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Accident near APG university: 2 dead



Accident near APG university: 2 dead
Accident at APG university road where 2 person died today morning. Mr. Pankaj Singh ( deputy registrar) and Mr. Ishwar


Financial Abuse: The Dominant Yet Invisible Side of Domestic Abuse



financial abuse

By – Megha Manju Promodu an independent scholar and researcher based in Kerala. She previously worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, New Delhi and handled content creation for various marketing companies.

2020 was the year of the global pandemic. It was also the year that saw massive attacks on women, the rape cases alone as always topping the charts. But rape doesn’t even account to 10% of the crimes conducted against women. So, what really takes the cake in terms of crimes against women? The answer is domestic abuse! Along with it comes violence, emotional abuse, marital rape and even the lesser known but more sinister and widespread financial abuse.

So, what is financial abuse anyway?             

Never heard of it? Me neither until a year back, when in a fit of anger, a person I know threatened to withhold money from his wife for buying something not of his liking. He did not mean it seriously, but this certainly made me think of all the homes where this is an everyday reality. Researching on it made me realize more often than not we are all victims of financial abuse in some way without really realizing it. Financial abuse in simple terms can be understood as controlling a person’s ability to earn, utilise and preserve money through manipulation, coercion or brute force. Often the victim has no or little control over their own money or any money for that matter. Financial abuse can affect both partners in varying degrees but a large number of victims of financial abuse turn out to be women, at least in the Indian scenario.

Why is it more dangerous?

Financial abuse often comes as a forerunner to domestic abuse and the dangerous aspect is that it cannot be traced easily. By the time the victim realizes what is happening it is already too late leaving them shattered in debts, financial losses and years of earnings lost with no retribution. Often it starts as a helping hand in managing finances, to sharing and managing finances together, to slowly the victim losing control over their finances, and ultimately all financial decisions are taken by the abuser with no consent of the other. It may take years for a relationship to deteriorate in this manner. The gradual loss of control along with no awareness of something like financial abuse makes it harder for a woman to realize the abuse. It is even harder in a country like India where women are not even expected to work but rather appreciated if they sit at home looking after the kids and in-laws.

In India marriage is rather a system of ownership than companionship, the transfer of ownership of the woman to the husband from the father and ultimately to the son from the husband when the time comes. We have misogynist texts like the Manusmrithi to blame for the sources of these absurd ideas and quotes like “Pitah Rakshathi Koumare, Pati Rakshathi Youvanne, Puthro Rakshathi Vardaykye, Na sthree swathanthram arhati” (Father protects in teenage, the husband protects in youth and the son protects in old age, hence woman does not deserve freedom) internalize that it’s okay to abuse and even physically assault her.

Awareness concerning financial abuse?

This idea that the man owns the woman after she becomes the wife is internalised not simply by men but also by women. Which restricts women from recognising domestic abuse, marital rape and financial abuse as problems that need fixing.

With financial insecurity woman can feel helpless and have no safe place to go. Without a stable income daily expenses become a burden and even forces the victims to go back to their abusers. Households which are relatively free of physical abuse still undergoes some sort of financial abuse as part of the power dynamics. The manipulation and emotional abuse taking place makes sure that the victim has no means of escape or survival without the abuser. It is here that we see the sinister nature of financial abuse, it threatens the victim from ever even thinking of existing outside the relationship. Along with the emotional abuse that can be in belittling the victim, attacking her mental capabilities at earning wages and even resort to name calling. Financial abuse is normalised to such a degree that victims often go their entire life without realizing that they are in an abusive relationship.

How to recognize it?

There are multiple ways financial abuse plays out. To understand this one must realize that marriage is not really about being a non-existent presence who has no desires or emotions and exists simply for serving the other person but rather it’s about a mutually respected companionship. I am here referring simply to a typical patriarchal Indian household, but one must be cautious that the opposite might also be happening with many men going through financial abuse. One way to recognize this is by figuring out if money plays a major role in the arguments that ensue. Arguments in relationships are natural and to some degree even considered healthy but if more than 70% of the arguments stem from money matters then it is time for a conversation.

