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Heavy Silt in Satluj River Shuts Down 3 Hydropower Plants

2400 MW outage in northern grid due to silt in Satluj river

Shimla: High silt levels have shut down three major power project in Satluj Basin, starving the northern grid of 2400 MW of peaking power, as the region experienced heavy rains over the past 48 hours.

Spokesman of SJVN, a government company which operates the 1500 MW Natpha Jhakri power plant said that the silt levels in the river were very high, which forced the management to shutdown the turbines at about 2.30 p.m.

The six 250 MW turbines at the plant have a tolerance level of 4000 parts per million (PPM) of silt and should that rise, it damages vital machinery, said the spokesman.

Upstream of Nathpa plant, two power projects belonging to private developer Jaiprakash Associates having a combined installed capacity of 900 MW have also been forced to shut operations.

Managing Director of the company DP Goyal said that generation at the 2 turbines at the upcoming 1000 MW Karcham-Wangtoo project on Satluj River had been shut down as silt levels had crossed 17,000 ppm.

The Karcham-Wangtoo project is in its final stages of completion and all the four turbines are expected to be operational by 15 August, 2011.

The other plant on Baspa stream having a generation capacity of 300 MW has also been shut down because of the silt problem, he said.

All three plants, which supply power to the northern states of Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Delhi, would be unable to start generations till the silt levels come down.

Other than the regular monthly shutdown for a day for maintenance purposes, this happens to the years first forced shutdown because of silt crossing critical levels.

Elsewhere, landslides triggered by the heavy rains had blocked the Manali-Leh highway near Rohtang Pass for over six hours.

“Heavy earthmover machinery was moved in,” said BM Nanta, DC Kullu, “and the blocked highway was thrown open by afternoon.”

In 24 hours, Gohar in Mandi district recorded 108 mm of rain, Shimla 40 mm, Kullu 48 mm, Dharmashala 50 mm and Kalpa in Kinnaur recorded 43 mm of rain, the met office stated. More rain has been forecast for the next 24 hours.

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Road accidents in Himachal claim 3479 lives in three years

Shimla: Drunken driving, human error, bad roads, weather conditions and mechanical failure were cited as the reasons for the heavy toll of 3479 deaths in roads accidents in the last three years in Himachal Pradesh.

Responding to a question by Anil Kumar and Yog Raj (both congress), transport minister Mohinder Singh let the Vidhan Sabha know during question hour that majority (97.84 %) of the accident were due to drunken driving and human error.

Only about 1.52 % accidents had occurred due to bad road conditions and 0.64 % due to mechanical failure, said the minister.

Detailing about the steps taken to reduce accident rates, he said that 536 black spots (accident prone sites) had been identified and were being improved. The minister said that so far 248 black spots had been improved and work on others was going on.

Other measures taken included banning use of mobile phones by drivers while at the steering wheel and ban on use of stereos in buses had been ordered.

Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal let Prakash Chaudhary (Congress) know that Tirthan river in Kullu valley had been declared protected habitat for trout fish and no new power project were being allowed to come up on the Himalayan stream.

“Two hydro projects were approved on the river before the ban was imposed in 2004 and in case any project has been allotted later, the government will not hesitate to cancel them, he said adding that the government was even contemplating extending the ban to the tributaries of the Tirthan river.

He said that in last three years 269 mini and micro hydel projects had been approved, of which 250 had been given to Himachali entrepreneurs.


Work on Renuka Dam put on hold by National Green Tribunal

In response to a question by Harshwardhan (Congress), chief minister Dhumal said that construction of Renuka Dam had not started as the National Green Tribunal had granted a stay on 28.7.2011 on all construction activities.

He said that rehabilitation policy for the project had been framed and 35 hectares of land at four villages had been purchased at rates varying from Rs 3.75 lakhs to Rs 6.80 lakhs per bigha.

However, passing of the final award and payment of compensation under land acquisition has also been stayed by the green tribunal and till end of July, 2011 an expenditure of Rs 100.48 crores had been incurred on the project.

Himachal Bachao Morcha up against power company over forest violations in Chamba

Himachal Bachao Sangarsh Morcha, (HBSM) has protested forest violations allegedly taking place for constructing of roads for 36 MW Chanju I hydro project in Churah valley of Chamba district.

Uma Kumari, a HBSM workers let media persons know that blatant violations of Forest Conservation Act 1980 were taking place in Bagheigarh and Tikrigarh Panchayats.

Not only precious forest land were being destroyed but grasslands on which villagers depended upon for meeting fodder needs for domestic farm animals were being destroyed unscientifically dumping freshly excavated muck on the slopes, she said.

Uma added that it was not clear whether Indo Aryan Company which was executing the project had obtained forest and environment clearance for union ministry of environment and forest (MOEF) as this information was not available on its website.

No dumping sites had been marked on the ground nor the any demarcation of land allotted for the project had been done at the site, says the organisation.

Canada eyes investing in Himachal

Shimla : The Canadian government has shown interest in investing in Himachal Pradesh’s growing hydo electricity,tourism,food processing and horticulture sectors.

This was revealed by a spokesman of the state government after the Candadian high commissioner in India Stewart G Beck met the state chief minister P.K.Dhumal here Monday.

The two discussed vast opportunities for making investment by multi national companies in the hill state particularly in the booming hydel power sector which was being exploited mainly by private players.

There were still opportunities for tapping the remaining potential by MNCs in this sector.

Dhumal told the Canadian high commissioner that the state already has the country’s largest hydro power project the 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri project and the 2100 MW Parbati project which is to be built.

The state government also wants Cananda to help to revive the old apple orchards in the state by plating high yielding varieties.

Dhumal said Himachal would be keen to welcome Canadian investment in education and food processing sectors.

Himachal handicrafts PSU earns Rs 13.5 crore income

Shimla : The once loss making state run HP handicraft and handloom corporation has earned an annual income of Rs 13.50 crore during the last fiscal year .

This was disclosed by Himachal Pradesh’s industries minister Kishan Kapoor at the company’s board of directors meeting here Thursday .

The preivious year the figure stood at Rs 13.38 crore.
The most popular products of the corporation are woollen shawls , mufflers , stoles , Himachali caps , jewellery , carpets , sandals , handkerchiefs , jackets and woollen shoes .

“Three handloom clusters were sanctioned at Tissa, Janjheli and Jwali at a cost Rs 1.35 crore . 350 weavers will benefit from this cluster ,” said Kapoor.

“A project worth Rs 14.48 lakh for skill upgradation and training in the making of the embroidered chamba rumal and leather crafts has been sanctioned by the union ministry of textiles .”

Another Rs 7.20 lakh has been sanctioned for conducting training workshops in leather,metal embroidered cloth crafts and the chamba rumal .

The company has outlets in all metropolitan cities of the country and holds regular exhibitions at many other places.

In the last year or so it has been earning good revenue by selling its products in exhibitions across Europe and the United States .

Dikshita with 97% in ICSE, Bhanu Pratap 96% in ISC top in Shimla

Shimla: There were no failures reported among the 362 students at four reputed schools who took ICSE (10th) and ISC (12th) examinations conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) earlier in the year.

Dikshita Vashist, a student of Loreto Convent Tara Hall with 97 percent marks has topped the ICSE and Bhanu Pratap Singh, a student at Bishop Cotton School (BCS), with 96 percent marks was first among the students who took the ISC examinations.

All the four schools have reported cent percent results, with the majority of them having secured first division aggregates.

Of the 111 girls at Loreto who appeared for the ICSE exam, Dikshita topped, tat second position was Sumesha Jaswal with 95.3 % and third was Divyani Chaturvedi securing 95.29 %.

Out of the 73 girls in Auckland House School the top position was bagged by Disha Singh with 94.4 %, Aakriti Chauhan was second with 92 %, Parul Narwar was third with 90.8 % followed by Deksha Kaur with 90.4 %

Of the 35 students at Shimla Public School the topper was Abhimanyu Thakur securing 95 % marks and at BCS of the 31 boys who appeared for the 10th class board exam it was Shikar Chauhan and Shubam Bansal who topped their class with 91 percent marks.

Abhimanyu Thakur

Of the 31 boys at BCS who sat for the ISC examination, Bhanu Pratap Singh, a humanities student, secured full marks in Mathematics and beat science students by securing 96 % marks.

In second position was Akshit Vig who secured 90 % marks. Six students appeared for the science stream, 15 in commerce and 10 were from the humanities side.

Of the 50 girls at Auckland House School, Vinny Verma with 91 % marks topped the science stream and Nadita Mahant was second with 90.5%.

In commerce stream Sukanya Sood and Malika Tanta were toppers with 90.5 % whereas Vijeta Chauhan with 92.25 % was first in the humanities group.

SJVNL pays Himachal Rs 84.40 crore share

Shimla : Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd(SJVNL) has declared a total dividend of Rs 333.93 crore for its financial performance in the last fiscal year.

Towards Himachal Pradesh’s 25.5 per cent participation in SJVNL’s equity, the state government on Tuesday paid a cheque of Rs 84.40 crore and the rest of the government of India.

The company’s CMD R.P.Singh presented the cheque to the state chief minister P.K.Dhumal.

SJVNL’s flagship hydro electric project, the 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri project achieved a record generation of 7140 million units(MU) in the last fiscal year.

Since April to August the plant has generated 4865 MU of electricity. Singh said this year in August the Nathpa project generated 1151 MU, which was an all time record.

SJVNL is a joint venture company owned by the Centre and the Himachal government.

Bajpai new VC at Himachal Pradesh University

Shimla: Governor Urmila Singh today announced appointment of ADN Bajpai, professor of economics at Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur (MP) as the new Vice-chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University and also reappointed KR Dhiman as the Vice-chancellor of YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni for another three year term.

Bajpai replaces SK Gupta at HPU whose tenure stood completed on 9th April.

Bajpai has been a former Vice-chancellor of Avdhesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa and Mahatama Gandhi Chhitarkoot Gramodaya University, Chhitarkoot.

Prof. A.D.N. Bajpai

Besides having authored two books, he has about 70 research papers to his credit. With specialization in Economics of Infrastructures, Energy and Environment he is a Member of International Association of Energy Economists, Indian Economic Association, Indian Society of Labour Economics and M.P. Economics Association.

Bajpai will be the 2nd from Jabbalpur University to join as a Vice-chancellor at HPU. Earlier HP Dixit from Jabbalpur university was the VC at HPU from 6.6.1994 to 3.8.1995.

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Vice-chancellor Bajpai for curbing politics in Himachal Pradesh University

Shimla: Drawing salaries out of public exchequers, university teachers should not be affiliated with any political party, is how the new VC of HPU spelled out plans to depoliticize the campus even as he talked about autonomy and turning the institution into a centre of excellence.

In an interaction with the media ADN Bajpai, who took over as the new Vice-chancellor on Wednesday said that efforts would be made to keep politics outside the gates of the campus.

With there being two strong unions of teachers in the university who are openly affiliated to political parties and some even having contested assembly elections while protecting their jobs, the new VC said “ the university act would have to be scrutinized to see that how faculty members were allowed to be members of political parties.

