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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.

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Shimla Police Nabs Escaped Murder Accused from Tara Devi Forest After Two Days

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escaped accused from shimla captured

Shimla Police has nabbed the undertrial accused of murder who had escaped from the custody of policemen on Wednesday. The accused was re-captured from the forests near the Tara Devi temple after a search operation of two days. The teams of police used drone cameras and search dogs in this search operation.

On November 17, 2021, Dadi Ram aka Sagar (37) – a Nepalese who was booked for the rape and murder of his mother-in-law on July 31, 2020, in Theog, Shimla district, and was kept at the Model Central Jail Kanda – had ditched two policemen near Tavi mod (curve) while he was being taken to the court for a hearing. He had jumped down the forest and was at large since then.

CCTV footage from a nearby building had also appeared in which the accused was seen escaping the custody of policemen. The incident had drawn flak for the Shimla Police, and several questions were raised on the working of the police. The people raised various questions; like why a murder accused was not handcuffed? Why the police didn’t use a vehicle to take him to court?

According to the district police, after the accused escaped, teams of police from Boileauganj and other concerned police stations were formed and deployed in re-capturing him. The teams also included jawans from the 6th India Reserve Battalion and Rapid Action Force. Alongwith search operations in Forests around Taradevi and Shoghi, checking of buses and vehicles at barriers and trains was also conducted regularly.

As per the police, on November 19, 2021, the accused was spotted in the forest near Tara Devi through a drone camera. The teams of police cordoned the forest and searched for the accused. Eventually, the teams succeeded in capturing the accused. He has been brought to the Boileauganj police station.  

 

 

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Negligence of HP University in Mark-Sheet Evaluation Allegedly Costs One Year Loss to Student, HC Issues Notice to Varsity on PIL

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HP University pil in high court

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh University is again in the news after a student of Government College, Hamirpur, filed a Public Interest Litigation in the State High Court alleging loss of one year to his career due to negligence of the varsity in evaluating his answer sheet.

It’s pertinent to mention that, varsity administration, especially Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sikandar Kumar, is already under fire for allegedly tweaking rules to allow admission of his ward and wards of a couple of other officials to PhD by bypassing mandatory entrance exams/NET/JRF.

In the current case, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sabina issued notices to the Registrar and the Controller of Examination of  HP University, Shimla.

As per the petitioner, Keshav Singh, he was a student of B.Sc (Maths) in the Government College, Hamirpur, for the session 2017-2020. He appeared in the examination for the 5th semester in November 2019.  In February 2020, he appeared in IIT Jam and scored 40.33 marks out of 100 and became eligible to get admission in M.Sc(PG Course) NIT.

However, in June 2020, the results of the 5th semester were declared and he was given only 5 marks out of 70 in one of the subjects, due to which he could not get admission to the NIT.  He has further said that he had a good academic record and attempted most of the questions in this exam. He applied for rechecking of his paper.  After re-checking, 42 marks were enhanced and he scored 47 marks in that subject. But the re-evaluation result was declared after counselling for the M.Sc. By that time, all the seats were filled up and he couldn’t get an admission.

Though he again cleared the exam for  IIT Jam, 2021, the student alleged that the mental harassment and mental distress he faced was irreparable. He lost one year during the era of this cut-throat competition and thousands of people overtook him, he said. He also alleged that due to negligence of the respondent University, he remained deprived of investing his one year for making his career bright as he could not attend any counselling of IIT/NIT JAM and could not fill up any forms for any competitive exam. For this loss,  the varsity is liable to pay compensation to him, he pleaded.

The petitioner has prayed in the court to direct the respondents to pay him adequate compensation and to adopt a fair and proper manner of checking the answer sheets so that in the future no one faces the same situation as has been faced by him.

The HP High Court directed the respondents (varsity) to file their reply within three weeks and posted the matter for December 8, 2021.

 

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The Himalayan Expedition “Silk Route – Chapter Hatu” Trek & Run Competition Concludes Successfully

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himalayan silk route trekking and run

Shimla-As a joint venture, ‘The Himalayan Expedition Silk Route’ – a new trek and run competition- was organized at Narkanda, Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh on 14th, November 2021. Organized by Adventure North, Kawasaki Advertisers, Deodar Cottage, and Homeland Himalaya; the inaugural event was entitled ‘Chapter Hatu’. During this first trek, the participants had to trek 4.5 km uphill to the Hatu Peak – at an altitude of 3400 meters. Followed by a downhill trek of 9 km for the Adventure category.

However, the competitive runners, including two girl athletes, had to run another 14 km to Khadarala to complete the race.

A total of 31 people, from children aged 8-years-old to senior citizens, participated in the inaugural leg.

hatu trek competition

The event was flagged off from the Sili Kandli at 8:19 am.

The race was organized in two categories; “Adventure” for the trekking enthusiasts and the “Competitive” category for the endurance challengers.

himalayan silk route chapter hatu

Along the entire route, 13 teams were available at hydration desks placed at every two kilometers. Also, a well-equipped ambulance with a medic team of three, including a female, was in place.

Rahul Beakta of Theog, Shimla, won the competition by completing 26.5 km in 2 hours 56 minutes. He was followed by Bappan, Shimla, and Captain Vineet Sharma, Kathlee Ghat. The entire competitive and adventure leg was completed successfully, without any injury.

winners of silk route trekking

“It was the first promotional event for a trek and run of 300 km to scale the old ‘Silk Route from Narkanda to Namgia (near China border)’ with a minimal carbon footprint. We plan the second chapter with an additional 60 km in 2022,” the organizers informed.

“This marathon goes through the apple belt of the mid-Sutlej region all along the silk route to Shipki La. Be a part of this heritage and run along the paths and trails of this lost era, ‘The Silk Route’, which has lost its prominence in the modern world, the organizers further added.

The second leg of The Himalaya Expedition is scheduled for October 2022.

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