Some signs you might be in an abusive financial relationship:

  1. All your bank accounts, passwords and sources of income are not in your control or are being monitored by your spouse.
  2. You have no real sources of income and hence get told off as useless despite the physical work you do around the house.
  3. Your interests and likes are being constantly ignored while there is no problem spending money for the spouse’s needs.
  4. You are given the bare minimum to survive or told that “we can’t afford that” even for simple needs or necessities but money flows for anything else.
  5. Almost all the important decisions regarding money are taken by your spouse leaving you confused or at a loss to what is really happening with money in the house.
  6. Each penny given to you needs to be accountable and you even need to show bills.
  7. You are forced to leave your job, either by force or by manipulation, often using kids as an excuse.
  8. Your job is belittled either by your spouse or in-laws to the point that you end up leaving it.
  9. You feel you have no means of survival even if you want to leave your spouse as you have no idea regarding money management.
  10. You are asked to sign bank papers and other important documents without really being explained what it is.

What can you do about it?

So, if you have ever threatened your spouse by saying you will withheld from giving them money at the first sign of any resistance from them. Or if you are on the other side of the spectrum, and you are the one who pacifies every fight with a costly gift or a lavish dinner then you might need to do some thinking. Things might not need to be this extreme but if you are resorting to using money as a weapon in marriage or in any relations then there might be some inherent problems that need fixing.

Firstly, threatening to withhold money might have the opposite effect of what you intend. The partner may be silenced for now but the resentment within them towards you will only grow. They might not trust you in future as they know that you see them in monetary terms only.

Secondly, your brattish behaviour comes from the idea that you are the bread winner of the house and has the complete authority to “own” the other.   However, “ownership” was not a term agreed by both of you while signing up for the marriage. Rather the marriage or relationship was based on equal partnership and trust.

Thirdly, as a partner if your only way of reaching your spouse is by manipulating them through money then you are not much of a partner. A responsible partner should be able to have an open communication. If being in control was your only intention, then you should have just hired a maid and pay her the cash that she deserved. A wife is not a low maintenance slave/maid/nurse etc all rolled into one. She does not exist to please you. She is a person of her own who has her own desires, emotions, feelings and dreams.

Remember, good relationships are not made over a day, it takes effort and strong conviction. There should be quality time spend, earnest conversations and many divided chores to build a relationship with a strong foundation of trust and companionship. It’s not easy but it’s definitely worth it.

Lastly, though financial abuse can be a horrifying experience for the victim along with the emotional abuse and domestic violence that accompanies it. It still can be tackled and the single most effective way to cope with this is to be economically independent and learn money management. It might be hard but not impossible and acknowledgement is the first step towards it.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Himachal Watcher or its members.

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Misc News/Press Release

Fresh Snowfall in Shimla, Lahaual-Spiti, Kullu, Met Predicts More Rain/Snow till March 12



Weather update himachal pradesh

Shimla-Shimla district’s Sidhpur area today morning received a fresh spell of snow, causing a drop in temperature. Other parts of the district were receiving rain since yesterday night. Earlier on Saturday, Lahaul-Spiti and higher hills of Kullu district had also received a spell of snowfall. The National Highway 305 was closed for traffic except for 4×4 vehicles.

Several other regions of the state reported intermittent rains.

The Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department has predicted rain with thunderstorms in plains from 7th March to 12th March except on 8th and 9th March.

For Middle and Higher hills, the met has predicted rain/snow from 7th to 12th March. A yellow alert has been issued for 7th March in plains with a prediction of rain and thunderstorm, while an orange alert was issued for middle and higher hills with a prediction of heavy rain/snow at most places.

Similarly, a yellow alert has been issued for plains and middle hills for 10th and 11th March with a prediction of Thunderstorm, lightning and hailstorm at isolated places.

Himachal Pradesh Weather Prediction for march 2021

Plains or lower hills, which had begun to experience heat ahead of the change of season, have received a respite. Moreover, a rain deficient state is in dire need of a good spell of rain to ensure the survival of crops.

