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EC would provide disables voting card in Braille, auxiliary polling stations, transportation on polling day

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National Level Consultations on Accessible Elections organized by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in New Delhi

New Delhi: In India’s first National Level Consultations on Accessible Elections organized by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in New Delhi, several decisions have been taken regarding the strategy to enable 100 percent participation of the disables in the upcoming Lok Sabha Election.

Himachal Pradesh will launch a mobile app to facilitate disabled voters in the ensuing general elections. Ajai Srivastava, a member of HP State Committee on Electoral Literacy (SCEL) and Chairman of the non-profit organization Umang Foundation, said. He was representing Himachal as a disability expert.

It was the first national consultation on accessible elections in the country in which one disability expert from each State and Union Territories participated along with Chief Electoral Officers.

During the concluding session, the Chief Election Commissioner launched the distribution of Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) with Braille features for visually challenged voters by handing them over to two of the recipients. Later, he announced that such cards would be distributed to all visually challenged voters across the country.

All educational, vocational, and professional institutions across the country will set up Electoral Literacy Clubs to include potential young voters in the electoral process.

The disabled students will also be included in these clubs. The State Election Department will appoint more disabled with achievements as Youth Icons.

They will motivate the disabled and other youth to exercise their right to vote for the betterment of the country.

In the next election, transportation facility would be made available to severely disabled voters for casting their vote.

The Election Commission will constitute committees at national, state, district, and assembly constituency levels to monitor the compliance of its directions. The purpose is that no voter to be left behind.

The Commission has decided to establish auxiliary polling stations for the People with Disabilities (PwDs) during elections.

Disability Coordinators would be appointed at the levels of Assembly Constituencies, Districts and States. He informed that a mobile app would be developed in-house for the PwDs to facilitate them participate fully in election processes.

They would be permitted to avail public transport along with their attendants on the day of polling. The ECI would make available all its election-related awareness materials in accessible formats for the PwDs. The photo voter slips would also be made in accessible formats for them.

For the use of the hearing impaired voters, sign language windows will be established in all audio-visual training and awareness contents of the Commission. A new unit called Accessible Division would be established in the ECI-run International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Management (IIDEM) in New Delhi.

Accessibility Master Trainers would also be employed to provide cascaded training for the welfare of the PwDs. A follow up of the actions taken based on the recommendations made during the National Consultations on Accessible Elections would take place in the next three months.

The Election Commissioner Sunil Arora in his address said,

We should go far beyond the bureaucratic measures to overcome the barriers. Technology has the capability to fill the gaps and it shall be explored to its fullest potential.

The Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa remarked that the set of recommendations received from the Consultations will be examined thoroughly and efforts will be made to implement them in a time bound manner.

The deliberations held during the two-day consultation resulted in a comprehensive “Strategic Framework on Accessible Elections” to help in making electoral processes more accessible in the forthcoming State and Lok Sabha Elections.

The Framework includes 14 important parameters like Identification of Barriers and respective solutions, Voter registration and polling, Inclusive Voter Education, Leveraging Technology for Accessible Elections, Research and Knowledge Sharing, Role of Partner Departments, Educational Institutions, CSOs, Volunteers and Media, Training and sensitisation of Staff, Alternative Voting Methods, Legislative Initiatives and Special four-tiered Committees on Accessible Elections.

Umang Foundation will help the Election Department to achieve the goal in HP,

Shrivastva Said.

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Himachal Records Fresh Spell of Snow, HP Met Issues Alert

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snowfall in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The weather in Himachal Pradesh has taken a turn with a prediction of rain and snowfall till December 5, 2021. At the time of writing this report, Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti was receiving a fresh spell of snow, cheering the tourists, as well as, the hoteliers. So far, the traffic movement was normal in the region.

This has caused a sharp drop in temperatures across the state.

The District Administration of Lahaul-Spiti has advised the locals and tourists to avoid wandering to high altitude areas unnecessarily.

The HP Meteorological Department, Shimla, has also issued a yellow alert for December 2 and December 5. While the plains can experience light to moderate rainfall at a few places,  the middle and higher hills could witness widespread rain and snow on December 2.   

For December 4, the HP Met had predicted light to moderate rain across the state. For December 5, however, the Met has issued an yellow alert with a prediction of rain and snow at several places.

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UHF Nauni Extends Online Plant Booking Date Till Dec 7

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Plant booking at uhf nauni 2021

Solan-Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has extended the last date for online booking of planting material prepared by the university’s main campus and its Krishi Vigyan Kendra(KVK) at Solan. Interested farmers will now be able to book plants on the university online portal till December 7.

This year the booking for the planting material of apple, plum, apricot, peach, kiwi, pear, pomegranate, persimmon, etc. is being done online and farmers can submit their demand for plants by logging on the university website and visiting the ‘Farmers corner’ section. The university has advised the farmers to register themselves through their email address on the university portal.

The farmers who have not been able to submit their demand forms have also been advised to resubmit their demand forms.  

Applicants will have to fill in their complete postal address and the Khasra number of the land where the planting is to be carried out along with their contact details. After the OTP-based registration process is complete, applicants will be able to book plants for varieties supplied by the university. The plant varieties available for sale and distribution on this web portal have been grafted on seedling rootstock. The procedure for the sale and distribution of Nursery Fruit Plants from other University Research Stations and KVK’s will be the same as in previous years.

The university will start the allotment process after the booking is closed. Based on the total demand, the university will allot plants out of the available quantity. The allotment list will be made available on the university portal. The farmers will be also be notified about the date on which the plant will be available and from which nursery they will be provided.

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HP Police Becomes 8th State Police of India to Receive Presidents Colour Award

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HP Police Presidents Colours award

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Police organized the Presidents Colour Award ceremony at the historic Ridge Ground on December 1, 2021.

Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar was the Chief Guest and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was also present as a special guest on the occasion. The Governor honoured the State Police with the Presidents Colour Award which was received by the Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu.

While extending greetings and expressing happiness on receiving the Presidents Colour by Himachal Pradesh Police, the Governor said that it was the 8th State Police of India which has received this distinction.

“President Colour’ is a special achievement and this proves the state police ranks high in the service of humanity along with performance, professionalism, integrity, protection of human rights and other parameters,” said the Governor.

HP Police Presidents Colours award ceremony

The Governor honoured the State Police with the Presidents Colour Award which was received by the Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu.

He added that this feat has also been given to the State Police for the contribution of its personnel, who have worked tirelessly over the years to make it reliable, professional, honest and people-friendly. He said it would definitely motivate the Police personnel and they would work more readily in public service.

While interacting with media on the occasion, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur congratulated the State Police for being awarded President’s Colours by the President of India for its meritorious services. He said that this Award was the highest point in the professional life of any uniform. 

Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu said that the President’s Color’was not only an award but also a responsibility, which the Himachal Pradesh Police has to fulfil with more integrity, efficiency and discipline.

He added that every Jawan of the State Police should take a pledge to maintain security and peace in Devbhumi Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier, the Governor inspected the Parade. On the occasion, the formation of Hollow Square by the Police Band, Pilling of drums and consecration of the colour was the main attraction

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