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Solan: Traditional Dish ‘Kacholtu’ Gets a Modern Twist, Local Startup Launches Frozen ‘Ready to Cook’ Product

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Solan: The savoury seasonal corn dish of ‘Kachol’ or ‘Kacholtu’, mainly popular in Solan district would soon become available throughout the year. Preeti Kashyap, a Solan based entrepreneur, with the technical guidance of the scientists of Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has recently launched a modern take of this traditional product as a frozen ready to cook food.

Preeti had joined the university in 2019 in the Department of Food Science and Technology (FST) for a one-year Diploma programme in Fruit and Vegetable Processing and Bakery products. While pursuing her diploma, Preeti took up her idea with the CM Start-Up Scheme of the state. On approval, she was allotted Department of FST as her incubator to refine her idea and develop it into a marketable product. University scientists Dr Devina Vaidya and her team-Dr Manisha Kaushal and Anil Gupta provided the scientific input in product development.

Preeti got the idea after seeing her grandmother prepare the traditional dish. As the availability of raw material was limited only to a few months, the product could only be made for fresh consumption. Her idea was to make the product available throughout the year in a modernized form. The CM Startup Scheme gave her a platform to explore her idea.

At UHF, Preeti did extensive testing to increase the shelf life of the product as earlier it was only available during the availability of corn. Thanking the University and the Department of Industries, she said that the mentors at the university helped her to solve the problem of binding and extend the shelf life to nine months as frozen food and that to without the use of any preservative or external flavours. Besides, several tests including moisture and sensory test have also been undertaken to increase the quality of the final product.

Solan Traditional himachali dish

Preeti has now set up her company ‘Healthy Food Treasure’ and aims to make the product available in the market by the year-end. She is also in the process of testing sweet, lemon, garlic and fortified variants of the product.   

Congratulating Preeti and university scientists on their achievement,

Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor said,

“It is very encouraging to see young entrepreneurs coming ahead to popularize traditional food items so that more and more people get to taste them. The university is actively encouraging its students to take up entrepreneurship in the argi-horticulture and allied disciplines where they can utilize the knowledge gained at the university to transform people’s lives through their innovative and innovative products”.

Dr Manoj Vaidya, Nodal officer of the UHF Incubation centre informed that since the inception in 2017-18, the universities has enrolled eight incubatees after a shortlist process. Two of the incubatees have managed to launch their product and set up their startup while the prototypes of three are in the final testing phase.

The startup scheme of the Himachal Government envisages practical exposure, orientation training, entrepreneurial guidance and handholding to potential entrepreneurs whose projects are approved.

Once a project is recommended by the host institution and approved by the empowered committee, monthly support is provided as sustenance allowance for one year. The centres support startups and innovation by providing mentoring services, access to their labs, facilities on a free-of-cost basis.

Misc News/Press Release

After Booking About 200 Women in Spiti, CM Now Urges Rural Women to be Vigilant About Quarantine Violations

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Tribal woman in kinnaur arrested

Shimla-On the one hand, Himachal Pradesh Government is allegedly harassing nearly 200 tribal women of Spiti for being vigilant and denying entry to the large convey of Cabinet Minister Ram Lal Markanda early in June for not following the rules regarding quarantine, but on the other hand Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is urging the womenfolk to keep a strict vigil on the people coming home from other States, who have been kept in-home quarantine.

Also Read: Haughty Minister Allegedly Heckling Tribal Women Who Dared to Deny Him Entry in District Over Quarantine Violation

He urged them to help to monitor such people so that they don’t jump home quarantine. He said that this would help in checking the spread of this virus at the community level. He was reportedly interacting with rural women who are beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojna on Monday.

The Chief Minister also made a big claim that Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in the country where cent percent households have LPG gas connections.

Thakur made a claim that there is no more collecting fuel wood and cooking food on traditional chullah in the State. Now, rural women do not have to go out for collecting fuel wood, Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar added to the CM’s claim.

The CM claimed that Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojna, gas connections were provided free of cost to 1.36 lakh families of the State. 

Under State Government’s Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojna, 2,76,243 families were provided free gas connections in the State.                               

 

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HIMCARE: Last Date for Registration/Renewal Extended

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Himachal Pradesh Himcare Registration and Renewal

Shimla: The last date for renewal of HIMCARE card has been extended till 15th July 2020, the Additional Chief Secretary Health R.D. Dhiman had informed recently. Under this scheme, free health treatment is provided upto rupees five lakh. 

