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Sigh of Relief for Shimla City, But No Respite for Sirmaur, Solan

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Himachal pradesh solan and sirmaur corona cases

Shimla: Shimla city took a sigh of relief as all 106 samples taken from Boileauganj market, which was sealed after it reported four cases on Friday, tested negative for COVID-19. The Deputy Commissioner, Amit Kashyap, confirmed the report.

But there is no respite for the State from a sharp increase in cases. According to the Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin (9 PM) released on July 19, 2020, Himachal reported 64 new cases on Sunday, of which 52 were reported from Solan and Sirmaur districts alone. With the appearance of these new cases, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state has risen to 1521, of which 436 are active.  Remaining cases were reported from Kangra (5), Una (4), Hamirpur (2), and Mandi (1).

A locality in Nahan has sounded the alarm for the district administration of Sirmaur, as well as, the people. On Sunday, 26 persons tested positive from Govindgarh (mohalla) locality alone. Earlier, 10 people had tested positive from the same locality. The spread had started with a pregnant woman testing positive recently. She had participated in a marriage ceremony held in the locality which is being believed to be the cause of the spread. The COVID-19 case tally for Sirmaur had reached 89 till Sunday evening.

 Himachal pradesh district wise covid-19 cases in july

There is no let-up in the situation for Solan district too. On Sunday, as per the Health Department, 25 new cases were reported from Solan’s industrial belt Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN). With a sharp spike in cases during the last week, the tally for Solan rose to 332, which brings the district on the second position in terms of the number of cases. Kangra has reported highest 334 cases. On Sunday, the district reported five new cases.

The rate of appearance of new cases is also alarming for the State. In the last seven days, the State has reported 278 cases and 542 since July 1 from different districts. So far, 1059 people have recovered, nine have died, and 13 have migrated to outside the state.

This explosion in corona cases in the State followed the decision of the Government to allow entry of all including tourists carrying a COVID-19 negative report not older than 72 hours without seeking a pass. The relaxation in rules for entry for migrant labourers and relaxation in quarantine rules is badly backfiring. It forced the State Government to again tweak the rules. Further, a rise in discontent with the state government’s handling of the situation is being witnessed in the people. 

However, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday said that the state government was effectively handling the situation of corona pandemic in the State. He said that although the number of cases has gone up, the recovery rate of the State was one of the best in the country. The statement came during a video conferencing with the people of Kotkhai area of Jubbal-Kotkhai assembly constituency of Shimla district.

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal: Education Minister, 22 Teachers in Three Schools, SDM Test Positive for COVID-19

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himachal pradesh teachers test positive

Shimla-Ahead of re-opening of schools for regular classes from November 2,  22 teachers in three schools of Mandi district – Sarkaghat, Killing, Thunag- have tested positive. Today, Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur and a person in his staff also tested positive. He informed regarding the report through a social media post. He has quarantined himself at his residence, he said. He has requested other people who have come in contact with him recently to get tested and isolate themselves.

Besides, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Joginder Nagar, has also tested positive.

A total of 332 new cases with two deaths were recorded on Wednesday, according to the statistics provided by the Health Department. So far, about half a dozen ministers and the Chief Minister have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered too. 

Four deaths have been reported today (till 12 pm), and the COVID-19 tally for the state had reached 21150, of which 2513 were active cases.  

So far, a total of 298 persons have lost their lives due to COVID-19, if the official statistics to be believed. The actual number of cases, as well as, deaths could be higher due to a community spread. However, so far, the state government has not given any projection regarding the actual numbers.

Till yesterday evening (9 PM), a total of 380415 persons had been tested for COVID-19 in the state.   

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Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity COH&F to Prepare ‘Peoples Biodiversity Registers’

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HP Peoples diversity registers

Hamirpur-The College of Horticulture & Forestry (COH&F), Neri, Hamirpur, a constituent College of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is preparing Peoples Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) of Hamirpur, Una, Bilaspur and Chamba districts and 15 blocks. The project has been funded by the HP State Biodiversity Board, Shimla for which the university has been sanctioned a budget of Rs 27.50 lakh, informed the Public Relation Officer of the varsity Suchet Attri.

He informed that these PBRs contain comprehensive information on biodiversity components such as plants, animals, microbes, insects and their possible use by the local communities in the BMC areas. Further, PBRs also include information on topographic and socio-economic parameters including human population, climate, topography, natural ecosystems, livestock resources, livelihood patterns, etc.

He said that in addition, these 32 types of formats including agricultural, fodder crops, fruits, medicinal, ornamental, timber plants, weeds, pests and insects of crops, microbial diversity, domesticated animals, fish diversity, the market for domesticated animals, market/fairs for domesticated animals, and other products, people-scape, landscape, waterscape, soil type, trees, shrubs, herbs, tubers, grasses, climbers, wild plant species of importance, wild plants of medicinal importance, wild relatives of crops, wild ornamental plants, wild fumigate/chewing plants, timber plants, other plants in the wild, wild animal species, wild aquatic biodiversity and wild aquatic species of importance are covered under the PBR.  

UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr Parvinder Kaushal said,

 “Once these PBRs are prepared, the University, the Biodiversity Board and the concerned BMCs will have all information about the biological resources, their sustainable use, threatened species, etc. found in different blocks of these districts. This information will be helpful for any type of future planning and research on conservation and sustainable harnessing and judicious use of biological resources found in these districts”.  

Attri informed further informed that these PBRs are being prepared as per the Biological Diversity Act 2002, and in accordance with the standardized formats of the National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai. Dr Dushyant Sharma, Assistant Professor, COH&F Neri has been designated by the University as a Nodal Officer for the preparation of these PBRs. Dr Sanjeev Banyal, Dr Deepa Sharma, Dr Ravi Bhardwaj and Dr Richa Salwan will also be a part of the project. 

The Biological Diversity Act 2002 has been enacted by the Parliament of India for conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of the biological resources. Under this Act, committees named as Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) have been formed at all 3371 local body levels in the State.

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Campus Watch

Jio TV Launches Three new Channels in Himachal for Elementary, Higher and Vocational Education

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jio tv education channels in himachal pradesh

Shimla– Jio TV has launched three new Elementary, Higher and vocational channels in Himachal Pradesh. The Government of Himachal Pradesh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jio TV on 20th August, 2020 so that Education Department could reach the students. The government said that soon two more channels would also be started for students.

E-content of every subject for students of 1st to 12th classes would be made available on Jio TV. If any student is unable to view this e-content as per the subject schedule due to any reason, then the missed e-content will be available in catch up throughout the week. On converting this facility to video on demand, the overall education is going to be made available through Himachal Pradesh Jio TV soon, the government said.

In the view of COVID-19 pandemic, currently, the state government is running WhatsApp groups for pre-nursery to 12th standard. Other than that, Gyanshala programme is being run for class 10th and 12th through Doordarshan Shimla.

According to the state government, online content is being prepared by 200 teachers (State Resource Group) of the state.

It’s pertinent to mention that students of government schools have been facing a huge loss in terms of studies as WhatsApp groups haven’t proved effective enough to be termed as online education. As most children in government schools come from economically weak background and rural areas, procuring smartphones and Internet service is no less than a challenge for them. While private schools are using web applications like zoom and google hangout to conduct online classes, according to several teachers, government school students and their parents are not taking study through WhatsApp groups seriously.

The state government has yesterday decided to open schools for regular classes for students of 9th to 12th standard. The syllabus has been cut short but still teachers are likely to face tough time covering it.

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