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Himachal training beekeepers in ‘artificial queen bee rearing’ to address falling horticultural crop productivity

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queen bee rearing in himachal pradesh

Solan: To give a fillip to beekeeping and queen bee rearing, and address the issue of low productivity in horticultural crops like apple in Himachal Pradesh, 31 experienced beekeepers from the state underwent a three-week training programme at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni.

The training was organized by the UHF’s Department of Entomology under the Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Programme, informed Suchet Attri – the Public Relation Officer, UHF.

He said all the participants were experienced beekeepers having colonies of Apis Cerena or Apis Mellifera. They were given training on bee breeding with special reference on queen production. The beekeepers will now undertake artificial mass rearing and queen rearing from their best performing colonies.

The state experiences low productivity and disease instances in honeybees due to the improper queens used to raise new colonies. If the queens are raised from healthy and better performing colonies, the disease incidences will be less and the productivity will also be good,

said Dr Harish Sharma Explaining about the training, senior entomologist and programme coordination.

He added that just like in agriculture and horticulture, good variety seeds and planting material is a prerequisite for a good crop. Similarly, in order to give a boost to beekeeping, a good-mated queen can be used by the beekeepers for raising new colonies and for sale to others.
Dr JN Sharma of UHF Nauni

This will reduce the time for raising good quality and healthy colonies. After this three-week training, most of the beekeepers are eager to undertake queen rearing for themselves and a few are planning to take it up as an entrepreneurial activity by selling queens.

In his address on the final day of the training, Dr JN Sharma, UHF’s Director of Research discussed the vital role played by bees in pollination and in increasing the production and quality of various crops. He also called upon the beekeepers to transform the beekeeping industry in the state. Dr GC Sharma, Head Department of Entomology spoke on the pioneering role played by the department in this field as a result of which the ICAR had rated the All India Coordinated Research Project running at the university as the Best Research and Training Center.

Dr Rajkumar Thakur, Joint Director (Communication) and former ICAR Project Coordinator of AICRP (Honey bees and Pollinators) stressed upon queen production by incorporating desired genes of higher productivity, gentle bee, having disease and mite resistance along with higher egg-laying capacity.

He said that the country needs to have a concrete breeding programme with a centralized database so that the colonies data of all breeders can be made available in a specific portal for effective breeding.

Pollination plays a big role in the production of various horticulture and agricultural crops. The contribution of horticulture to the state economy is quite large and can be increased further. The production of fruits like apple, cherry, pear, strawberry, oilseeds and various vegetable crops are highly dependent on pollination. At present, there are around 80,000 colonies and 1,500 beekeepers in the state.

Various aspects of beekeeping including different castes and life history of honeybees, commercial queen rearing and its equipment, colony selection, climatic and forage conditions required for queen rearing, management of colonies and honey production, pollination requirement of commercial vegetable and horticultural crops and safety of pollinators from pesticides were taken up during the three-week programme.

The participants also got an opportunity to visit PAU Ludhiana and interact with the scientists.

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Bags Three National Awards Worth 2.25 Crores Under Poshan Abhiyan

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Poshan Abhiyan Awards to Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has won three national awards under the Poshan Abhiyan. These awards were given by Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday at a function in New Delhi to the States, Districts, Blocks and Anganwadi Workers for their contributions in scaling up the Poshan Abhiyaan.

Himachal Pradesh was selected for three national awards including convergence and community mobilization, ICDS-CAS and overall excellence in Poshan Abhiyan. The state has received total award money of Rs. 2.25 crore for these awards.

The convergence awards for best performance of Anganwari Kendras were given to Mandi and Kalpa in Kinnaur district. Shimla Urban Block has been conferred block-level leadership and convergence award in the state under the Poshan Abhiyan.

Solan district won the best district award in the state for Poshan Abhiyan which was received by the Deputy Commissioner K.C Chaman.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has congratulated the Department of Women and Child Development for winning three national awards for the state under Poshan Abhiyan.

Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Dr Rajiv Saizal received the awards from the Union Minister along-with Director, Women and Child Development Kritka Kulhari and other senior officers.

Additional Chief Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment, Nisha Singh, has also congratulated the entire team of the department for this achievement. 

Further, Eight other states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand and three Union Territories – Chandigarh, Daman &Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were given 23 excellence awards consisting of a certificate and cash prize of Rs. 1 crore to 1st position and Rs. 50 lakh to the 2nd position for ICDS-CAS implementation and capacity building, convergence, behaviour change and community mobilisation.

