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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.

Misc News/Press Release

HP Civil Supplies Selling Onion at Rs. 64 per kg

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HP Govt Onion Sale in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Civil Supplies Corporation has purchased 1200 quintals of imported onion from M/s NEFAD Delhi, which is being distributed through various godowns and fair price shops of the Corporation, to provide relief to the consumers from unexpected rise in onions prices.

A spokesperson of the corporation informed that the onion are being made available to the common public at rate of Rs. 64 per kilogram as per the directions of the State Government, which would be available to the public on ‘first come first buy’ basis. Till now, almost 800 quintal onion has been distributed and the remaining 400 quintal onion would be distributed within a period of seven to ten days.

He said that the State Government has bought the onion from imported stock of the Union Government. Spokesperson said that department is keeping strict vigil on hoarding of onion and if any such case is found, strict action would be taken against the defaulter.

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Misc News/Press Release

More Rain/Snow in Himachal Till Jan 22: HP Met

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Snow prediction for shimla 2020

Shimla-Shimla has received yet another spell of snow on Thursday, leading to road blockage and blackouts in some places. In Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri and Hatu Peak were covered in thick layer of snow. The traffic movement on National Highway-05 was hit in the upper region of Shimla. Hundreds of people including tourists were stranded in snow.

Local police had to carry out rescue work till late at night. With the help of machines, the road was opened for hundreds of stuck vehicles, buses, and tourists.  

Driving towards Kufri has become a dangerous task due to frozen roads. Therefore, the local police has urged tourists to avoid driving towards Kufri.

Other than Shimla, Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, peaks of Kullu, and Kinnaur have also witnessed a fresh spell of snow, affecting daily life.

Following it, the state is reeling under a coldwave. Keylong was coldest at -10 Degree Celsius, followed by Kalpa at -4.2, and Kufri -1.8, Dalhousie at -0.8, and Shimla at 0.6.

The HP Meteorological Department has predicted more rain/snow till January 22 except on January 19. According to the Met, while plans/lower hills are likely to witness rain/thundershowers at isolated places, the middle and higher hills can receive scattered rain/snow.

The Met has predicted widespread rain/snow on January 21.

 

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Campus Watch

Hamirpur’s Reena Among 100 Meritorious Students Invited to Watch Republic Day Parade from PM Box

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UHF Nauni Dr Reena Kumari

Solan-Dr Reena Kumari, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Vegetable Science at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, has been invited to watch Republic Day Parade 2020 from the Prime Minister’s Box at Rajpath, New Delhi.

She is among the 100 meritorious students selected from across the country by the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), Government of India to witness the event. The travel and lodging expenses are being borne by the MHRD. 

Hailing from a small village Kashmir in District Hamirpur, Dr Reena was the topper of her school in class 10 +2 and joined UHF in the year 2009. She completed her master’s and doctorate in the discipline of Vegetable Science under the guidance of Dr Ramesh K Bhardwaj and has worked on improvement and development of new varieties in cucumber. Dr Reena has scored 88.00 and 86.60 % marks in MSc and PhD programme respectively with a gold medal in her PhD programme.

She was the university merit scholarship holder during her graduation and post- graduation programmes. Besides, she has also published eight research papers, one book chapter, review paper and popular article. Dr Reena has qualified various examinations like JRF and SRF.

An ecstatic Dr Reena thanked the MHRD and the university and for giving her the once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the grand parade from the Prime Minister’s box. Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor, senior officers and students of the university congratulated Dr Reena on her selection.

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