As defined by the Met department, low hills/plains cover Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Parts of District of Kangra (Nurpur, Jwala and Dehra), Solan (Nalagarh, Baddi, Arki and Kunihar), and Sirmaur (Nahan and Ponta Sahib.

Middle hills cover Shimla, mandi, Kullu, some parts of Chamba (Sihunta, Chowari and Chamba), and most parts of Solan and Sirmaur district.

Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Chamba, Upper parts of Kullu and Mandi falls in the higher hills.

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Misc News/Press Release

HP Budget 2021-22 Highlights: No New Taxes Proposed, Target to Fill up 30,000 Functional Posts, Hikes in Various Honorariums



HP Budget 2021-22 PDF

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Government presented a budget of Rs. 50,192 crores for the year 2021-22. No new taxes are proposed in the budget estimates for 2021-22.

During the year, the total revenue receipts are estimated to be of the order of Rs 37,027.94. On the Capital Account, the total receipts will be Rs 13,121.57 crore, comprising of Rs 41.06 crore on account of the recoveries of loans, public debt of Rs 11,730.51 crore and Rs 1,350.00 crore from the deposits, advances, remittances and provident fund etc. Thus, the total receipts during the year will be Rs 50,149.51 crore.

On the expenditure side, the revenue expenditure will be Rs 38,490.88 crore. Expenditure on Capital Account will be Rs 6,013.37 crore. The expenditure on loans (advances) and Inter-state settlement of public debt (repayments) will be Rs 353.87 crore and Rs 5,333.51 crore respectively. Thus, total expenditure will be Rs 50,191.63 crore.

In the budget estimates for 2021-22, the receipt and expenditure are estimated at Rs 50,149.51 crore and ₹50191.63 crore respectively. The Revenue Deficit in 2021-22 is likely to be Rs 1462.94 crore and the Fiscal Deficit is expected to be Rs 7,789.12 crore.

The Government said that State’s economy is estimated to contract only by minus 6.2 percent which is 1.5 percentage points less than the estimated contraction of GDP at national level during
2020-21. The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is expected to be Rs.1,56,522 crore during 2020-21 as per the Advance Estimates. The per capita income of State is estimated to be Rs.1,83,286 which is more than the estimated national per capita income for 2020-21 by Rs. 56,318.

HP Budget 2021-22 Highlights

  1. The Government has kept a target of filling up 30,000 functional posts in 2021-22.
  2. The Government will fill 4,000 (four thousand) posts of different categories in Health Department
  3. 4,000 posts of different category teachers in Education Department
  4. 8,000 posts of Multi Task Part Time Workers in Education Department
  5. 5,000 posts of Multi Task Part Time Workers in PWD 
  6. 5,000 posts of Para Fitters, Pump Operators & Multi Task Part Time Workers in Jal Shakti Department

In addition to this, functional posts of Police Personnel, Technical Posts in State Electricity Board, Drivers & Conductors in HRTC, Junior Engineers, Assistant Engineers, Officials in Revenue Department, Doctors & Officials in Animal Husbandry, staff for Urban Local Bodies, Technical Assistants and gram Rojgar Sahayaks in Panchayats, JOA (IT), Teachers & Instructors in Technical Education Department and class-IV employees, etc. will also be filled up. 

Class-IV employees are eligible to be promoted to the ministerial posts through two channels namely Limited Direct Recruitment and promotion, on turn. I announce that henceforth, they will also be eligible for promotion to the post of Junior Office Assistant (IT).