For overall excellence, the award amount was Rs. 1.5 crore to 1st position holders and Rs. 75 lakh to 2nd position holders.

At the District Level, 53 officers of19 districts of different States/UTs were given awards comprising of a certificate and a medal. At the Block Level, 50 officers of 24 Blocks of different States/UTs were also given awards comprising of a certificate and a medal.

For exemplary services, 237 field functionaries comprising of Anganwadi Workers, Anganwadi Helpers, Lady Supervisors, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nurse and Midwives (ANM) were given a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each, a certificate and a medal.

Total 363 POSHAN Abhiyaan Awards were given away with a total cash prize of Rs 22 crore. Twenty-two certificates of appreciation were also given to the line Ministries and Development Partners.

 

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HP Govt Schools Lag Behind in Imparting IT Education, Put Future of Children at Stake

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IT Education in HP government schools

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Government schools are lagging behind in imparting IT Education to children in the 21st Century in which this knowledge has become a basic requirement. The Centre government boasts of Digital India initiative and the state government never misses an opportunity to mention that Vidhan Sabha has gone fully digital. At the same time, government schools are awaiting critical reforms to keep up with the modern world.

As per information provided by MLA, Sarkaghat Constituency, Colonel Inder Singh, in Vidhan Sabha, in state’s government schools, IT is taught as an optional subject only from class IX to Class XII, that too only in Senior Secondary Schools. The subject is not available in middle and high schools. The students who opt for IT as a subject are charged Rs. 110. Students falling under SC and BPL category are given exemption of 50 per cent, he informed.

In Centre schools, on the other hand, IT is taught as a compulsory subject from Class III to Class X and as an optional subject from Class XI to Class XII, Inder Singh said in the Vidhan Sabha. The fee in Centre schools in Rs. 100 per student.

He said, in Navodaya Vidayalas, IT is taught as a compulsory subject from class VI to class X and as an elective subject from class XI to XII.

The private schools running in the state do not follow any set pattern in terms of the class from which the students are introduced to IT and fee charged for it, he added. However, there is no doubt that every student enrolled in private schools do receive IT education irrespective of the level at which the subject is introduced.

As far as the neighbouring states are concerned, Inder Singh said, in the state of Haryana, IT education is taught as a compulsory subject from class VI to Class VIII and as an optional subject from Class IX to Class XII. No fee is charged from students upto class VIII. Thereafter, Rs 30 is charged during Class IX and X and Rs 35 during Class XI and XII, he informed.

In Chandigarh, IT education is a compulsory subject from Class VI to VIII and no fee is charged from the students for it.

The MLA pointed out that our education system has serious loopholes when it comes to imparting IT education to children in a government schools. The students are introduced to this subject in class IX, which is very late considering the need of the time. Also, this subject is not compulsory. Moreover, as the fee charged for opting IT as a subject is higher, students who find it unaffordable to pay this fee remain deprived of this necessary knowledge.

The future of such students who could not afford to study IT could be imagined in the current scenario. They would find it quite difficult to adjust in professional courses at the graduate or postgraduate level. Later, in terms of career opportunities, they would lag behind, the MLA said.

Inder Singh requested the government to consider making IT Education a compulsory subject from Class VI to Class VIII and provide at least two to three computers at middle and high schools along with computer teachers.

Further, he informed that the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology is facilitating IT Education in 1,131 schools of the state, and 1,367 teachers have been recruited for this purpose. In remaining Senior Secondary schools, PGT (IT) teachers have been recruited by the Education Department.

The leader of the opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri, also supported this argument and questioned the government over non-delivery of laptops promised to school students.

In response to this request, the Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the total number of government schools in the state is over 18,000. Considering a lack of sufficient resources, it is not feasible to provide computer labs in all schools, he said.

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Misc News/Press Release

Video: Army Truck Falls Into Gorge in Shimla, 1 Lost His Life, 3 Injured

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Army truck accident in shimla

Shimla– A truck of army carrying four jawans of 18 Mahar Regiment fell into a 100 feet gorge near Lambidhar in Theog, Shimla, on Friday. As per initial reports, one of the jawans lost his life while three others were injured. The injured were taken to Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, for treatment.
army truck in Shimla

The deceased was identified as Rajesh (37). As per the report, he was brought dead to the hospital. Other injured were identified as Surajn, BK Rai, and Nagppa.

The cause of the accident is not known yet. The truck was reportedly on its way from Ambala to Jhakri. A case has been registered at the police station, Theog. More details are awaited.
shimla army truck accident

List of injured

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