“If need be, it would be suggested to the government to get the anomaly removed through appropriate legislation or otherwise,” he added.

The new VC went onto say, “there is no place for personal prejudices based on politics, caste, creed and religion and those found indulging in it could lose their jobs.”

He said it was a matter of concern that where salaries of faculty members was increasing and they were getting their promotions yet grading of HPU by NAAC had dropped two notches from B++ to B.

“Certainly there are some shortcomings within the university set up, which need to be corrected so that its grading improves,” said Bajpai.

Teachers would be asked to stay on campus between working hours from 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and devote time for teaching and research for the teacher-taught relationship cannot be substituted by any other mode of education.

Publishing of journals and newsletters would be started immediately, library would be updated, a data bank would be developed, better quality of research and conducting independent surveys would be started, said the VC.

When the issue of students violence on the campus was brought up, he said “it was no solution for solving problems in an academic institution and Gandhian modes of protest have shown how effectively non violence can be used to make ones point.”

Talks would be initiated with the SFI, NSUI and AVBP outfits to try and resolve matters so that academic issues can be brought into focus.

About shortage of staff, he said that lecturers could be hired on contract or per lecture basis to make up for the shortfall till regular arrangements are made but academics would not be allowed to suffer on this account.

Himachal Pradesh University Marks 42nd Foundation Day

Shimla: Marking the 42nd Foundation Day of Himachal Pradesh University, Chancellor Urmila Singh, who is also Governor of the state, asked the university to look at starting archaeology department as the state was rich in cultural heritage.

Speaking at the inaugural function, she said that there were employment opportunities in tourism sector and a course for tourist guides could be started.

The chancellor asked the university to prepare a Vision-2020 document on priority for achieving the targets in a planned manner. E

Education was important for the development of the nation and youth of every section irrespective of the social status should get an opportunity to pursue education for building a strong nation. Girls were being provided free education and seats had been reserved for single girl students in every department of the university, she said.

Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal who was present on the occasion said that the state was spending Rs 1.60 lakhs per student each year on those availing university education.

He said that where as the national budget was only allocating 4.86 % for education, the state was spending 18% of its annual budget on it.

Emphasizing on the need for becoming self dependent, the chief minister said that autonomy could be achieved through being self sufficient financially.

Defending the government about permitting private universities, Dhumal said that it was being done with the intent of providing quality professional education within the state.

He said that Himachal was the first state in the country to constitute a regulatory commission which would fix fees in these universities.

The regulatory authority had started functioning to safeguard the interest of students and save them from exploitation.

About new private universities he said that they would be opened in Bilaspur, Chamba, Mandi and Kullu districts.

Symbiosis University would be set up in Bilaspur district, he said.

Dr. Riad Kamel Abbas, Ambassador of Syrian Arab Republic in India, who was the Guest of Honour said that he hoped one day students from Syria would enroll at HPU and strengthen relations between the two countries.

Making a detailed presentation Vice-chancellor ADN Bajpai said that 149 students of the University had qualified NET this year.

Himachal HC orders CBI to probe all false documents issued by educational institutions

Shimla :The high court of Himachal Pradesh has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) to look into all cases where no objection certificate and clearance has been obtained by private educational institutions from NCTE,NRC,NCTV ,AICT and other such agencies on the basis of false representations.

Chief justice Kurian Joseph and justice Sanjay Karol passed these orders on the petition of V.P.Ahluwalia Tuesday here.

Ahluwalia a retired principal of Government college Dhaliara alleged that Rajesh Thakur director Thakur College of Education Dhaliara had used fake documents to get recognition for educational courses from National Council of Technical Education(NCTE).

He alleged that the HP university and NCTE were not taking action on his complaints.He also alleged that the siblings of Thakur had used fake degrees to get government jobs.

The CBI had registered a case on the complaint of Ahluwalia and Ajit Singh Rana.

The then regional director of National Council for Teacher Education Jaipur had abused his official position to grant recognition to Thakur College of Education for additional intake of 100 seats for B Ed and 25 seats for M Ed in 2007-08 in gross criminal violation of laid down norms and guidelines on NCTE.

The court also directed the CBI and the vigilance and corruption bureau to conduct investigations in a coordinated manner so that there is no conflict between the two invetigating agencies.

The SP, CBI brought to the notice of the court that several institutions who have obtained NOC from NCTE do not even have proper buildings.

At this the court directed him to conduct an inquiry into all such institutions and submit his report to the court within three months in a sealed cover.

The court also said that it will be open for the CBI to take appropriate action under law on the basis of its investigation and it should not wait for the direction or permission of the court.

The court also directed the Thakur College of Education,Dhaliara,Dehra and Thakur Pre-examination Coaching–cum-Training Institute,Nehranpukhar Dehra to file reply within a month as a last chance.

Listen to the biases of good people at IIAS Shimla

Shimla : The Indian Institute of Advanced Study(IIAS), summer hill Shimla is
organising two lectures this week,by a Harvard University professor andr by a scholar based in Cambridge Massachusetts.

“The first lecture ‘Blindspot :The hidden biases of good people’ by Prof Mahzarin R.Banaji,Richard Clark Cabot Professor of Social Ethics,Harvard University at 3 P.M. tuesday,” said Ashok Sharma, PRO,IIAS.

“The second lecture ‘Cyberdefence as democracy’s opportunity’ by Prof R.Bhaskar,an independent scholar based in Cambridge,Massachusetts on Thursday,” he said.

The venue of the lectures will be the pool theatre.

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D A V school Shimla wins Limca book of records quiz

Shimla : D A V Sr Sec public school won the Shimla city finals of the Limca book of records quiz 2011 held at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla on Wednesday .

The winners will now join 80 schools to compete in the semi finals . Loreto Convent School was the runners up .

Around 270 students from 45 schools participated from Shimla , out of which six schools competed in the city finals.

The winning team was felicitated by Vikrant Rathore , sales supervisor Kandhari Beverages .

Organisers said this year the quiz is being organised in more than 3500 schools to make the pursuit of knowledge an engaging and competitive process .

The multi-city inititaive is being launched in partnership with ‘know and grow with Derek’ and involves participation of students from class 8 to class 12. It is being organised at inter-school level , semi-finals and national finals from July to December 2011 .

Noted quiz master Derek O’ Brien and founder ‘know & grow with Derek’ will host the national finals.The entire database including content , research material and quiz software is being provided by him .

CM announces opening of Degree College, ITI at Sarahan

50 years old demands of Pacchad area fulfilled. Big political advantage for Gangu Ram Musafir!

NAHAN: In a very unexpected move Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Mr Virbhadra Singh today fulfilled all the major demands of the residents of Pcchad tehsil including opening of a Degree College at Sarahan in one go which they were putting up before every government since past over 40 years. With this move Chief Minister have strengthened the position of Assembly speaker Gangu Ram Musafir in the Pacchad constituency and has snatched major issues from the BJP in the politically most important Assembly segment, as per political observers.

Surprising everybody Chief Minister amidst shouting of CM Zindabad slogans and clapping announced opening of a Government Degree College at Sarahan, ITI at Sarahan, PHC at Naina Tikkar and GNM educational institution in private sector in the area and announced Rs. 5 crore for the construction of college buildings of the degree college and said that the college and ITI would be made functional from next academic session.

This was announced by Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister while addressing thousands of people on the occasion of the inaugural ceremony of District-level Bawan Dadwadshi fair at Sahahan in district Sirmour today after be dedicated the lift augumentation water Supply Scheme for Sarahan, completed a cost of Rs. 4.35 crore, benefiting about 8500 population of 18 villages with 70 litre water person per day in coming twenty years.

It is pertinent to mention here that opening of a Degree College at Sarahan, construction of new water supply scheme and all other above demands fulfilled by the Chief Minister had been big political issues during the assembly elections after 70’s in the area.

Chief Minister did not stop here he further announced opening of new Govt. Primary School at Patta Kuffar and Saroj, he upgraded Govt. Primary School, Kuffar Pal, Kala Ghat and Cheola to Middle schools, besides GHS, Chalki to Senior Secondary School. He also announced construction of a helipad in Sarahan on priority. He said that shamlat land would also be returned to the deserving and eligible families.

In his speech Chief Minister attacked BJP on different issues and asked people of Himachal Pradesh no to belive BJP as this party had spread castism and regionalism in the state and did nothing for the development of the state. He also in detailed described development done on the different fronts in the state during his present term as CM and said that the Congress partly would seek another term on the basis of these development works.

Virbhadra Singh said that Himachal Pradesh was the first state which had subsidized the essential commodities for every ration card holder, not to speak of BPL and antyodaya families. He said that the prices of essential commodities, especially the cereals and edible oils had also been reduced further by Rs. 5 per kg. with a view to facilitate every ration card holder to draw rations against cards from fair price shops near to their homes. He said that his Government was also providing 130 crore subsidy on domestic power during current financial year.

He said that the contribution of Late Dr. Y.S. Parmar, the founder Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh had been significant who envisioned a prosperous and developed Himachal Pradesh. His Government had never been in favour of regionalism and casteism, old and new Himachal and was committed to fight against the divisive forces to uphold the integrity of the nation and the State. He said that he was fully satisfied that the State was now emotionally more integrated than before.

G. R. Musafir, Speaker, Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha and local MLA welcomed the Chief Minister. He said that record Rs. 120 crore had been spent on roads in Sirmour district and Rs. 50 crore under DRDA programmes, Rs. 18 core on social welfare schemes, while record Rs. 187 crore had been spent on DWSS in the district while 44 Senior Secondary School had been opened.

Kaul Singh Thakur, Irrigation and Public Health Minister thanked Chief Minister for dedicating Sarahan Augumention Water Supply Scheme to the people of the area. He said that efforts were afoot to check wild boar. He said that Rs. 150 crore had been spent under Irrigation and Public Health activities in the district and was committed to provide drinking water facilities to every village of the State.

Dr. Prem Singh, MLA Runuka, Sardar Rattan Singh, Ex-MLA and President DCC Sirmour, Shri Ajay Bahadur, Ex-MLA, Smt. Manju Sharma, Chairperson, Zila Parishad, Smt. Kunjna Singh, Vice-President, HPCC, Smt. Nayan Singh Tomer, Member HPCC, Smt. Rama Devi, Chairperson, Panchayat Samiti, Sarahan, Shri Roshan Lal Sharma, Vice Chairman, ARDB, Shri R.S. Negi, Deputy Commissioner, Shri J.P. Singh, SP, Shri R.K. Sharma, Chief Engineer, IPH, prominent people of the areas and senior officers of various departments were present on the occasion.

Planning Commission asks Himachal to do more for rural development, irrigation and flood control

Shimla: Against a 2006-07 plan outlay of Rs 1860 crore, even though the state overshot the targeted expenditure ending up spending Rs 2017 crores, but Syeda Hameed, planning commission member asked administrative secretaries that more needed to be done in rural development, irrigation and flood control sectors.

Presiding over a review committee meeting of the progress in the current annual plan at Chandigarh, today Hameed said that the development pace needed to be accelerated, especially in rural development, irrigation and flood control. She stressed the need to take more steps for empowering women and improving their socio-economic conditions.