The government has proposed

  1. An outlay of Rs. 8,024 crores on Education during 2021-22
  2. Rs. 543 crore for Horticulture Sector in 2021-22
  3. Outlay of Rs. 3,016 crore for health services
  4. Outlay of Rs. 377 crore for Transport Corporation
  5. Outlay of Rs.4,502 crore for the PWD in 2021-22
  6. Outlay of Rs.25 crore for development of Ropeways during 2021-22
  7. Outlay of Rs.1,016 crore for civil aviation during 2021-22

Announcements were made to

  1. To enhance the maximum limit of remuneration of all categories of teachers under SMC by Rs. 500 per month.
  2. Raise remuneration of IT teachers deployed on outsourced basis in different schools.
  3. Provide hygiene kits to the Mid Day Meal workers in 2021-22.
  4. The honorarium of Mid Day Meal Workers and Water Carriers will be enhanced by Rs.300 per month.
  5. Increase in the stipend of PG students, Junior Residents, Senior Residents, DM/ students by Rs.5,000 per month.
  6. Increase ASHA worker honorarium by Rs.750 per month
  7. Increase in the honorarium of part time workers engaged in Revenue Department by Rs.300 per month.
  8. Increase monthly honorarium of Nambardars by Rs.300
  9. Increase in the honorarium of Water Guards, Para Fitters and Pump Operators by Rs.300 per month.
  10. Increase in the minimum daily wage from Rs.275 to Rs. 300 per day
  11. Increase in the honorarium being given to Aanganwari Workers by Rs.500 per month, to Mini Aanganwari Workers by Rs.300 per month and to Aanganwari Helpers by Rs.300 per month.

Other Announcements

  1. Reservation for women in direct recruitment for the posts of Constables and Sub-Inspectors in the Police Department will be increased up to 25 percent in a phased manner
  2. PET scan machine will be installed in IGMC, Shimla during 2021- 22
  3. CT Scan and MRI machines will be provided in the Medical College Tanda
  4. Hamirpur and Nahan Medical Colleges will be provided MRI machine with an outlay of Rs.70 crore
  5. Super Speciality Hospital, Chamiyana, Shimla being built with a total cost of Rs.278 crore will be made functional during 2021-22. In addition, the new OPD Block and Trauma Centre being constructed with a cost of Rs.103 crore and Rs.25 crore respectively at IGMC Shimla will also be made functional in 2021-22.
  6. Rs.772 crore will be spent for infrastructure improvement in the State Medical Colleges located at Shimla, Tanda, Nahan, Hamirpur, Chamba and Nerchowk and also in the Dental College at Shimla. This expenditure has risen by 28 percent from Rs. 554 crore.
  7. From 2021-22 all HIMCARE beneficiaries of above 70 years of age and all orphan children living in the Bal Ashrams of the State will be covered under the scheme without having to make any contribution
  8. New eligible families will also be provided gas connection under the scheme and free cylinder refill will continue to be given. Government will spend Rs.20 crore on this scheme in the next year.
  9. To create market niche for organic produce, it is proposed to register and certify farmers engaged in this practice and their produce will be branded with a budget of Rs.20 crore in 2021-22.
  10. Creation of a “Research and Development Fund” for the Agriculture and Horticulture Universities of the State. This fund will be established with an initial corpus of Rs.5 crore.
  11. In 2021-22, 4,000 hectare of additional land is proposed to be brought under the HIMCAD Scheme at a cost of Rs.83 crore, which is double of the earlier budget provision.

Under the Rs.1,000 crore World Bank-funded Horticulture Development Project, following initiatives will be taken in 2021-22, besides other activities:-

  1. Five lakh root stocks will be imported.
  2. 8 thousand hectares command area will be provided minor irrigation facilities through 200 Water Users Associations.
  3. A Gene Repository would be established in Dr. Y.S. Parmar University, Nauni.
  4. The work of CA stores and Pack Houses at JarolTikker, Rohru, Oddi, Patlikuhl and Tutupani will be completed.
  5. An Apple Juice Concentrate Plant will be established in the plant at Parala, Shimla

