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Demands to Revoke Section 118 to Allow Outsiders Buy Land in Himachal Face Resistance

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Demand to Revoke section 118 of HP tenancy & land reforms act

Shimla-After revocation of special status under Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, a slew of myths, half-truths and cunning manipulations is in circulation in media. Majority of common people, unaware of the history behind the Article 370 and 35A and their complex constitutional aspects, are made to believe that now India owns J&K lock, stock, and barrel and that it would solve every problem related to the development of the state and terrorism.

Party workers are chanting hymns of Bhartiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. Only the Communist Party of India and a Section of Indian National Congress are condemning it and terming as an undemocratic step, which was taken without following constitutional provisions.

Amid this slew of speculations, one of the main advantages of abrogating these Articles that is being preached is that now any Indian citizen can buy land in Jammu and Kashmir and set up businesses, which will lead to the development of the region.

At the same time, the special status granted to other states under Article 371 is being questioned and demands are being made to relax it or revoke it too. Under this article, North-East states like Nagaland, Manipur, Assam etc. have rules that prohibit non-domiciliary persons from owning land in these states. These states are granted special status based on their demographic and cultural histories.

The state of Himachal Pradesh, too, has the Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972. Section 118 of this Act listed in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution prohibits all non-agriculturists, whether they are Himachalis or non-Himachalis, from buying land in the State.

On Wednesday, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal demanded that outsiders be allowed to purchase land in Himachal Pradesh.

Similarly, MP Asaduddin Owaisi, while taking part in discussion in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, asked the government that when he would be able to buy land in Himachal Pradesh.

Other than that, migrants living in Himachal Pradesh for several decades were also heard raising the same demand.

In response to these demands, the HP Congress Committee has criticised Badal’s remark arguing that Section 118 of the HP Tenancy & Land Reforms Act, and said cannot be compared to Article 370.

Congress said this Act was promulgated in 1972 by the first Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Dr Y.S. Parmar, to safeguard the interests of the small farmers. Moreover, Congress said, people can buy flats in the state. Also, sub-section 2 (g) has provision for non-agriculturists to purchase a house, or land for building a house, from the Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA).

Also, unlike J&K, there is no restriction on women married outside the state on buying flats and lands.

Land can be bought for building a house or setting up a business or taken on lease for setting up industries after taking consent of the state government. The newly built residential building of Priyanka Vadra in Charabra of Shimla district is one example of it.

Further, Congress said that forest cover in the state would be destroyed if outsiders were allowed to buy land.

Congress termed this demand of providing relaxation in buying land in Himachal Pradesh to non-Himachalis as some sort of conspiracy in nexus with BJP to dilute the Act.

The President of HPCC, Kuldeep Singh Rathor, alleged BJP government of making efforts to relax the norms to provide land to the industrialists who arranged funds for the party during the recent Parliamentary elections.

This is why, he said, Congress has already launched “Save Himachal” campaign before the 114th anniversary of Dr Y.S. Parmar on August 4, 2019.

So far, BJP is also criticising this demand and terming comparison of Article 370 with Section 118 as illogical.

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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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