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Photo Voter Slips Will not be Valid as Stand-Alone ID Voting: EC

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Indian Election Commission

New Delhi-The Election Commission of India has directed that all voters who have been issued Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) have to produce the Electors Photo Identity Card for their identification at polling station before casting their votes, it the Election Commission informed yesterday.

 Those voters who are not able to produce the EPIC will have to produce one of the following alternative photo identity documents for establishing their identity.

The list of 11 documents photo identity documents: 

  • Passport,
  • Driving License,
  • Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies,
  • Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office,
  • PAN Card,
  • Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR,
  • MNREGA Job Card,
  • Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour,
  • Pension document with photograph,
  • Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, and
  • Aadhaar Card.

Overseas electors will have to have to produce their original passport only for identification, the EC said.

To assist the Voters, the Commission has further directed its officers that in the case of EPIC, minor discrepancies in the entries should be ignored provided the identity of the elector can be established by the EPIC.

If an elector produces an EPIC which has been issued by the Electoral Registration Officer of another Assembly Constituency, such card will also be accepted for identification, provided the name of that elector finds place in the electoral roll pertaining to the polling station where the elector has turned up for voting.  If it is not possible to establish the identity of the elector on account of mismatch of photograph, etc. the elector will have to produce one of the above mentioned alternative photo documents.

Earlier, the Commission had allowed Photo Voter Slip as a document for identification. However, there have been representations against its use as a stand-alone identification document on the grounds of misuse as these are printed after the finalisation of the roll and distributed just close to the poll through Booth Level Officers.

The design of Photo Voter Slip does not incorporate any security feature. In fact, Photo Voter Slip was started as an alternative document as the coverage of EPIC was not complete in earlier years. Currently more than 99 per cent electors possess EPIC, and more than 99 per cent adults have been issued Aadhar Cards, the EC said.

Taking all these facts in view, Commission has now decided that Photo Voter Slip will not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting. 

However, Photo Voter Slip will continue to be prepared and issued to electors as part of the awareness building exercise. 

Further, the EC said that in order to make it clear to the electors that Photo Voter Slips will not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting, the words “THIS SLIP WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF IDENTIFICATION IN POLLING STATION. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY EPIC OR ONE OF THE 11 ALTERNATIVE DOCUMENTS SPECIFIED BY THE COMMISSION FOR VOTING” shall be printed on the Photo Voter Slip in bold letters.

These instructions were also passed to all the Returning Officers and all Presiding Officers. A copy of the instructions translated in the vernacular language will be supplied to each of the Presiding Officers, the EC said.

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Schools in Himachal to Open With 50% Staff  for Students of 9th to 12th Classes

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Himachal Pradesh Schools Opening

Shimla: After lifting all restriction on entry into Himachal Pradesh in the previous Cabinet meeting, today the state government also gave nod to re-open schools from September 21, 2020. The decision was taken in a meeting of HP Cabinet held on September 18, 2020, in Shimla. 

Only those educational institutions would be opened which are outside containment zones. Schools would be opened as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it was informed.

Also Read: Himachal: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Only fifty per cent teaching and non-teaching staff would attend students from 9th to 12th standard, provided the students are willing to take guidance from the teachers, the government informed. The students would be able to visit their teachers for guidance, but it won’t be mandatory to come to schools.

Also, written consent of the parents or guardians of the students has been made mandatory.

It is speculated that there are bleak chances of opening primary schools this year as the community spread is in its initial phase and would be wreaking havoc in upcoming months. Himachal Pradesh has reported over 400 cases with 12 deaths today only.  

It would mean a huge loss in terms of education. There are several other obstacles and issues which make online classes for students of primary classes a difficult and less efficient mode of education. Imparting education amid the COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenging task for the state government.

Further, the Cabinet gave its approval to start BSc (Hons.) in Forestry in Government College for Forestry and Horticulture, Thunag in Mandi district from the academic session 2020-21.

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Himachal: Seven COVID-19 Deaths, 395 New Cases in a Day

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Himachal pradesh corona deaths

Shimla-On Thursday, Himachal Pradesh reported 395 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. Seven fresh casualties were reported, taking the COVID-19 death tally in the state to 96. According to the official Bulletin released by the Health Department for September 17, 2020 (9 PM), the total for the state has risen to 11190, of which 4145 are active cases and 6919 had recovered.  

Seven fatalities also included a 14-year-old male from Shimla. He was a patient of Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Remaining six aged between 50-82 years.  As per the Health Department’s official Bulletin, all seven patients had pre-existing medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, severe Sepsis, severe ARDS, Hypertension etc.  

Details of COVID-19 Fatalities on September 17 (till 9 PM)

covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh on september 17, 2020-

Among Thursday’s cases, Sirmaur reported the highest 82 cases, followed by Kangra (76), Mandi (70), Solan (49), Una (38), Shimla (30), Lahaul-Spiti (15), Kullu (13), Bilaspur (12), Chamba (7), and Hamirpur (3).

Further, Solan has reported the highest number of cases (2525), and Kangra district has reported the highest number of casualties (20), followed by Solan (18), and Shimla (17).

For more statistics from all districts, view the table given below:

Himachal Pradesh-september 17, 2020, covid-19 update

Several media persons complained that the Health Officials have even stopped taking their calls and release required information. The Chief Minister, in today’s Vidhan Sabha session, compared fatality rate of Himachal Pradesh (0.8%) with the national rate (1.64%) and states having larger population like Punjab (2.8%). He claimed the state government was comfortable with the situation and rising number of cases. He said five make-shift COVID-19 hospitals, which are yet to be established, would take care of the rise in cases.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today patted his own back by releasing an e-book “Sewa Hi Sangathan” brought out by the State BJP.

In this book, BJP has claimed that various initiatives and steps were taken by the party to effectively tacking the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister also termed the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” as a success and went on to say that it has stabilized rural economy of the country and the State during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defending the decision to lift all restrictions on inter-state movement of people, including tourists, amid a community spread, he termed it a necessary step to revive the state economy. In a way, the government has made it clear that the people would have to learn to live with COVID-19.

Feature Image: [email protected]

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Himachal: 460 New COVID-19 Cases with One More Death, Situation to Worsen as State Borders Open for All

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday reported a single-day spike of 460 COVID-19 cases with one death, confirmed the state Health Department. According to the latest update (9 PM), Solan district (117) had reported the highest number of cases. Remaining cases were reported from Kangra (92), Mandi (58), Shimla (51), Lahaul-Spiti (46), Una (31), Kinnaur (14), Sirmaur (14), Bilaspur (13), Chamba (12), Kullu (8), and Hamirpur (4).

The COVID-19 tally has now reached 10795, of which 4146 are active, 6531 recovered, and 89 died.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for September 15, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh daily covid19 update september 16

The number is likely to witness a huge surge as the state government has removed all restrictions on the inter-state movement of people. No permission or registration of any sorts is required to enter the state. Tourists won’t need to present a COVID-19 report and advance booking to enter the state. At the time of the writing, a large number of tourists and other people had already entered the state as the borders were opened today evening.

Also Read: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Tourists are happy with the decision. According to a media report, earlier tourists reaching state borders without registration were being tricked to pay Rs. 300 to register and enter the state.  It was later that they found out that registration process was free of any charges. 

Inter-state bus services are also expected to resume operation soon.

Feature Image: unsplash/@sonance

 

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