Other Announcements

  • Increase in milk procurement price by Rs. 2 for dairy farmers. During 2021-22 an outlay of Rs. 28 crore is proposed for MILKFED
  • Rs. 248 crore will be provided to the Panchayati Raj Institutions in 2021-22 as per the recommendations of 5th State Finance Commission. In addition Rs. 409 crore provided by the Central Government will be spent for rural development programmes through these institutions.
  • SHGs willing to take a loan up to Rs.5,00,000 to increase their activities and develop their entrepreneurship will be provided interest subvention on same rates for additional amount of Rs.2,00,000. Rs.10 crore will be spent annually on this subsidy
  • Launching a new scheme “HIM IRA Rasoi (Canteen)” on pilot basis under which SHGs will run canteens in Technical Education Institutions and government offices to provide additional livelihood opportunities for Self Help Groups. The successful model of “She-Haat” started in Sirmour District will be replicated in other districts as well with the participation of Women Self Help Groups
  • It is proposed to construct 100 Community Sanitary Complexes in Gram Panchayats. 16 Plastic Waste Management Plants and 12 Goverdhan projects will be established under ‘Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen)’. Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities will be started in 2,400 villages.
  • New plantation on 12,000 hectare land was targeted in 2020-21. Target and new plantation will be done on 14,000 hectare land in 2021-22
  • Water storage facilities will be created to tap perennial streams by building check dams to increase moisture content in forest areas. Each such dam/pond would be able to retain 8 to 10 lakh litres of water.
  • 300 dams/ Forest Conservation and Forest Based Livelihoods 85 reservoirs will be constructed in the next 2 years on which Rs.100 crore would be spent.
  • Double the diet money of the participants from Rs.50 to Rs.100 at Block level, from Rs. 60 to Rs.120 at Zonal and District level and from Rs. 75 to Rs.150 at the State level.
  • Purchase 200 new buses including Electric buses to replace old buses in 2021-22.
  • Grant of one crore rupees each to the newly notified Municipal Corporations of Solan, Palampur and Mandi to strengthen the basic infrastructure
  • Grant of Rs. 20 lakh each for the newly notified Nagar Panchayats during 2021-22 will be provided.
  • Following works worth Rs.94 crore in Shimla to be completed through Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam in the coming year:
  • Sewage Treatment Plants at Lal Pani, Malyana and Dhali being upgraded at a cost of about Rs.63 crore.
  • New Sewage Treatment Plant being constructed with a cost of Rs.13 crore in Ashwini Khad.
  •  Sewer Network and Sewage Treatment Plant for residents of Tutu area with a cost of Rs.12 crore.
  •  Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant with a capacity of 2.5 Kilolitre per day at Lal Pan
  • The construction work of Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Plant will be started with a total cost of Rs.10 crore.
  • In addition, 7000 LED lights worth Rs.25 crore will be installed in Dharamshala in 2021-22.
  • Under Shimla Smart City Project many important works will be completed in 2021-22. These works 94 include construction of smart path between Sanjauli and IGMC; construction of multi storey parking near IGMC; widening of the Circular Road and construction of pedestrian paths along side; stabilization of the Ridge; construction of foot over bridges and escalators at various places; installation of smart meters and construction of smart school in Krishna Nagar etc. Rs.258 crore will be spent to speedup execution of these works.
  • The State Government has received in- principle approval to execute a project worth Rs.800 crore for Disaster Risk Reduction with the assistance of the French Development Agency.
  • 3 lakh new connections will be provided during 2021-22 under Jal Jeevan Mission of the Government of India. In 2020-21 all households have been provided connections in Kinnaur, Lahaul & Spiti and Una districts. In 2021-22, three more districts namely Solan, Hamirpur and Bilaspur will be fully covered under the scheme.
  • The State Government will spend Rs. 604 crore as energy charges in 2021-22 for running drinking water and irrigation schemes.
  • Solar power based drinking water supply scheme will be constructed in Paonta Sahib on experimental basis in 2021-22. At least 10 more such schemes will be identified which are power guzzlers and have scope for solar energy driven pumping of water. Solar Plants will be installed at such locations to reduce energy charges.
  • Sewage Schemes and STPs are being constructed in important areas of the State namely Parwanoo, Kala Amb, Nalagarh, Baddi 97 and at some places on Beas river in Kullu and Mandi Districts. Rs. 364 crore will be spent on these. An outlay of Rs. 200 crore is proposed for these schemes in 2021-22.
  • Enhance the present limit of project 99 cost from Rs.60 lakh to Rs.1 crore under “Mukhayamantri Swablamban Yojana”.  In addition, the grant limit on eligible plant and machinery is proposed to be enhanced from Rs.40 lakh to Rs.60 lakhs. In 2021-22, an expenditure of Rs.100 crore is expected under the Scheme.
  • The State Government has decided in November, 2020 to give one time relaxation to all the power producers to construct pending hydroelectric projects at an early date.
  • During the 2021-22, projects of around 755 MW capacity are likely to be commissioned, which include Bajoli Holi (180 MW), Parvati-II (400 MW), Tidong-I (150 MW) and Lambadug (25 MW).
  • All Electro-mechanical Meters will be replaced with Electronic Meters in 2021-22.
  • It is proposed to distribute off-grid solar power plants of 250 W capacity each to 1500 BPL families during 2021- 22 in the far flung areas of Pangi valley and Lahaul & Spiti.
  • Set up roof top solar energy plants in all health and education institutions in a phased manner which will be connected with the grid. Target of 2 MW is fixed for the year 2021-22 under this scheme.
  • The youth of the state can now register themselves online for Skill Development Allowance and Industrial Skill Labour and Employment 106 Development Allowance Scheme 2018. Counselling programme for these beneficiaries will also be started. State Government will spend Rs.100 crore for these allowances. 167. Employment to 7,000 people will be provided in private sector through ‘Rojgar Melas’ and ‘Campus Interviews’.
  • Government has prepared a shelf of 27 roads with the cost of Rs.641 crore and posed it for funding under Central Road Fund.
  • An amount of Rs. 75 crore to be spent in 2021-22 under ‘Mukhya Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna’
  • An amount of Rs.50 crore shall be spent on W-metal beam crash barriers to increase road safety.
  • Aim to have total road length of 40,000 kilometres by 2022. Similarly, the length of black-top roads will be increased from 30,244 kilometres to 34,000 kilometres by 2022.
  • Aim to have total road length of 40,000 kilometres by 2022. Similarly, the length of black-top roads will be increased from 30,244 kilometres to 34,000 kilometres by 2022.