 He said that new eligible families can also register upto 15th July 2020. Besides this, those families can also renew their cards on completion of a time period of 365 days. The beneficiaries can visit the website for registration and renewal or can visit the nearest Lok Mitra centre.

It is mandatory to upload the required documents for registration and renewal of card and the list of required documents was available on the website.

ACS said that those families whose card has expired on 30th June 2020, didn’t renew their card till 15th July 2020, then they would have to wait till January and would not be able to avail the benefit of free health treatment.

Tourism Activities in Himachal to Increase, Stay Alert: ACS Dhiman

Further, on Monday, Dhiman said the economic and tourism activities would be increasing in the State, therefore, it was important to stay alert of this virus for self-safety and safety of the society.

This statement regarding safety from coronavirus is contrary to the decisions of the state government to open tourism activity amid a spurt in COVID-19 cases.

The State Government is facing a backlash from every sphere of society for opening borders for all, especially tourists, without the need of e-pass or permission from the authorities. This decision is more likely to fuel the COVID-19 outbreak in the State.

At the same time, Dhiman is asking the people not to get afraid of coronavirus and to follow the guidelines issued by the Government, maintain self-hygiene, keeping a physical distance of one meter or three feet from another person, to avoid crowding at one place, cover the mouth with a mask or face cover and do not touch the nose, eyes and mouth.

He also asked the people to avoid such wards in the hospital where patients of coronavirus were being treated. In case a person was suffering from fever, cough, cold or having difficulty in breathing, the person should immediately contact helpline number 104 or avail services of e-sanjeevani OPD.

He also asked the people to avoid such wards in the hospital where patients of coronavirus were being treated. In case a person was suffering from fever, cough, cold or having difficulty in breathing, the person should immediately contact helpline number 104 or avail services of e-sanjeevani OPD.

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Himachal: Tourists from Neighboring States Line Up at Borders, Residents Allege Discrimination in Quarantine Rules  

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Himachal Pradesh - tourist start coming

Shimla: With the decision of Jairam Thakur-led State Government to allow tourist activity and to allow people from other states to enter Himachal Pradesh without obtaining e-pass or permission from district authorities, a beeline of vehicles was seen at the Parwanoo inter-state barrier on Sunday. This led to a traffic jam as over 1700 vehicles including both residents and tourists lined up at the barrier.

A large number of them were sent back from the barrier as they lacked required COVID-19 negative report or had not registered on the e-pass portal.

However, several tourists were allowed to enter the state after verifying their documents and COVID-19 reports, the authorities said.

According to a media report, some tourists reached Kasauli and Barog – popular spots for weekend tourism. They reportedly returned after spending a few hours. Contrary to this, the mandatory condition for tourist entry says that visitors would have to make a booking of a minimum of five days.

Similarly, visitors and returnees had reached other boarders like in Swarghat and Mehatpur. 

Also Read: All SOPs for Hotels, Restaurants, Home-Stays and Others Involved in Tourism Industry

Another issue that the authorities would face is verifying that all tourists who had entered the State returned. Tourist would have to furnish a COVID-19 negative report not older than 72 hours, register on the online portal, and make an advance booking of a minimum of five days. The SOPs have not defined as to how to verify that every single tourists have existed the state after the expiry of the mentioned duration.

Further, residents of the State are questioning the government over discrimination in quarantine rules. While tourist can enter the state and roam around for a few days without being quarantined, the residents would have to follow institutional and home-quarantine strictly even if they have a COVID-19 negative report.

Also Read: Tourist Activity Allowed, Read New Rules for Entering State, Quarantine, Plying of Public Transport

It’s pertinent to mention that the Government is already facing a backlash over its decision to open the State borders for tourists at a time when the State is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The hoteliers were also not in favour of opening the State for tourists. The residents are feeling insecure following this decision as they fear it would lead to a bigger coronavirus outbreak. With appearance of 17 new cases yesterday, the the COVID-19 tally for the State had reached 1064. 

Considering the beeline of tourist vehicles merely after 48 hours of the announcement to allow tourism activity, it is clear that tourists are likely to flood the state in the coming days. Monsoon would be the only deterrent currently. What’s concerning is that hospitality industry did not get any time to train staff or arrange all facilities mentioned in the SOPs issued by the State Government. 

The public and hoteliers are of the opinion that this decision was taken in a haste without any consideration for consequences. On the other hand the State Government claims that it had asked the Centre to allow it manage the influx of visitors/returnees in accordance with the current situation. This request, Government said, was declined by the Centre. The Government believes that opening Himachal for tourists would bring relief to those employed in the hospitality industry. 

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