Chief secretary, Ravi Dhingra urged the planning commission to extend support for the hydro power schemes as they were important for the long term financial health of the state. He also asked for a separate central assistance package for meeting the infrastructure needs of transport and tourism sectors as this could not be met by normal plan ceilings.

Dhingra sought funding for a gravity water supply scheme for Shimla and for the accelerated rural water supply and irrigation schemes. He disclosed that that the state had achieved more than 100% targets under 20 point Programme and obtained number one rank in the country under poverty reduction. The chief secretary said that the state desired that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Assurance Scheme, under implementation in four districts need to be extended to the remaining eight other districts of the state.

SJVN half year profits touch Rs 759.31 Cr

Shimla: Public sector power generating company SJVN reported a 29% increase in its profits for the July-September quarter over its last year corresponding quarter.

Whereas last year in the July-September quarter the company had earned a profit of Rs 319.59 Cr, this year quarter with the 1500 MW Jhakri plant working at over 100% capacity the company has reported a profit of Rs 411.10 crore.

The half yearly profits also registered an increase of 24.5% at Rs 759.31 crore against Rs 610.35 crore during the corresponding period of last year.

The financial results of the company were finalized at a board meeting Delhi today.

SJVN’s Earnings Per Share (EPS) have increased to Rs 1.84 against Rs 1.48 for the corresponding period over last year.

Generation for a six month period at Jhakri plant, which happens to be the country’s largest hydropower plant touched 5876.08 million units (MU of energy against 5030.75 MU during the corresponding period of last year.

In 2010-11 SJVN had reported a profit of Rs 912.13 crore. Himachal Pradesh government has a 25 % share holding in the central public sector undertaking, with public holding being 10 percent.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Shimla visit postponed

Shimla: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who was scheduled to visit Shimla and hold a public rally at the Ridge for September 30, stands postponed.

“The visit has not been cancelled, it has only been postponed,” an official spokesman said. However sources revealed that the prime minister, who recently underwent a surgical procedure, cancelled the planned tour on health grounds as he has been advised rest by the treating doctors.

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh on a recent visit to the national capital had been able to get the prime ministers approval for visiting the state capital before the government faces elections, four months down the line. Though the prime minister was only to officially launch a national insurance scheme for the common man but the ruling congress party was expecting more from the visit.

The Ridge Maidan had been dug up and preparations of securing the site for holding a public rally was going on at a hectic pace. Work on a construction site on the Ridge, which had been dug up over six months ago to reconstruct the historic Gaiety Theatre, had been speeded up so that main access to the ridge ground could be thrown open for holding the public rally

Universities seek financial autonomy

Shimla: The vice chancellors of universities in north India Saturday called for financial autonomy for varsities.

A two-day meeting of the Association of Indian Universities (north zone) that concluded here passed a “Shimla Declaration” that also advocated the need for financial support by the respective state governments.

Association president P.T. Pandey told reporters that nearly 80 percent of students were getting education in the state universities and they were facing financial crunch.

“Lack of finances has led to deterioration in the service conditions of teachers in the universities. This anomaly needs to be rectified at the earliest. The other issues that need to be addressed are retirement age of the teachers and the tenure of the vice chancellor,” he said.

Pandey said a corpus should be created with the help of the central government and corporate houses to support the older universities that have dilapidated infrastructure.

Association general secretary A.D.N. Bajpai also advocated the need for inter-university collaborations to avoid brain-drain.

“To achieve this, it is necessary that the universities should work together and share resources,” said Bajpai, who is also the vice chancellor of Shimla-based Himachal Pradesh University.

A total of 35 vice chancellors from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal participated in the meeting.

Maruti Suzuki headed to Gujarat for setting up new plant

Mumbai: Facing labour problems at its Manesar plant in Haryana, automobile giant Maruti Suzuki today said it will buy land in Gujarat for setting up new manufacturing facilities.

“The board granted approval to purchase land in district of Mehsana, Gujarat, for future expansion of manufacturing facilities,” the company said in a regulatory filling to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The decision comes in the wake of huge decline in the automobile giant’s second quarter net profit followed by labour unrest and the subsequent strikes at its Manesar facility in Haryana earlier this month.

The company reported a decline of 59.81 percent in its net profit for quarter ended Sep 30 due to labour unrest, sluggish market conditions, and high fuel and interest costs.

The company posted a net profit of Rs.240.44 crore for the quarter ended Sep 30 as compared to Rs.598.24 crore during the like period of the previous financial year, said the regulatory filing.

The company managed to sell a total of 252,307 units, a decline of 19.6 percent over 313,654 units during the same period last year.

The company currently has two facilities — at Gurgaon and Manesar, both in Haryana — with a collective capacity to manufacture 1.2 million vehicles annually.

The company is among many automobile firms headed to Gujarat, including Ford, PSA Peugeot Citroen and supply chain vendors.

The state already hosts the Tata Nano plant in Sanand area of Ahmedabad district.

Scholars debate Indian knowledge systems in scientific context

Shimla: Drawing a comparison between Einstein’s theory of relativity and the Indian knowledge systems, scholars at the start of a two day conference of North Zone vice-chancellors of universities held that India sages for centuries have maintained that reality cannot be know in practice.

Speaking on ‘science of religion’ Piyush Srivastava, a scientist from Rewa in Madhya Pradesh pointed out religion has more often been equated with commonality.

Even Bhagwat Gita refers to the existence of different layers of religions, he said.

Touching upon deeper meaning of illusion, truth and time, he said that ultimate consciousness takes into account the unity of all existence be it animals, plants, humans and even the non living things like planets, stars and the universe as a whole.

Speaking about ‘discovering knowledge through manuscript’, Dipti Tripathi, Director General of National Manuscript Commission of India, New Delhi pointed out that of the over 30 lakh enlisted manuscripts only 20 % had been accessed.

There is a treasure of knowledge in these manuscripts which deal with diverse facets of knowledge; even the science of water management was highly developed, she said.

Tripathi added that to retrieve and learn from these priceless pieces of our heritage would enhance human knowledge immensely.

Earlier Governor Urmila Singh, who inaugurated the Vice-chancellors conference, stressed that to have a stimulating academic environment, universities needed to focus on research for enhancing human knowledge.

She said, “Education should ensure holistic development of students,��? while referring to the constructive role the youth were playing in nation building.

Borlaug institute to usher second Green Revolution in Punjab – Prakash Badal

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that the central government’s announcement to setting up the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) at Ludhiana would give a much needed second push to the Green Revolution in the agriculture sector.

Thanking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar for establishing the BISA, Badal said that traditional agriculture had already reached a point of saturation in the agrarian state of Punjab.

Badal, in a statement here, said: “The setting up of this prestigious institute would be a real tribute to the Noble laureate and father of the Green Revolution, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, who was intimately associated with Punjab especially the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). People of our state still remember him with respect and affection.”

BISA will be set up in Ludhiana, where the PAU is located, at a cost of over Rs.500 crore.

Punjab, which alone contributes over 50 percent of the total foodgrain to the national kitty, had led the country in bringing about the Green Revolution for greater food grain production in the 1950s and 1960s.

The central government has announced the setting up of BISA in Punjab with satellite centers in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

“This would contribute significantly in improving the agriculture in the country in general and food security in particular,” Badal said here.

Badal hoped that the institute would help in diversification of agriculture by encouraging the value added crops like maize and oilseeds and help farmers to come out of the rut of wheat-paddy cycle.

Punjab cabinet nod for new university, right to service bill

Chandigarh: Punjab cabinet today approved creation of a new development block in Sangrur district, gave it nod for setting up a university in Talwandi Sabo and stamped the Right To Service Bill that is to be introduced in the state assembly.

Presided over by chief minister Prakash Singh Badal, the cabinets approved the bill which aims to make it mandatory for time bound delivery of public services.

A cabinet spokesman said that the proposed legislation intends to make delivery of 67 citizen centric services time bound under Right To Service Act.

The bill that will needs the houses nod has a provision for punishing civil servants who fail to comply with delivery of the public service within a stipulated timeframe.

The cabinet approved carving out of a new development block Dirba in Sangrur district.

The new block with a population of 99,177; having an area of 111,821 acres will encompass 44 villages, said the cabinet spokesman. Total number of blocks in the state has gone upto 143.

The cabinet also approved setting up of Guru Kashi University at Talwandi Sabo.

Monkey culling drive suffers for want of money

SOLAN: The HP Kisan Sabha monkey culling drive has suffered badly for want of money. The Sabha that has launched the drive in April this year has failed to yield desired result despite local villagers’ full support to drive. Not only the money but lethargic attitude of Forest Department to support the drive has also come as major de-motivated factors.

Taking to MyHimachal here today, Mr. Pyare Lal Sharma ,General Secretary of HP Kisan Sabha , Solan district has said that as against the total amount of over Rs. 2 lakh required for successful implementation of drive we could hardly manage to collect Rs. 20,000 from villagers.

He said , with this among the drive was initially launched in five Bharti, Delgi, Deothi, Chamat Barech and Shadiana panchayats. As against the expected population of 11000 simians, we could manage to kill around 200 monkeys, he pointed out. The expected target was to kill 1000 monkeys. But rain and bad weather has come as another factor causing set back to drive, he rued.

There was grave shortage of ammunition also, said Mr. Sharma. Though there were 72 licensed guns in five panchayats. Out of this around 45 licensees were helping in drive besides hiring of 6 professional shooters.

The Sabha plan to launch drive in Garhkhal, Aanji Maatla, Rori, Kanda and Gulhadi panchayats have also failed to take off for want of approval from Forest Department. The Forest Range Office, Dharampur has taken long time to give its approval to drive despite repeated pleas.

We were also preparing estimates about losses to crop by monkeys, asserted Mr. Sharma. The monkeys menace has not only caused major losses to farmers but also forced them to abandon the farming on large scale, he maintained. The hundred of acres of land in area were lying barren due to monkey fear, he added.

Himachal clears industrial proposals , to bring in Rs 707 crore investment

Shimla : Nine new industrial proposals will be set up in Himachal Pradesh and 21 existing units will be expanded . All of them propose to bring in an investment of over Rs 707 crore .

This decision was taken late Saturday by the state level single window clearance and monitoring authority which met here under the chairmanship of chief minister P.K. Dhumal.

Today’s policy decisions are significant , but no other details were provided by the government spokesman .

Himachal considering raising minimum labour wages

High Court fumes over slack implementation of labour laws

Shimla: Hauling up the state government for not linking minimum wages to price index, the High Court was today informed by officials that a proposal to increase minimum wages from Rs 110 to Rs 120 was under consideration.

Hearing two public interest litigations, a division bench consisting of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma also took the government to task over slack implementation of labour laws and asked for ensuring implementation of 25 Central Acts and 2 State Acts.

The judges also asked the state to file an affidavit that going by the price index, when compared to the minimum wages fixed in and around northern states whether the proposed Rs. 120 was a fair or reasonable wage.

Taking into account that HP Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board had collected Rs 88.25 Cr cess for welfare measures of workers in one year, registered 499 new establishments and 2013 beneficiaries but having extended benefits to just 3 people with the total amount involved at Rs 2200/- only, the court asked the board secretary to file an affidavit under oath about how many meeting had been held, what the expenditure involved were related to salary, remuneration and travel expenses of the chairman and board members.