Following targets for PWD Department in 2021-22:

  1. Metalling and Tarring : 2,000 Kilometres
  2. Construction of Motorable Roads : 1,000 Kilometres  
  3. Cross Drainage : on 945 Kilometre roads
  4. Bridges to be constructed : 80
  5. Villages to be connected with roads : 90
  6. Road up-gradation : 800 Kilometres
  7.  Periodic Renewal : 2,200 Kilometres

More Announcements 

  • Continue implementation of ‘Mukhya Mantri Yuva Khel Protsahan Yojana’ during 2021-22 also and propose an expenditure of Rs.10.22 crore on its implementation.
  • In 2021-22, the construction work of indoor stadia in Sundernagar and Solan; Hockey Astroturf at Majra will be started with a cost of Rs.14.50 crore
  • Provide post birth grant of Rs.21,000 in the shape of fixed deposit at the time of birth by rationalizing and unifying the Women and Child Development, Welfare of the Weaker Sections/ Social Security Pension 114 two schemes.
  • The young girls belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes of BPL families will be provided a grant of Rs.31,000 at the time to their marriage. An expenditure of Rs.50 crore is proposed for this.
  • A new scheme ‘Swaran Jayanti Naari Sambal Yojana’ from 2021-22 with an objective to expand social security net for elderly women of Himachal Pradesh. All the eligible elderly women in the age group of 65-69 years, irrespective of any income criteria, will be provided social security pension of Rs.1,000 per month. This 115 will benefit about 60,000 elderly women and an amount of Rs.55 crore is proposed to be spent on it.
  • Approximately, 6.60 lakh persons will be covered under different social security pension schemes with the implementation of these announcements
  • 757 new CCTV Cameras will be installed and existing 651 CCTV Cameras will be upgraded in all the Police Stations. All district control rooms will be modernized and will be linked to each other and State Headquarters. Police Department will work on the Intelligent Traffic Management System with an propose an outlay of Rs.9 crore to meet these objectives.
  • Proposal to increase the allocation to Rs.100 crore to clear the pendency of medical reimbursement claims of retired Government servants
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