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Himachal: 40 COVID-19 Deaths Including a Newborn, Daily Cases Cross 3000 Mark   

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh recorded 40 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours with an explosion in cases. This is the highest number in a day so far. The victims also included a 23-day-old newborn. “Severe birth asphyxia, COVID Pneumonia, Respiratory Failure, Ionotropic Refractory Shock with cardiopulmonary arrest” were cited to be the reasons for the death. This is the first case in the state where a newborn succumbed to the infection.   

According to the official update released by the State Department of Family Welfare, Himachal reported 3040 cases with Kangra district as the epicentre. There is no let-up for Kangra as it continues to report the highest number of daily infections and fatalities. Today, the district reported 610 cases and 17 fatalities.

Eight fatalities were reported from the capital which recorded 412 cases. Five deaths were reported from Mandi, three from Bilaspur and Solan each. Chamba and Siramur reported two fatalities each.

View the Details of District-Wise COVID-19 Deaths for April 29, 201 (Till 7 pm) Below:

COVID-19 deaths in himachal pradesh on april 29, 2021

Source: HP NHM

View the Details of all COVID-19 Cases for April 29, 201 (Till 7 pm) Below:

Himachal’s COVID-19 tally, since the beginning of the pandemic, is has jumped to 96929 – hardly one day away from crossing the one lakh mark if the rate of spread continued at the same pace. The COVID-19 death tally had reached 1447 till yesterday evening (7 pm). But these are official statistics and frequent questions are being raised over the rate of testing. Today, according to the health department’s statistics, a total of 14649 samples were tested as compared to 14721 yesterday.

coronavirus in himachal pradesh in 2021

The state of the health system in the state is fine according to the government but media reports and the public don’t agree with it. According to a report, the DDU Hospital, Shimla- a dedicated COVID care facility- has only two or three doctors in a shift to look after about 120 COVID-19 patients currently admitted here. It raises concerns over over-burden on health workers.  The oxygen plant is reportedly yet to get operational despite the fact that the DDU hospital was notified as a covid care facility last year too. Further, the report says the facility referrers critical patients to the Indira Gandhi Medical College which is also running out of capacity.

The fact that approval to thousands of marriages was granted during the ongoing surge in cases and fatalities suggest the government, as well as, the people underestimated the second wave. Despite warning and predictions from health experts that the COVID-19 cases would be at a peak by the mid of May, the possibility of the current horrid situation wasn’t considered.

Claims of government over being fully prepared for any eventually contradicts the fact that it is now that the government started focusing on increasing bed capacity.

Preparedness regarding the sufficiency of oxygen cylinders and availability and production of medical oxygen was also not considered seriously. 

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HP JCC Meeting 2021: New Pay Scales for HP Govt Employees, Regularization Period Reduced Two Years

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HP Govt JCC Meeting 2021 decisions

Shimla: In the meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees Federation, Himachal Pradesh Government on Saturday announced new pay scales for the employees of the State Government with effect from 1 January 2016. The pay of January 2022, would be payable in February 2022 as per revised pay scales.

The HP Government also announced a reduction in the period of contractual employees of the State Government for their regularization from three years to two years.  He said that one-one year would also be reduced for regularization/daily wages conversion in respect of daily wage employees, part-time workers, water guards and water carriers etc.

All the pensioners and family pensioners would also be given revised pension and other pensionary benefits from 1 January 2016. The Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief would be given on revised pay scales and revised pension/family pension.  These new pay scales and revised pension would put an additional burden of Rs. 6000 crore annually on the State exchequer.

Implementation of New Pension System   (Invalid Pension and Family Pension )  from 15th May 2003 according to Office Memorandum dated 5 May 2009 of Central Government to the employees of the State Government was also announced. This would put an additional burden of about Rs. 250 crore on the State exchequer.

Further, release of additional Rs. 10 crore for clearance of pending medical reimbursement bills was also announced.

The HP Government also announced that a committee would be constituted for appointment on compassionate grounds under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary. The Committee would give its presentation in the next Cabinet Meeting.  The Government said it would also consider providing a tribal allowance to daily wage and contract employees serving in the tribal areas of the State.

The NPS employees would now have the freedom to choose any Pension Fund for investment for ensuring better returns. Till now, the government said, these employees have to invest in only those Pension Fund selected by the Government. All the NPS employees were being provided Death-cum-Retirement Gratuity benefits and now the Government has decided to provide Gratuity to NPS employees deprived of this benefit from 15th May 2003 to 22nd September 2017.

The State Government said it was spending about 43 per cent of its total budget on employees and pensioners which would increase up to 50 per cent after the implementation of the 6th pay Commission. During the last about four years, the State Government said, it had enhanced the DA of employees and pensioners of the State by 22 per cent and financial benefits of Rs 1320 crore were provided to them. Two instalments of IR of 12 per cent were also provided to them, thereby providing the benefits of Rs 740 crore, the state government said.

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

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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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