The court observed that state was not playing a proactive role in implementation of welfare schemes as was evident that of the lakhs of workers in the state only 2013 were registered as beneficiaries.

The court noted that labour officers had collected huge amounts but had failed to register labourers under the welfare schemes.

The court was informed that there were 12 labour officers and 26 labour inspectors in thes state. The board had one vehicle for the labour commissioner, one for the board chairman of welfare board and 2 vehicles stationed at the headquarters.

In all there were 4108 factories and 66,827 shops and commercial establishments registered in the state, the court was informed.

Punjab floats venture fund for IT sector

Chandigarh: To attract Information Technology (IT) entrepreneurs to Punjab the government floated a venture capital fund with a corpus of Rs 20 crore today.

“The Punjab Infotech Venture Fund has been set up to help small and medium IT units,” said Tikshan Sud, minister for industries.

To manage the fund, Punjab Infotech had signed an agreement with Subhkam Ventures, a Mumbai based company, he added.

The venture fund has been put together by state PSUs Punjab Infotech. Punjab State Industrial Development Corp Ltd and Punjab Financial Corp in association with Small Industries Bank of India.

Sud claimed that IT and IT related software exports from Punjab had crossed a Rs 1000 crore turnover.

After the success of Mohali as an IT hub, the government has plans to develop IT parks in Kapurthala and Railmajra in SBS Nagar, he said.

Himachal Pradesh University scientist bags computer memory devices research project

Shimla: A physicist with the faculty of Himachal Pradesh University has been picked for a prestigious project to carry out research on next generation memory devices in computer applications.

Dr NS Negi, from the department of physics would be doing his research on ferroelectric-ferrite multilayer thin films for next generation memory devices,” said a university spokesman.

Dr NS Negi

The central governments department of science and technology has sanctioned Rs 40 lakhs for the research project, he said.

Multi-ferroics are a very promising materials for other multifunctional devices and biological applications. Studies on these materials are being done in universities and institutes globally,” said Negi.

Nano-electromechanical Systems (NEMS) and Nano-structured materials will be technological drivers of the future, especially for infrared detectors and piezoelectric sensor applications” he added.

Negi had placed his research project for funding before the department in April, it was technically accepted in July.

Red Ribbon Club Kangra starts blood donor directory

Dharamsala: Red Ribbon Club of Kangra has set out to have a ready blood donor directory that could be readily accessed by the needy for meeting out emergency requirements of patients and accidents victims.

The directory was launched at the Navrang youth festival at Dronacharya College, Rait by the HIV awareness club.

At the stall set up during the festival, more than 1200 young girls and boys from 25 colleges from the district visited the counter that had displayed out a red zero theme of AIDS Campaign, spreading the message of targeting Zero new HIV infections among youth through better awareness.

The Kangra ICTC led by Harbhajan Singh also conducted voluntary blood testing of the youth, in which 50 got their blood screening done.

At a quiz conducted about health awareness, especially which related to HIV, STI and blood donations, there were many participants.

In the inter-college painting contest held during the youth festival, Sumit won the second prize with AIDS as the theme of the water colour painting.

The frame showed AIDS as a giant snake threatening to engulf the entire earth, leaving behind a message for the viewer that despite all the progress made, there was no time for complacency.

Youth of Red Ribbon Club Gian Jyoti B Ed College Rajol presented a mime on HIV risk among youth, and gave the message that ignorance is a big challenge, so we should all talk openly.

Navrang Nitesh Rana, president of the club said that it helped to create an environment of openness among youth, which could help to discuss topics which otherwise they were shy of talking.

Charu Kaushal, nodal officer of the club advocated that mutual respect was important for having a discrimination free environment for HIV and AIDS infected to develop responsible and healthy relationships for them and society at large.

Infosys, Oracle recruit 8 students at Himachal Pradesh University

Shimla: Having secured its position about fetching good placements for its students of computer science at Himachal Pradesh University, top information technology companies this year also have already picked eight students by way of campus placement from the department.

Department chairman, Arvind Kalia said that seven final year student with Master of Computer Sciences (MCA) program, through a campus recruitment program have been picked up by Infosys, a reputed Bangalore based IT company.

One student, Ridhima Chandel has been selected by Oracle, another reputed IT company, he said.

Those offered job placement by Infosys are Aashish Vashisht, Amit Chauhan, Iteeka Sephia, Manisha Thakur, Mukesh Gautam, Neha Jhangta and Vanita Sharma, said Kalia.

Placement coordinator Jawahar Thakur said the students had been offered a starting package of Rs 3.25 Lakhs per annum.

More companies are scheduled to visit the campus and the department is hopeful to get a 100% placement for its MCA students, he added.

NIT Hamirpur gets new Institute Director

Hamirpur: Having remained with an institute head for almost a year, National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur got a new director, with Dr Rajnish Shrivastav joining duty on Tuesday (18.10.2011).

Dr Shirvastav takes charge from Dr RL Sharma, a senior professor, who was holding charge in absence of a regular director at the reputed institute.

Prior to joining his new assignment, Dr Shrivastav had remained director of NIT Jamshedpur for three years.

He said been appointed as Director NIT Hamirpur by Human Resource Development ministry for a five year term.

The post had fallen vacant in November, 2010 when the last director retired. Since then the institute had been suffering because of the prevailing uncertainty.

Lawrence School, Sanawar

I am hoping this will be the first in a series of articles on the good schools of Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal CM during the 159th Founder Day-2006 of the Lawrence school, Snawar.

History

The Lawrence School, Sanawar was started by Sir Henry Lawrence on 17th April, 1847 with 14 boys and girls. The school was originally meant to be a military asylum. The management passed through many hands before and after independence, including the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Education. On January 1, 1953, it passed under the control of an autonomous society with the Secretary, Ministry of Education as the ex-officio Chairman. Today the school is among the most renowned co-eduational boarding public schools of India with 650 students and 70 faculty members.

with pine, deodar and other conifer trees. To get to the School, one must take a detour from Dharampur on the NH22.

Walking around the campus, one can see a mixture of colonial buildings, many of which are over a century old, nestling side by side with modern facilities.

Amongst the oldest buildings is the 140 years old School Chapel with its exquisite stained glass windows. Whilst the school has no specific religious affiliation, the Chapel is the spiritual centre of the community, and regular assemblies are held in which all students and staff take part. The daily routine includes a silent march past the War Memorials beside the Chapel, connecting the pupils of today with those of the past who have played their part in the nations call.

Amongst the new buildings is the Central Dining Hall, a state-of-the-art solar heated indoor swimming pool, an Indoor Sports Complex and modern squash courts.

Gaskell Hall, which used to be the boys school, is now the school Gymnasium. Inter-house Boxing and Gym competition are some of the main events held in Gaskell Hall. On one of the walls of the gymnasium is a quotation from Rudyard Kipling’s “Kim”, and it reads “Send him to Sanawar and make a man of him.”

There are many other buildings and facilities of interest, supporting both academic and non-academic activities. Particularly worthy of mention is the main teaching block, the ‘Birdwood’, which also contains the Barne Hall, where plays, shows, films and lectures are regularly held. Around the campus are numerous playing fields, the newest being a superb basketball court. The main cricket and football ground, Barne Field, to which the descent and ascent alone will exhaust, leaves the fittest of players and spectators breathless!

The School is constantly upgrading its facilities, most recently, Parker Hall, now the schools’ Learning Resource Centre, provides easy access to archival memorabilia, up to date library resources, and computer and internet facilities. In this building alone, over thirty new computers have been installed along with the first ISDN line in Himachal!

The School is financially self sufficient and has its own printing press. A resident doctor heads the staff of the Schools 60 bed infirmary, having its own ambulance.

Students

Starting from a modest 14 children in 1847, the school now has 650 students coming from different backgrounds irrespective of social status, religion or nationality. There are 70 faculty members, thus making the ratio of 1 teacher for 9 students among the best in India.

Owing to its military patronage, the school reserves a few seats for children of Armed Forces Personnel. Preference is also given to the children of Old Sanawarians.

Life on Campus

Students have a very busy schedule through the day and are involved in a lot of extra curricular activities apart from studies. The day begins at 6 a.m. with chhota haazri and PT – either a cross-country run or mass exercises followed by a quick change, House inspection and two classes before breakfast at 9 O’clock.

After breakfast the School congregates in Chapel on Monday and Thursday and then the classes begin. The morning break at 11.30 provides a drink and a snack, otherwise it’s working through to lunch at 1.10 p.m at the Central Dining Hall.

From morning break onwards, the timetable includes games and hobbies alongside academic classes. This allows a varied day and makes best use of the time and other resources available.

At 6.00 p.m. all becomes serious once again, as all students ‘fall in’ for evening prep in the Birdwood School, an hour and 20 minutes of concentrated, self disciplined study. At 7.40 p.m., the bell sounds ‘time for dinner’. After dinner, and some free time, there is a further study hour in the dorms before the ‘final bugle calls’ all to rest.

On Sundays, students are free to plan their own time having enjoyed the luxury of an extra hour in bed and a relaxed breakfast. Students may practice for sports, visit Kasauli or just relax.

Extracurricular activities

Hobbies: Children at Sanawar select a number of ‘hobby’ activities, which they pursue at different times of the year.

These activities include:

  • Weaving
  • Art
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Carpentry
  • Computers
  • Needle Work
  • Photography
  • Paper Recycling
  • Indian Classical Music & Dance
  • Bugle and Brass Bands

At certain times of the year, children are involved in a wide variety of social activities ranging from fire fighting and tree planting to working in the School’s Rural Centre. Other major projects are Adult & Child Education, a Crafts Centre, and annual international village development camps (organized for the Round Square International Service). Membership of the Round Square International Service gives X1th Class children an opportunity to take part in a student exchange programme with other member schools throughout the world. During a visit of 2 months duration, they study at the host school, staying either with families or in the school’s dormitory facilities, playing a full part in the life of the school and community which they are visiting.

Dramatics, Debating, Elocution and Quiz contests are a regular feature. Each House produces a House Show each year, giving children of all ages a chance to perform live on the stage, or learn the arts of stage management and production.

Membership of SPIC MACAY ensures that artistes of repute visit the School on a regular basis for a lecture demonstration on classical Dance and Music. The North Zone Cultural Centre organizes folk and classical performances to give an exposure to the students.

Visiting the School Museum is an educational experience in itself. It includes Sanawar’s Colours, photographic and printed records, awards, mementos, teaching instruments, musical instruments and one of the worlds’ oldest operational printing presses.

Sports: Physical activity is an essential ingredient of life in Sanawar. The daily routine itself requires movement between dormitories, classes, dining hall, hobby and game locations spread over the 139 acre site at differing levels: in Sanawar, all paths either go up or down!

All children take a half an hour physical exercise every morning (except Sundays). During the early Spring term, this takes the form of The Hodson Run, 3-5 kms around the school site, culminating in the fiercely fought Hodsons’ Finals in April. During the rest of the year the children practice their mass PT movements, preparing for perfection in the Parade at the annual Founders Celebration in October.

