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RTI Activist Writes to Governor over HPPSC Member Rachana Gupta’s Participation in Politically Dominated Event

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HPPSC Member Rachana Gupta at Global Investor meet

Shimla-The Member of Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission, Rachana Gupta, who has been in controversy over her appointment, is again in news. This time, an RTI activist has written to the Governor of the State, Bandaru Dattatreya, pointing out the presence of Gupta in recently held Global Investor Meet, Dharamshala. A picture of Gupta with the wife of the Chief Minister Jairam Thakur at the event was also attached with the letter.

The activist has termed the event as political dominated in nature where prominent leaders of the party were present.

The activist, Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, in his letter, has asked whether Gupta had obtained any permission from the Chairman, HPPSC, to participate in the said event.

The activist also raised a question whether it was appropriate for a member of HPPSC to participate in any politically dominated meetings or events.

“Suppose the wife of a Chief Secretary is a High Court Judge, then can she justify her participation in a political dominated event by arguing that since her husband participated in that event as a Chief Secretary so she can also participate,”

said the activist in his letter.

He said such participation of an HPPSC member would only erode the sanctity of the Commission in the eyes of the candidates and their parents who take the competitive examinations. He also said that such an act would also lead to erosion of the faith that the candidates have in the HPPSC.

The activist said that already a complaint is pending in the office of the Governor relating to criminal case Gupta was facing at the time of her appointment as HPPSC member. In July 2019, Gupta had to obtain bail from the Joginder Nagar court, the activist said.

Referring to the well-known proximity of Gupta with the family of the Chief Minister, the activist said that she was appointed within a very short span of time right after the Jairam Thakur took over the government. A special vacancy was created for her despite the fact that at the time of her appointment there was no such vacancy.

The activist has requested the Governor to initiate an inquiry into the matter and remove Gupta from the membership of HPPSC “in the interest of justice to the candidates who appear in various competitive examinations being conducted by the institution.”

At the time of her appointment in January 2018, the activist had alleged that the Bhartiya Janata Party allegedly created and filled two seats of the member of the HP Public Service Commission by violating the orders of the Supreme Court regarding the proper procedure to make an appointment on such positions.

In addition, two posts were created when all three posts were already occupied, the activist had alleged.

In July 2019, Gupta had filed a defamation suit against a the activist for allegedly tarnishing her image and reputation by posting wrong posts on Facebook.  She had made claim of Rs 1 crore from Bhatacharya.

 

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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