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HP By-Polls 2021: Read What An Online Survey Says About Impact of Crucial Issues on Results

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hp by polls 2021 survey

Shimla- The cacophony of the political campaign for the Himachal Pradesh Bye-Elections 2021 is getting louder as the date of polling nears. While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is creating noise over nationalism and self-proclaimed achievements in the name of development, the Indian National Congress is targeting BJP over inflation, price hike of fuels and essential commodities, neglect towards protesting farmers and their interests etc. The remaining statements comprise personal and sarcastic attacks. But what do the voters think about real issues? How do they see these crucial issues and their impact on the election results? An online survey throws some light on the perspective of the public with help of some questions.

This online survey was conducted in October 2021, to understand the voting behaviour and general opinion of the people of Himachal Pradesh on the forthcoming bye-election for a Lok Sabha Seat (Mandi) and three Assembly Seats (Jubbal Kotkhai, Arki and Fatehpur). The survey was led by Dr. Devender Sharma, from the Department of Political Science, Centre of Excellence, Government College, Sanjauli, and Dr. Baldev Singh Negi, from the Department of Inter-disciplinary Studies, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, in 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh.

Total 566 respondents participated in the online survey and shared their opinion on pre-designed questions. The objective of the survey was to analyze the impact of contemporary national issues like, price rise of LPG, Petrol, Diesel and other basic commodities, economic slowdown along with state-level issues like farm crises and farmers not getting appropriate prices of apple and other farm products on the voting behaviour. Since there is a popular discourse in public and political circles that these bye-elections will prove as the semi-final of the assembly elections to be held next year, the objective was to establish this discourse and to check the validity.

In this online survey, the participation was across the districts in the State. There was 51.4 percent Shimla District, 9.7 percent from Mandi, 9.5 percent from Solan, 9.2 percent from Chamba, 8.8 percent from Kullu, 0.7 and 0.7 percent from Kinnaur and Lahaul & Spiti respectively, 0.2 percent from Hamirpur and 1.1 and 1.1 percent from Bilaspur and Una respectively.

Respondents represent almost every section of the society 72.1 percent was from the general category followed by 15.5 percent scheduled caste, 7.8 percent scheduled tribe and 4.6 percent from other backward classes. As far as professional background is concerned there were 54.8 percent students, 29.3 percent employees, 8.5 percent farmers and 7.4 percent were unemployed youth.

The respondents who participated in the present online survey were having the educational qualification graduate or more 78.1 percent followed by 20.1 percent secondary and 1.8 percent high schools.

Question.1: Whether constantly rising prices of LPG, petrol, diesel and other basic commodities will affect voting behaviour?

Responses: 61.5 percent respondents responded that certainly this will highly influence the voting behaviour. 26.1 percent have the opinion that it will affect voting reasonably and 7.8 percent responded that this will not affect these elections.

Question.2: Whether Ongoing farmers’ protest will affect voting behaviour? Evidently, farmers are in grim crises and they are not getting appropriate prices for apple crops and other vegetables. So, will these crises get manifestations in these elections?

Responses: 43 percent responded that farm crises in Himachal will make the unity of farmers and they will join hands with the farmers protest and this may definitely affect the voting behaviour.

Question.3 Will demand of OPS and implementation of new pay commission recommendations and mobilizations of employees affect the voting behaviour or not?

Responses: 33.2 percent said that this will certainly affect voting behaviour. 32.5 percent responded that it will affect to some extent and 24.7 percent responded that there will be no impact of the issue.

Question.4: Are these elections like the semi-finals of the next year scheduled assembly elections?

Responses: 70.3 percent of respondents have the opinion that definitely these elections will turn up as semi-finals for coming assembly elections and 29.7 percent of respondents have a contrary opinion.

Question.5 Whether these elections are the battleground for a few reputed politicians like Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Pratibha Singh as these elections will decide their political future?

Responses: 76.7 percent of respondents agree with this statement and 23.3 percent rejected this preposition.

Question.6 To what extent internal dynamics and contradictions among political parties would impact the results?

Responses: 84.5percent responded that the cost of these conflicts would have to pay by the parties and 15.5 percent have the opinion that these conflicts will hardly affect the results.

Question.7 Will the demise of two stalwart leaders Sh. Vir Bhadra Singh and Sh. Narendra Bragta and the sympathy wave roused after their death make plus to the votes of both the parties in Mandi and Jubbal Kotkhai?

Responses: 66.8 percent of respondents endorsed the opinion and 33.2 percent rejected this argument.

Question.8 Will rebels contesting elections harm the party candidates or not?

Responses: On this question 31.1 percent of respondents that largely it will cause losses to the party candidates. 57.2percent said that it will not affect that much and 8.8 percent rejected the preposition out rightly.

 

About the Survey Coordinators

 

devender

Dr. Devender Sharma: Assistant Professor in Political Science, presently serving at G.C. Sanjauli prior to this he has served at GC Kumarsain and in one UNDP projects at Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) Shimla. (Mobile No.8988376808)

 

baldev negi 1

Dr. Baldev Singh Negi: Working as Project Officer cum Faculty, Rural Development at Himachal Pradesh University. He has been trained at many national and international organisations as attended training programme with LOKNITI, International Political Science Association (IPSA) etc., (Mobile No.9418485352)

 

 

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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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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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