NCC is compulsory in the senior classes and the School maintains a high standard in military training.

In addition to these compulsory activities, each child also has the option to pursue a wide range of sporting activities, both as team games and as individual pursuits, within the school timetable.

The school boasts of facilities for diverse sports such as Cricket, Hockey, Soccer, Basketball, Squash, Tennis, Badminton, Table Tennis, Athletics, Swimming, Gymnastics, Rifle shooting, Boxing and Kayaking.

Interactions with other schools through sporting and cultural activities are a regular feature of the weekend programme, and where the level of achievement is appropriate, international sports tours can be arranged!

Camping and trekking are an integral part of the life of the School. Easy access to the remote Himalayan regions is a real asset for its trekkers, and additional activities such as white water rafting, mountain cycling and rock climbing are also in this programme.

Notable alumni

The school’s alumni has a very strong network and the list of famous alumni reads like Who’s Who of India. Some notable alumni of the school include Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, Param Vir Chakra Awardee Lt. Arun Khetarpal, politicians Omar Abdullah, Sukhbir Badal & Maneka Gandhi, actors Sanjay Dutt, Rahul Roy, Puja Bedi and business professionals Rana Talwar, Pankaj Munjal, Jeh Wadia, sportsmen Shiva Keshwan, Ajeet Bajaj and many more.

Academic council approves new courses at Himachal Pradesh University

Shimla: Presided over by vice chancellor ADN Bajpai, the academic council of Himachal Pradesh university approved starting of dozens of new courses which included a masters program in biotechnology, information technology, remote sensing and others.

Other courses approved, university spokesman Ranvir Verma disclosed at the 63rd academic council meeting held today included MSc in Environmental Sciences, Statistics, Polymer Science and MA in Disaster Management, Hindi Journalism, Population & Development Studies and Tribal Studies).

It was also decided to start MBA in Infrastructure Development, Banking & Life Insurance, Retail Management, Bio-technology, Environment Management and Rural Development.

The council decided to introduce Post-graduate Courses in Financial Studies, Accounts and Taxations, Costing, Banking and Insurance and Retail management with short term special courses in Veda, Vyakarana ,Darshana and Himalyan Culture and Spirituality.

It also recommended to start Post-graduate Diploma Courses in Cultural Tourism, Adventure Sports, Pahari Miniature Painting, Bio-informatics, Buddhists Studies, Cyber Law and IPR & Patent Law.

Bachelor Degree Courses in Pharmacy, Fine Arts & Library Sciences, BTech in Bio-Technology, Computer Science and Electronics and Communications will be introduced with Diploma Courses in Cyber Crime Prosecution and Defense, Multi Skill Hotel Operation, Himalayan Culture and Spirituality and in Urdu.

The Council decided to introduce Certificate Courses in Urdu, Chinese ,Japanies, Human Rights, Tourist Guide, Computer, Personality and Skill Development, Religious Tourism and Freedom Struggle Tourism.

It was decided to set-up eleven centers for Research and Extension in the phased manner to be started from the next academic session.

The centres proposed are Nano Science and Technology, Food Processing, Multi Media, Immunology and Infectious disease, Indian Religion Philosophy Thoughts and Culture, Environmental Studies, Pahari Language and Culture, Remote Sensing and GIS, Spiritualism, Jyotis and Yogic Studies, Social Exclusions and Inclusive Growth and Disabilities Studies.

The council recommended to establish ten new departments in phased manner, which included Anthropology, Archeology, Bio-Chemistry, Geology, Library and Information Science, Defense Studies, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Traditional Knowledge System and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Seven new chairs of SS Bhatnagar for Science Education and Research, Shobha Singh, Visual Arts, J.C. Bose Life Sciences, Baba Bhalku Ram for Tourism, Transport & Hospitality, Sri Aurbindo for Indian Philosophy and Thoughts, Planning Commission and Reserve Bank of India Chair were proposed to be established.

The council recommended establishing a publication division in the university which prints text books, dissertation and original works of research scholars.

The council also announced that post-graduate examinations would be conducted from 26th November and the 19th university convocation would be held on 12th December, said the university spokesman.

History of Himachal Pradesh

The article is from wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Himachal_Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh was established in 1948 as a Chief Commissioner’s Province within the Union of India. The Himachal History The province comprised the hill districts around Shimla and southern hill areas of the former Punjab region. Himachal became a part C state on 26 January 1950 with the implementation of theConstitution of India. Himachal Pradesh became a Union Territory on 1 November 1956. On 18 December 1970 the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by Parliament and the new state came into being on 25 January 1971. Thus Himachal emerged as the eighteenth state of the Indian Union.

In earlier times, the area was variously divided among smaller kingdoms, such as those of Chamba, Bilaspur, Bhagal and Dhami. After the Gurkha War of 1815–1816, it became part of the British India.

Pre-Independence[edit]

Prehistory[edit]

Some evidences have been found that nearly 2 million years ago man lived in the foothills of Himachal Pradesh. Bangana valley of Kangra, Sirsa valley of Nalagarh and Markanda valley of Sirmour are found to be the places where prehistoric man used to live. The foothills of the state were inhabited by people from Indus valley civilization which flourished between the time period of 2250 and 1750 BC.

Medieval history[edit]

In about 883 AD Shankar Verma, the ruler of Kashmir exercised his influence over Himachal Pradesh. The region also witnessed the invasion of Mahmud Ghazni in 1009 AD, who during that period looted the wealth from the temples in the North India. In 1043 AD the Rajputs ruled over the territory.

Sansar Chand (c. 1765–1823)

In 1773 AD the Rajputs under Katoch Maharaja Sansar Chand-II possessed the region, until the attack by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1804 which crushed the Rajput power.

The small kingdom enjoyed a large degree of independence till the eve of the Musliminvasions in northern India. The states of the foothills were devastated by Muslim invaders a number of times. Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Kangra at the beginning of the 10th century.Timur and Sikander Lodi also marched through the lower hills of the state and captured a number of forts and fought many battles.
The Gorkhas, a martial tribe came to power in Nepal in 1768. They consolidated their militarypower and began to expand their territory.

The Gurkhas marched in from Nepal and captured the area.[1] Gradually the Gorkhas annexedSirmour and Shimla. Under the leadership of Bada Kaji (equivalent to General) Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkhas laid siege to Kangra. They managed to defeat Sansar Chand, the ruler ofkangra, in 1806. However Gorkhas could not capture Kangra fort which came under Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1809.

However,Raja Ram Singh, Raja of Siba State re-capture the Siba fort after defeating the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. After the defeat, the Gorkhas also began to expand towards the south of the state.

British period[edit]

This led to the Anglo-Gorkha war. They came into direct conflict with the British along the tarai belt after which the Britishexpelled them from the provinces of the Satluj. Thus British gradually emerged as the paramount powers. In early 19th century the British annexed the areas of Shimla after the Gurkha War of 1815–16. Himachal became a centrally administered territory in 1948 with the integration of 31 hill provinces and received additional regions in 1966.[1]

The revolt of 1857 or the first Indian war of independence resulted due to the building up of political, social, economic, religious and military grievances against the British government. People of the hill states were not politically alive as the people in other parts of the country.[2] They remained more or less inactive and so did their rulers with the exception of Bushahr.

Some of them even rendered help to the British government during the revolt. Among them were the rulers of Chamba,Bilaspur, Bhagal and Dhami. The rulers of Bushars rather acted in a manner hostile to the interests of British.

The British territories in the hill came under British Crown after Queen Victoria’s proclamation of 1858. The states of Chamba,Mandi and Bilaspur made good progress in many fields during the British rule. During World War I, virtually all rulers of the hill states remained loyal and contributed to the British war effort both in the form of men and materials. Amongst these were the states of Kangra, Nurpur, Chamba, Suket, Mandi and Bilaspur.

US varsities to scout for students at Mumbai fair

Mumbai: As many as 32 leading varsities will take part in the US Universities Fair here Sunday (13th November) in a bid to attract more Indian students, an official said.

The fair is being organised by the United States-India Education Foundation (USIEF) in collaboration with the Institute of International Education, a non-profit organisation.

Representatives from 32 US universities will offer detailed information about their institutions and academic programmes at undergraduate and graduate levels at the fair being held in JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu, north-west Mumbai.

“The USIEF is committed to helping Indian students find accredited US universities that are best fit for their academic and professional needs. We welcome Indian students to obtain genuine and relevant advice from us through these fairs, which have gained tremendous popularity over the years,” said USIEF executive director Adam J. Grotsky.

Students will be able to have one-on-one sessions with admissions officers, who will provide authoritative information about their college and university programmes.

400 Punjab educational institutes face closure?

Chandigarh : Education became a booming business across Punjab over a decade with the agrarian state’s green fields giving way to sprawling campuses of scores of educational institutions, but things have taken a turn for the worst.

If the Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA) is to be believed, nearly 400 such institutions with an investment of over Rs.6,000 crore “are on the verge of closure”. The association attributes this situation to the apathy of the state government and other agencies.

“The educational institutions of Punjab are facing a lot of problems because of non-supportive attitude of regulatory bodies like the Punjab government, the All India Council For Technical Education and the Punjab Technical University,” PUTIA president J.S. Dhaliwal said here.

He said around 400 unaided technical institutions of Punjab, including engineering, polytechnic, management, architecture and other professional and vocational colleges, were on the verge of closure.

The affected institutes have called for a conference Nov 18 at Mohali, adjoining Chandigarh, to devise strategies to avoid closure.

The main grouse of the educational institutions is that the Punjab government and other agencies are forcing them to pay commercial rates for everything – from change of land use charges, external development charges, electricity and transport charges and stamp duty.

“We are providing education to several thousand youths in Punjab right at their doorstep. Instead of supporting us in this, the Punjab government is charging all commercial rates. Educational institutes should be exempted from all taxes,” Dhaliwal said.

Officials say the government is considering the demands.

“Private technical institutions have raised the matter with the government. They have some issues on taxes and commercial charges being levied on them. The government is considering their demands and will take a decision,” a senior Punjab technical education department official said on condition of anonymity.

PUTIA is represented by several leading private education groups in Punjab in management, engineering and other professional courses. These include the Rayat Bahra Education group, Indo Global Colleges, Chandigarh group of colleges, Doaba group, Aryans group, Sukhmani group and others.

Together, over 250,000 students study in these private institutions.

“While institutes in Punjab are facing uncertainty and are on the verge of closure, institutions in other neighbouring states are benefiting as governments in those states are helping them set up educational infrastructure,” Anshu Kataria, chairman of the Aryans group of colleges, said .

“Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad offer job scope in the IT sector. So students want to go there. There is no major industrial and IT investment in Punjab. So students are reluctant to come here to study. Punjab is losing its share to other states,” Kataria said.

Private educationists are questioning the stepmotherly treatment towards Punjab’s own institutions.

“While the Punjab government is hell bent on taxing us and applying all commercial charges, it went out of the way with its land largesse to a business school to set up its 70-acre campus in Mohali (near Chandigarh) on a token annual lease of Re.1,” a leading educationist said requesting anonymity.

