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HP Govt’s Decision to Open Schools for Class 1st-7th Sparks Debate, All Restriction on Tourist Entry Withdrawn

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tourist in himachal pradesh

Shimla-All restrictions on tourist entry into Himachal Pradesh, which were imposed due to the Covid-19 situation, have now been withdrawn. The state government took this important decision yesterday in a Cabinet meeting. The Disaster Management Cell has also issued a notification regarding the same.

Earlier, it was mandatory for visitors to register on the government e-covid portal. Also, the tourists who had not received both doses of the vaccine were required to produce a recent (no less than 72 hours old) RT-PCR negative report.

The decision has cheered the hoteliers and other stakeholders in the state’s tourism industry but caused concern among others. The decision would mean more tourists would flock the state. However, the pandemic is still not over and new cases of Covid infection are still appearing and causing deaths in Himachal Pradesh every day. During the last 24 hours, says daily Covid update released by the HP Health Department, the state reported 145 new infections and five people died of Covid-related illness. In the last eight days of November 2021, so far, 26 persons have succumbed to Covid related illnesses. If not the number of daily new cases, the fatality rate is still a huge concern.

The Disaster Management Cell has also issued a notification allowing the opening of schools for classes from 1st to 7th. For 3rd to 7th classes, the schools would open from November 10. And, from November 15 for Class 1st and 2nd. The Education Department has been instructed to follow all SoPs while opening the schools.

Parents, however, are divided on this decision. Several parents on social media questioned the move. They argued that annual exams are to be conducted during the next 15-20 days. Following the exams would come winter holidays. They questioned if it was a good decision to open schools for just two or three weeks. Others argued that it’s impossible to make the students of these classes follow Covid appropriate behavior. Some also demanded that the schools should not be opened until children are vaccinated with an approved Covid vaccine. 

Others argued that it’s important for the students as learning from home is not as efficient as it used to be in physical classrooms. 

The government has also informed that the ‘No Mask, No Service, the policy will remain in effect in the state. For social gatherings of various kinds, the condition of 50% capacity would also remain in force.

However, the government remains lenient over the implementation of both of these SoPs.

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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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