could be called Artificial Intelligence. Every project sanctioned by the Government could be geo-tagged and review and monitor the projects themselves. This can give a sense of participation in the government projects, he added.

 He said that in the next five years advisory solutions, healthcare, IT Services, BPO etc could emerge as major job creator due to use of AI in these areas.

Numerous companies in India, particularly e-commerce businesses as well as many start-ups were beginning to exploit AI techniques.

Additional Chief Secretary, Science, Technology, Environment, and Chairperson HIMCOSTE Tarun Kapoor said that the Artificial intelligence would be the largest creator of jobs in the next few years.

 Director, CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi Dr Anurag Aggarwal gave a detailed presentation on AI and human intelligence. He said that Intelligent Infrastructure and AI can handle most of the definable tasks in governance. He said that AI can also play a key role in the field of medicine since medical knowledge was expanding with the expansion of AI.

Further, the Chief Minister said that the AI and technology could also be helpful in checking illegal constructions and in forest mapping to check illegal forest felling.

The AI could emerge as an effective tool for ensuring effective and accountable administration. The illegal mining was another area, which could be checked by optimum use of artificial intelligence, he said.

 This technology would be used for monitoring of ongoing developmental projects to ensure their timely completion.

Further, the Government said the optimum use of Artificial Intelligence will be ensured for effective, transparent, responsive and good governance to the people.

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MIS for processing grade mangoes approved, would open 34 fruit collection centres: Govt

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HP Mango MIS approved 2

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government has given approval for implementation of the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for Mango procurement of processing grade mangoes in the State during the year 2018.

Under the scheme, 250 metric tonne fruit of seedling, 200 metric tonnes of grafted and 50 metric tonnes of unripe Achari varieties of mangoes will be procured at the rate of Rs. 6.00 per kg Rs. 7.00 per kg. and Rs. 6.00 per kg. respectively.

A Spokesman of the State Government today said that procurement would be done through HPMC and HIMFED in crates and these agencies would be allowed handling charges at Rs. 1.30 per kg. Like the previous year, average sale returns from the fruits have been assessed as Rs. 2000, Rs. 3000, Rs. 2000 per metric tonnes for fruits of seedling, grafted and unripe Achari mango varieties respectively.

He said that 34 fruit collection centres will be opened under the scheme for which HPMC and HIMFED would coordinate on the basis of procurement data for the last three to five years.

These centres would be opened by the procurement agencies in case of need and would be manned and operative by HPMC and HIMFED with their own staff.

Under the scheme, 2.5% extra fruit (by weight) will be procured from those farmers/orchardists who possess horticulture cards and who own ten bighas or less land under mango cultivation. As such, no fruit would be procured from the contractors.

He said that this scheme would be implemented in the State with immediate effect till August 15, 2018.

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Industrial units seeking expansion will have to employ 80% Himachalis: Govt

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Employment to himachalis in industries

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government today said it has made amendments in the provisions of Rules regarding grant of incentives, concession, and facilities to the industrial units of the state.

As per the new notification of the State government, all existing industrial units (as on April 1, 2018) set up in the state which seek to undertake expansion will have to employ at least 80 percent bonafide Himachalis, informed a spokesperson of the Industries department.

The hiring could be undertaken on regular/contractual/Sub-contractual/daily basis or any other mode of employment including the persons hired through a contractor or through outsourcing agencies against the additional manpower which may be generated as a result of the substantial expansion, it was informed.

This condition would also apply to the new units to be established in the State after 1 April 2018.

Only those industries, which undertake substantial expansion, have to abide by this Rule. Hence, the existing industries, which are not going to undertake substantial expansion, are not bound by the amended/notified provision of this Rule.

He said there is no shortage of trained technical manpower in the State now, therefore, the condition of 80 percent employment of Himachalis has been incorporated in the Rules.

There are around 250 ITIs, 30 Polytechnics Institutes and around 40 Engineering Colleges and Universities in the State and thousands of technically qualified persons are completing their courses and coming out from these institutes in search of jobs.

New trades as per the demand of the industries are also being included in the courses of ITIs, Polytechnics and Engineering Colleges, the spokesperson said.

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Rs. 423 crore HP Mushroom Development project will help in women empowerment: Govt

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Mushroom cultivation in himachal pradesh


Shimla:
The Indian Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance has approved Rs. 1131.87 crore projects for Himachal Pradesh.

These include Rs. 708.87 crore for Water Conservation Project for the Department of Irrigation and Public Health and Rs. 423 crore Himachal Pradesh Integrated Mushroom Development project for the Department of Horticulture.

As per the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, an Rs. 423 crore integrated mushroom development project would help to double the income of farmers and provide employment and self-employment opportunities to youth.

The government also expects the project would boost mushroom cultivation in the State. All varieties of mushroom would be cultivated under the project besides importing technical knowledge for cultivating mushroom, which would give a fillip in increasing the income of the farmers, said the government.

The Chief Minister said that this project would also provide an opportunity to the growers of the state to diversify their farming pattern and go for viable and profitable farming avocation.

The mushroom cultivation would also help in women empowerment as more and more women would be motivated to go for mushroom cultivation for increasing their income, thereby making them self-dependent since mushroom cultivation is an indoor activity.

He said the demand for mushrooms is increasing within the state as well as outside the state including export, and it offers better prospects for enterprising growers to take up cultivation on large scale. He announced that modern infrastructure will be developed under the proposed project for controlled cultivation of mushroom round the year.

Further, it was informed that the first phase of the Rs. 4751.24 crore water conservation project worth Rs 708.87 crore will include construction of check dams, ponds, Kuhl’s and other water harvesting structures.

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