Dhaliwal and Kataria also pointed out that while private institutions were being taxed heavily, the state government had regulated the fee in these institutions, making these projects unviable.

“In the last 10-15 years, the price of everything has risen except our fee. The government should consider fee revision as the cost of education has gone up drastically,” Dhaliwal said.

“Nearly 95 percent of the technical institutes in Punjab are in the private sector. Despite that, we have no say and are not even consulted while formulating education and technical education policy,” he said.
IANS

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Academic council approves new courses at Himachal Pradesh University

Posted by himachal Posted on June 23, 2017 Colleges & Universities Comments Off on Academic council approves new courses at Himachal Pradesh University
Shimla: Presided over by vice chancellor ADN Bajpai, the academic council of Himachal Pradesh university approved starting of dozens of new courses which included a masters program in biotechnology, information technology, remote sensing and others.

Other courses approved, university spokesman Ranvir Verma disclosed at the 63rd academic council meeting held today included MSc in Environmental Sciences, Statistics, Polymer Science and MA in Disaster Management, Hindi Journalism, Population & Development Studies and Tribal Studies).

It was also decided to start MBA in Infrastructure Development, Banking & Life Insurance, Retail Management, Bio-technology, Environment Management and Rural Development.

The council decided to introduce Post-graduate Courses in Financial Studies, Accounts and Taxations, Costing, Banking and Insurance and Retail management with short term special courses in Veda, Vyakarana ,Darshana and Himalyan Culture and Spirituality.

It also recommended to start Post-graduate Diploma Courses in Cultural Tourism, Adventure Sports, Pahari Miniature Painting, Bio-informatics, Buddhists Studies, Cyber Law and IPR & Patent Law.

Bachelor Degree Courses in Pharmacy, Fine Arts & Library Sciences, BTech in Bio-Technology, Computer Science and Electronics and Communications will be introduced with Diploma Courses in Cyber Crime Prosecution and Defense, Multi Skill Hotel Operation, Himalayan Culture and Spirituality and in Urdu.

The Council decided to introduce Certificate Courses in Urdu, Chinese ,Japanies, Human Rights, Tourist Guide, Computer, Personality and Skill Development, Religious Tourism and Freedom Struggle Tourism.

It was decided to set-up eleven centers for Research and Extension in the phased manner to be started from the next academic session.

The centres proposed are Nano Science and Technology, Food Processing, Multi Media, Immunology and Infectious disease, Indian Religion Philosophy Thoughts and Culture, Environmental Studies, Pahari Language and Culture, Remote Sensing and GIS, Spiritualism, Jyotis and Yogic Studies, Social Exclusions and Inclusive Growth and Disabilities Studies.

The council recommended to establish ten new departments in phased manner, which included Anthropology, Archeology, Bio-Chemistry, Geology, Library and Information Science, Defense Studies, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Traditional Knowledge System and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Seven new chairs of SS Bhatnagar for Science Education and Research, Shobha Singh, Visual Arts, J.C. Bose Life Sciences, Baba Bhalku Ram for Tourism, Transport & Hospitality, Sri Aurbindo for Indian Philosophy and Thoughts, Planning Commission and Reserve Bank of India Chair were proposed to be established.

The council recommended establishing a publication division in the university which prints text books, dissertation and original works of research scholars.

The council also announced that post-graduate examinations would be conducted from 26th November and the 19th university convocation would be held on 12th December, said the university spokesman.

Academic council approves new courses at Himachal Pradesh University

Shimla: Presided over by vice chancellor ADN Bajpai, the academic council of Himachal Pradesh university approved starting of dozens of new courses which included a masters program in biotechnology, information technology, remote sensing and others.

Other courses approved, university spokesman Ranvir Verma disclosed at the 63rd academic council meeting held today included MSc in Environmental Sciences, Statistics, Polymer Science and MA in Disaster Management, Hindi Journalism, Population & Development Studies and Tribal Studies).

It was also decided to start MBA in Infrastructure Development, Banking & Life Insurance, Retail Management, Bio-technology, Environment Management and Rural Development.

The council decided to introduce Post-graduate Courses in Financial Studies, Accounts and Taxations, Costing, Banking and Insurance and Retail management with short term special courses in Veda, Vyakarana ,Darshana and Himalyan Culture and Spirituality.

It also recommended to start Post-graduate Diploma Courses in Cultural Tourism, Adventure Sports, Pahari Miniature Painting, Bio-informatics, Buddhists Studies, Cyber Law and IPR & Patent Law.

Bachelor Degree Courses in Pharmacy, Fine Arts & Library Sciences, BTech in Bio-Technology, Computer Science and Electronics and Communications will be introduced with Diploma Courses in Cyber Crime Prosecution and Defense, Multi Skill Hotel Operation, Himalayan Culture and Spirituality and in Urdu.

The Council decided to introduce Certificate Courses in Urdu, Chinese ,Japanies, Human Rights, Tourist Guide, Computer, Personality and Skill Development, Religious Tourism and Freedom Struggle Tourism.

It was decided to set-up eleven centers for Research and Extension in the phased manner to be started from the next academic session.

The centres proposed are Nano Science and Technology, Food Processing, Multi Media, Immunology and Infectious disease, Indian Religion Philosophy Thoughts and Culture, Environmental Studies, Pahari Language and Culture, Remote Sensing and GIS, Spiritualism, Jyotis and Yogic Studies, Social Exclusions and Inclusive Growth and Disabilities Studies.

The council recommended to establish ten new departments in phased manner, which included Anthropology, Archeology, Bio-Chemistry, Geology, Library and Information Science, Defense Studies, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Traditional Knowledge System and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Seven new chairs of SS Bhatnagar for Science Education and Research, Shobha Singh, Visual Arts, J.C. Bose Life Sciences, Baba Bhalku Ram for Tourism, Transport & Hospitality, Sri Aurbindo for Indian Philosophy and Thoughts, Planning Commission and Reserve Bank of India Chair were proposed to be established.

The council recommended establishing a publication division in the university which prints text books, dissertation and original works of research scholars.

The council also announced that post-graduate examinations would be conducted from 26th November and the 19th university convocation would be held on 12th December, said the university spokesman.

33 percent of teachers’ posts vacant in JNU

New Delhi : Nearly 33 percent of the teaching posts in Delhi’s premier Jawaharlal Nehru University are lying vacant, Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeshwari said Friday.

In reply to a written question in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said the University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed the JNU for filling the vacant posts as per University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations.

“The UGC has informed that it has directed the university vide its communication dated 21/9/2011 to fill up the vacant teaching posts as per the UGC’s regulations,” Purandeshwari said.

The minister also said that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG’s) comment in its report for relaxing criteria for appointing officials in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was dropped after a reply from the university.

The CAG in its draft performance audit report for 2011-12 commented on relaxing the eligibility criteria for appointment of deputy registrar, assistant registrar and other posts.

“However, on being satisfied with the reply of the university, the CAG had dropped the comment from its final performance audit report,” the minister said.
IANS

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HP university launches news journal : Newsense

Shimla : Newsense , a lab journal was launched Monday by the journalism department of Himachal Pradesh university,Shimla .

“The journal was formally launched by the university vice chancellor ADN Bajpai . Later copies of the journal were distributed ,” said Vikas Dogra, assistant professor , HPU journalism department .

“With Newsense we are trying to explore the working of a real-life newspaper ,” Dogra told the Hill Post .

Culinary institute to come up at Haryana’s Pinjore

Chandigarh : A National Culinary Institute (NCI), the first of its kind in north India, would soon be set up at Haryana’s Pinjore to boost employment opportunities in tourism sector, an official said Thursday.

State Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Tourism, Dhanpat Singh told reporters at the Yadvindra Gardens at Pinjore, 20 km from Chandigarh, that the union tourism ministry had already accorded in-principle approval to the Rs.5 crore project.

The project will be located close to the Mughal-era gardens for which Pinjore is famous.

“For this purpose, seven acres of land had been acquired from horticulture department. The institute would be funded by the central government and it would be maintained by Haryana Tourism,” Singh said.

He said that students would be imparted training about cookery and also advanced training in different cuisines like Indian, continental, Chinese, Thai and other recipes.

He said that those already associated with the field of tourism could also get advanced training in this institute to further widen their scope in the tourism industry.

The institute will start functioning next year.
IANS

My visit to NIT Hamirpur

I visited NIT Hamirpur last week and made a presentation on the opportunities for higher education in the field engineering and science at IIT Bombay. I gave a broad perspective of the higher education and its need in a country like India. Some of the issue related to the amounts of scholarships were also discussed.

New innovative schemes have been started by IIT Bombay to attract quality students in the engineering and Science fields
and details are available on “http://www.iitb.ac.in/fellowship“. The fellowship gives an informal chance to the aspiring students to work in IIT Bombay and if they are found suitable, they are recommended to be selected as regular students for various programs.

Then, I apprised the students about the various challenges involved in the research projects, where they could probably contribute much more and make a niche for themselves. In response, around one dozens students have applied to IIT Bombay for this fellowship and I wish them all the best and hope that they get a chance to work at IIT Bombay and hope that this will set a precedent for the future generation of students.

Besides this lecture, I also visited Govt Senior Secondary School Ghumarwin and wanted to visit the degree college at Ghumarwin and Bilaspur. However, I could not succeed in meeting the students because of the ongoing yearly examinations. I hope that next time I shall be able to interact with the students in these places.

I also met the SDM Ghumarwin (Sh. Pradeep Thakur) and apprised him about the activities of the My Himachaland various initiatives taken by My Himachal under the leadership of Dr. Bhugol Chandel. He has also promised to help in the implementation of any the proposed and/or sponsored programs by My Himachal. With this I summarize my recent visit to HP (from 15-17 March, 2007) as a small initiative towards bringing more awareness in the student community.

Admissions open in IIT Bombay, Please check the links
Masters’ programs: http://www.iitb.ac.in/pgprgm.html
Doctor Programs: http://www.iitb.ac.in/rsrchprgm.html
Please take a note that there are M.Sc (Physics), M. Sc.(Chemistry). M.Sc.(Bio), M.Sc (Energy systems) and M. Phil programs in Humanities where many students from BSc background can apply. Check out the JAM test homepage at www.iitb.ac.in/jam

The story of Major Chint Singh, Indian POW World War 2

Many of the readers who had their school education or even college back in India would have studied Indian history. The text books, I can recall covers history from Indus Valley civilization to Indian Freedom Movement. However there has been a vital part of our history which most of the children in India do not know, at least I didn’t, the role of Indian troops in World War 1 and World War 2. Many Indians died in the line of duty and displayed great courage for which every Indian can take pride in. Unfortunately, their stories have lost over time. There has been no attempt on the part of Indian Government to build war memorials outside India to recognize and honor our brave soldiers.

Here is a story of one soldier from Himachal Pradesh who was respected by many Australian and some of his mates still remember him. The story of Major Chint Singh, my father, who was one of the nearly 3,000 Indian POW survived to tell the atrocities and suffering he and his comrades had to go through. He became the witness in War Crime Commission after the war in Australia. His evidence was able to bring many Japanese officers to justice. I have for you his brief story.

Major Chint Singh (1917 – 1983), enlisted in the Frontier Force Regiment (now in Pakistan) in 1935. After the fall of Singapore in 1943, about 3000 Indian Ps O.W. were shipped to New Britain and New Guinea. This was the start of life which Chint Singh and his comrades would not like to remember. The reason will be evident by the following Chint Singh’s message which he sent for the occasion “Operation Remembrance”, to mark the establishment of memorial in respect of Indian martyrs, at Angoram (PNG) on the bank of the Sepik river, on 30th September 1971.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, 30th September is the day of great significance to me when I along with 10 Indian P. O.Ws were rescued by the Australian Armed Forces and saw the “New Light” at this spot.

We were feeble, sick, emaciated, reduced to mere skeletons due to the brutalities of Japanese guards. Life was no certainty. A day earlier, i.e. 29th September, 1945, Sepoy Jai Ram and Sepoy Ibrahim had breathed their last. We the remaining 11 were also waiting our turn to join them. In the meantime God sent angles from heaven (Australian and local people of New Guinea) to fetch us out from the oblivion into the new world, and put new life into us at Angoram…We were not known to the world nor the world to us. We were declared “missisng” by the British Government and our kith and kin were missing to us. We were living in absolute darkness. Our hearts had become as hard as stones, our feelings were crushed, we had turned worse than animals eating grass, jungle roots, lizards, insects….

How we passed days, months and years, through atrocities and privations and without any type of food including sugar and salt seems incredible even to me. Alas! Fate was not satisfied with all our sufferings and planned a tragic anti-climax when all 10 leaving me behind at Wewak were killed in a plane crash in New Britain…”

While all this was happening with Chint Singh and his fellow Indian prisoner of war, the Australians were running different search missions in that area.

Lt. Monk recalls in his memoirs ‘Taim Bifor’,

(not sure if this work has been published at time of writing this article) that a Japanese barge had gone down river to Marienberg carrying Japanese troops and 13 Indian PsOW. According to Lt. Monk, a Japanese runner was sent to Mareinberg to bring the Indians back to Angoram.

Just after we finished their burials, there came a prominent turning point in our life which has been expressed in the following which I wrote on 4th October, 1945 at ANGORAM: WE ARE REBORN AT ANGORAM ON 30 SEPTEMBER, 1945. It was the loveliest Sunday of 30th September, 1945, when I was sitting in a native hut at Merinberg on the left bank of the Sepik River. Suddenly a Jap boat buzzed and stopped in front of the hut. A Jap soldier came with a letter in his hand and asked for the Indian Officer. I went forward, took the letter, opened it and read as follows:

“ANGORAM
29th Sept. 1945

To O.T. Indian Troops,

Merinberg.

I am sorry that I was not at Angoram when you called two days ago. I would like you to bring your Indian soldiers back to Angoram in the Japanese boat. We have a doctor here and plenty of good food. A boat from WEWAK will call here at Angoram on Thursday or Friday and will take you to WEWAK.
(Sgd) F.O.Monk

O.C. Angoram.”

Apart from that, the Japanese officer who brought that letter also said that all Japanese should surrender themselves.

After being reported about the arrival of Indian prisoners of war, Lt Monk recalls, when he went down to see them “…it was heart-wrenching. Ten of these poor fellows were lined up in two ranks, some were sitting because the sore on their feet or their condition generally were such that they could not stand, but all were rigidly at attention despite their rags and their pitiable condition. In charge was a smart looking man, Jemadar Chint Singh, also in rags but with most military bearing, who marched up, saluted and said “Sir, One officer, two NCOs and eight other ranks reporting for whatever duty the King and the Australian Army requires of us”. I found it very hard to reply to him. I still feel much emotion when recalling it.”

After the tragic plane crash, Chint Singh became the chief witness against the Japanese at War Crimes Commission. One of his rescuers Sgt. Eric Sparke, wrote Chint Singh’s story, which was published in a Newcastle’s newspaper (April 1947), “Lieut. Mitsuba, who was awaiting trial on five atrocity charges, said: “We should have killed him”. When I told Chint Singh he smiled, showing his white teeth and said: “They will pay. They will pay”.

After the war, he retuned home to find that his parent regiment has gone to Pakistan after partition of India in 1947.

Chint Singh points out a Japanese soldier who had mistreated him while he was POW to Australian war crimes investigators, 11Sept 1945. Source: Australian War Memorial. AWM 098708.

Consequently, he got commission in 2nd Dogra Regiment in 1948. During his career in Army he excelled in training role. He was recalled on active service during 1971 Indo-Pak war. He retired in 1974 and settled in his village. During his retirement he was actively involved with welfare of ex-servicemen and war-widows. He was appointed as Vice President of his State’s ESL (Ex-servicemen League). In late 1982, he was diagnosed with cancer and he lost his battle with it in February 1983. He passed away in the Military hospital where my eldest brother was posted. So being ex-serviceman, he received a soldier’s funeral. Few days before his death my brother, trying to cheer him up, said, “Dad you will be alright soon. You have seen a lot during the War…”. Before my brother could finish his sentence, my father said, “I don’t think I will make it this time”. And he was right. When we went through his belongings we found a diary in which he mentioned all the steps to be taken after his death. One of the task was- “Inform my friends in Australia of the death e.g. Mr. Bruce Ruxton, Mr. Tony Hordern, Mr. Peterson, HQ, RSL, Canberra, Australia”. It is amazing that how well he maintained his diaries during the War which became important evidence against the Japanese and he kept that habit of writing in his diaries till the last day of his life.

In August 2002, I was interviewed on Radio National ABC (Mecca’s show on Sundays- All Over Australia) regarding my father’s story. After the interview the response I received was just amazing. I was able to contact Australian WW II veterans who knew or met my father. I was humbled by their support and kind words. At times, sitting alone contemplating my father’s story and the responses I received, I would look up at the skies and say “Dad, I have experienced true Australian mateship which you did during the War”. And that began my journey to meet those old links which my father had and put together his story which he wanted the world to know.

Himachal government denies allegations of Dhumal

The Himachal Pradesh government today described the statement of BJP leader, Prem Kumar Dhumal as baseless, misleading and contrary to the facts and added that it was nothing but issued with the ulterior motive to gain political mileage. Dhumal has alleged that irregularities were committed while releasing funds to various districts under the Vikas main jan sahyog programme.

The official spokesman said that first installment of Rupees 3 crore under the programme was released to 10- non-tribal areas of the State on 3rd April, 2007 for the year 2007-08. He said that the funds were allocated to the concerned deputy commissioners under the programme as per fixed norms of the programme. Besides, Rupees 6 crore were also released against the last year pending sanctioned proposals for carrying out works under the programme on 3rd April, 2007 and added that the allocation was made as per the demand of the districts.

He further clarified that in addition to it, the Planning Department also reviewed the pending schemes under the programme and concerned Deputy Commissioners were asked to send proposal for funds for pending projects in their Districts. He said that Rupees 676.46 lakh were also released on 2nd August, 2007 on the demand from Deputy Commissioners of Bilaspur, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla and Solan for pending schemes under the programme.

However, there was no demand for allocation of funds was made by the Deputy Commissioners of Hamirpur, Sirmour and Una Districts.

HIMACHAL PUBLIC WORKS (HPPWD) SDO CAUGHT RED HANDED TAKING BRIBE

Anti corruption cell of Mandi caught a SDO of Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department (HPPWD) red handed while taking a bribe of Rs. 25000. SDO Manoj Kumar works with HPPWD Kullu and demanded hefty sum from contractor to clear his pending bills. The contractor approached anti corruption cell when Manoj Kumar contacted him from Mandi. After working closely with anti corruption bureau local Police was able to trap the SDO.

Its pertinent to mention that it is normal to pay the HPPWD authorities to clear bills unless and otherwise person is highly connected with the ruling party.

Everyone is surprised by the act of this small contractor as every contractor fears that if they approach Police for anti corruption activities then its hard to get future contract work from HPPWD. This contractor fears that out of total Rs. 5 Lakhs worth the works he completed from total allocation of Rs. 26 lakhs, might jeopardize due to his honest act.

Its quite amazing to note that HPPWD (http ://himachal.gov.in/Depts.htm) is one of the largest departments of Himachal and when HP govt. talks big on citizen government interface, this department does not even carry a website or email address where people can anonymously report their issues. Although its known fact that very few department officials in HP check their emails.

Time has come that every one join hands to fight corruption and work together to build a better Himachal. Recently Himachal CM, Virbhadra Singh assured everyone that government would take stern actions against corrupt officials and government would specifically work for major land reforms as Patwaris were warned by CM in election rally in Una.

HIMACHAL GOVERNOR STRESSES TO ASSESS PHYSICAL AND FINANCIAL GAPS BETWEEN NEEDS AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT

National Academy of Audit and Accounts.

Kokje stressed to assess the physical and financial gaps between needs and resources available for the development and create awareness of the cost of inefficiency among beneficiaries and providers of social and productive services. He said that Auditors should also scrutinize various policy decisions, keeping in view the beneficiaries interest and priorities, particularly of rural poor so that effectiveness and efficacy of developmental programmes could be increased.

Governor said that Auditors should bear the responsibilities of evaluating Government’s adequacy in terms of management, performance and results including evaluation of operations in terms of economy, efficiency, effectiveness and impact. They should also suggest improvements in areas where they find Government lagging behind and should assess the impact of an organization, non-financial objectives by monitoring its performance systematically and regularly.

He said that Auditors could play a vital role to provide protection against fraud, early warning of future problems and a general re-assurance of adequacy and transparency of financial management system of the Government.

HIMACHAL ALLOWS TWO SEATS IN MEDICAL COLLEGE FOR TIBETANS

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet in its meeting held here today approved the empanelment of MRI Centres having necessary infrastructural facilities, competence and experience to undertake such tests within and outside the State for purpose of MRI tests of State Government employees and pensioners

Cabinet granted exemption in purchase of equipments/instruments from outside the State, for non-availability of the outlets within the State, for use by Animal Husbandry Department after observation of all the codal formalities.
Some of other approvals issued are:

Extension of the Nalagarh-Baddi-Barotiwala Special area by including 124 hamlets alongwith Swarghat-Ropar road.

Town and Country Planning Office at Rohru.

Reservation of two seats in MBBS, courses of Medical Colleges in the State for the wards to Tibetan Refugees.

Cabinet approved Recruitment and Promotion Rules for the posts of District Adult Education Officer, Class-II (Non-Gazetted) in HP Elementary Education Department, Dispenser (Class-III, Non-Gazetted) for Government Pharmacy College, Rohru, Junior Engineer (Mechanical) in Irrigation and Public Health Department.

Himachal to provide accident insurance to all employees


Tax, interest relief for farmers in distress

Shimla: Eying electoral gains, the Himachal cabinet today announced 2,367 new government job openings, decided to bring all regular, contractual or daily wage employees with the government or government assisted bodies under a group personal insurance scheme and also did approve tax and interest payment relief on loans for farmers in financial distress.

Presided over by chief minister Virbhadra Singh, the cabinet as a relief measure for farmers in distress decided to exempt stamp duty and registration fee on loans obtained for agriculture, horticulture and allied pursuits borrowed from any financial institution or bank, including cooperative banks, under different schemes. Approval was given to implement Reserve Bank of India instructions regarding charging of interests, which exceed the principal amount on short term agriculture loans availed by small and marginal farmers. To mitigate farmers in financial distress, this has also been extended to primary agricultural societies. Deputy Commissioners have been asked not to take penal action against those small and marginal farmers for recovery of loans who suffered losses due to heavy rains.

The cabinet decided that for any regular, adhoc, contractual, part-time and daily wage employees of government departments, boards, corporations, universities and autonomous bodies to avail of the group insurance scheme, he would need to contribute Rs 50 as annual premium towards it.

Date of receiving applications of allotment of small urban plots for low income households has been extended from October to December, 2007. An Rs 4.61 government debt with Himachal Pradesh State Handicrafts and Handlooms Corporation was converted into equity by the cabinet.

The cabinet decided to regularize the service of 1908 daily wage worker in various departments and created 165 jobs in revenue department, 132 jobs in education department and 100 positions of female health workers in para medical services. To improve mobility of police personnel, the cabinet approved purchase of 50 additional vehicles for the police department.

Hello world! Welcome to Himachal.us.

Hello world! Welcome to Himachal.us.

My Himachal is a non-religious and a non-political organization. My
Himachal’s mission is to preserve Himachal culture, promote, support and expand social and economic interests of Himachal Pradesh and its people worldwide. As the name suggests, My Himachal, it’s an effort, which is yours! It’s an effort from people like you, it is an effort for everyone and with everyone’s support.
With information technology, it is becoming easy to connect to everyone beyond physical boundaries. Technology also gives us power to unite and expand our efforts so as to preserve our rich culture and show it to rest of the world and at the same time generate various avenues for employment and development.

All these efforts are managed by a team of people who love Himachal from different parts of the world and are working hard to make Himachal the best state in India. In this effort, we all invite you to be part of it and write about Himachal. If you have stories about Himachal and want to share positive information about Himachal then you are welcome to be part of the team.

Spread the word about myHimachal. Link to us, use our banner or tell your friends. Thank you!

Sainik school entrance examinations on January 6th

Hamirpur: The Sainik Schools will hold an all-India entrance examination on Sunday, January 6, 2008 for the session 2008-09 for admission to classes Sixth and Ninth. Admission test will be held at various centers for all 21 Sainik Schools across the country barring Nagrota, Jammu and Kashmir , which will conduct a separate examination.

Boys between the age of 10 and 11 years as on July 1, 2008 can apply for admission to Class VI while those between 13 and 14 years are eligible for Class IX, a spokesman of the Sainik school, Sujanpur tira said today.

Necessary advertisements inviting applications are being issued by the respective Sainik Schools this month. The prospectus can be obtained by the candidates from the Sainik Schools where admission is desired on payment of Rupees 300/- ( Rs.200/- for SC/ST) by crossed Postal Order in favour of the Principal.

The Last date for receipt of applications is December 10, 2007, the spokesman said.

Admission is made strictly on merit in the entrance examination and subject to medical fitness. Reservation will be made in admission for 15% and 7½% seats for SC and ST candidates respectively. Besides 25% seats are reserved for wards of service personnel, including ex-servicemen.

Admission will also be made to Class XI subject to vacancy and criteria laid down by respective Sainik Schools.

The 21 Sainik Schools are located as under:

Andhra Pradesh (KORUKONDA-VIJIANAGARAM), Assam (GOALPARA), Bihar (NALANDA and GOPALGANJ), Gujarat (BALACHADI-JAMNAGAR), Himachal Pradesh (SUJANPUR TIRA), Haryana (KUNJPURA-KARNAL), Jharkhand (TILAIYA), Jammu and Kashmir (NAGROTA), Karnataka (BIJAPUR), Kerala (KAZHAKOOTAM-THIRUVANANTHAPURAM), Maharashtra (SATARA), Mainpur (IMPHAL), Madhya Pradesh (REWA), Nagaland (PUNGLWA), Orissa (BHUBANESWAR), Punjab (KAPURTHALA), Rajasthan (CHITTORGARH), Tamil Nadu (AMARAVATHINAGAR), Uttarakhand (GHORAKHAL) and West Bengal (PURULIA).

Sainik Schools are residential public schools and affiliated to the CBSE to impart education up to Class XII under 10+2 pattern. Central and state governments have instituted liberal scholarships for the benefit of socio-economically backward sections of society.

How to plan for your career in 21st century

In today’s global world, there is no dearth of jobs/professions and one can achieve the goal of finding an appropriate career with a right mix of talent, work spirit, dedication, patience and hard-work. However, the choice of getting into a particular stream or profession becomes limited due to stiff competition in the different fields. To quote, some of them are civil services, management, medical services and engineering. For instance, it is very difficult to get into the top institutes of these professions such as IITs, IIMs and AIIMS. Therefore, one should set a goal for his career based on his strengths, weaknesses, availability of opportunities and long term scopes in a particular field.

The pursuance of a particular career generally starts from either 10th or intermediate. While pursuing these qualifying studies at intermediate level, the student should make elaborate plans for his career and for achieving his goals; he should ask the following questions from himself as well as from his parents and guardians. A thorough discussion with your parents and guardians is necessary because to pursue a particular field of your interest, you need a continuous, unstinted and constant help in terms of encouragement, financial help and mental support for a fairly long period of 4 – 8 years.

  • What shall I become in my life?
  • Why to choose a particular career field?
  • What are the means and ways to realize those goals?
  • What are advantages and disadvantages of your chosen field?

Once you get satisfactory answers to these topics, then you should start collecting more information from different sources such as newspapers, magazines, seniors students, parents, relatives and most important INTERNET. In fact, internet is the best place to look for detailed information and discussion on various related issues including the various careers. In the next step, try to locate some people who are currently working in the same field. They are best one to tell you about the hardships involved in pursuing that career. Listen carefully to their views and advice. Also tell them as to what you think or what you know about that field. Don’t hesitate from asking them if you have any doubts, even if you think that they are very silly.

The next step is about collecting the information on universities/colleges/institutes, the minimum requirements for admission, such as, minimum marks required and the type of entrance examination. Also collect information on the extent of competition for that university and if you decide to pursue the same university, then how much effort you need to put in while preparing for the entrance tests.

After clearing all the hurdles and securing an admission in your dream institute/university, don’t think that you have achieved everything in your life. This is just the beginning of your dream goal. You have cleared the first step successfully and to go on to the next step, you should redouble you efforts and work hard towards the realization of your final goal.

While passing through all these hurdles, learn to be patient and have a regard for your parents, elders, your community, society and country. Because the society will judge you from what and how much contribution you have made to it.

Sainik school Sujanpur Tihra

Hello everyone , today what I am going to tell you is the part of my life which I am never going to forget till my last breath……….

Hope that it will help someone in future .

About The School

Sainik School Sujanpur Tira is located in the historical town Sujanpur Tira famous for its NARBADESHWAR temple, which claims some good miniature painting of Kangra Style and only idol of Lord Shiva. ‘Sujanpur Tira’ is situated in district Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh) at a distance of 24 KMS from the district town. The school is located on the western end of the famous chaugan in an area of land measuring about 328 kanals.

The school maintaining a total strength of 525 boys in the class VI to XII. To accommodate such a huge strength of Students School has six Houses-Beas, Satluj, Ravi, Chenab, Yamuna and Jhelam. Each House functions under the supervision of a House Master. Along with these residential facilities school has well-equipped classrooms, Laboratories, Computer Laboratory. Smart classroom, a Gymnasium, Tennis Courts, Squash Court, a well hygienic Dining hall, a small infirmary close to Govt. hospital and extensive playgrounds.

H P Khadi & Gramodyog Board funds 196 projects

Shimla : The HP Khadi and Gramodyog Board has sponsored 196 projects worth around Rs 10.2 crore to various banks under the Prime Minister’s employment generation programme in Himachal Pradesh .

This was disclosed by the state industries minister Kishan Kapoor while addressing the board of directors of the board here Friday .

“A provision for disbursing margin money worth Rs 2.79 crore to entrepreneurs has also been made during the current financial year which would generate 1173 jobs ,” said the industries minister .

“In the last fiscal year 1475 persons benefited through 14 units under various activities like wool spinning and woollen cloth finishing ,” Kapoor said .

President at Agri. Univ. in Palampur

Complete speech is on President’s website

Hill Agriculture for Prosperous Himachal Pradesh

I am delighted to be here and interact with the students and faculty of Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Palampur. I take this opportunity to congratulate the University students for their academic performance. I greet the Vice Chancellor, Professors, teachers and staff for shaping the young minds to contribute to the development of Himachal Pradesh in agriculture, horticulture and dairy science. Dear graduates, when you go out of this university, the education and empowerment that you have received will be with you to meet any challenge. You will be a winner if you have a high aim, if you can sweat for achieving the aim and have indomitable spirit to overcome any problem you face in your life. I would like discuss with you on the topic ?Hill Agriculture for Prosperous Himachal Pradesh?

Special Characteristics of High Altitude Agriculture

As you are aware, the high altitude agriculture has special problems pertaining to diverse climatic conditions, terrain, availability of water, connectivity, mobility, marketability and the stress to the flora and fauna. Keeping these characteristics in mind the agriculture scientists have to work on products which will have high value at low volume and weight, water harvesting, water storage system and efficient use of water, special farming such as green house for off season cultivation of crops. Also, the University must consider designing low cost high efficiency mechanized equipments which can be used by the farmers in the high altitude conditions. In this background, I would like to discuss some of the areas in which the University can directly help the farmers of Himachal Pradesh.

 

Agriculture

I understand that the University is concentrating on the technologies pertaining to rice, maize, pulses, oil seeds etc. These are mainly the food crops which can probably be consumed within the State wherever it is produced. Emphasis should be to make the State self-sufficient in food crops since the cost of transportation in the hills is high. While upgrading the technology, the University should not lose sight of traditional food crops and the traditional methods of their production. Any improvement must be a super imposition on the acceptable and affordable methods of the local farmers. The improved technology should reach the remote areas of the State inhabited by the tribal people through the research and the extension centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendra of the University. The University can also consider having model cultivation and demonstration cum training farm in these areas.

Browse > Home / People / Feel proud, the very first Hero was from us!

Major Som Nath Sharma was born on 31 January 1923 in Dadh, Kangara District in Himachal Pradesh. His father, Major-General Amar Nath Sharma, was also a military officer and his brother General V. N. Sharma was the Chief of Army Staff from 1988 to 1990. He was commissioned into the 4th Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army (then British-Indian Army) on 22 February 1942. He also saw combat during the second World War in the Arakan Operations. His younger brother Gen. V. N. Sharma retired as head of Indian army.

On 3rd Nov 1947, Major Somnath Sharma’s company was ordered on a fighting patrol to Badgam village in the Kashmir Valley. He reached his objective at first light on 3rd November and took up a position south of Badgam at 1100 hours.

The enemy, estimated at 700, attacked his company position with 3-inch mortars, LMGs and rifles. Completely outnumbered and with withering fire being brought to bear on its position from three sides, the company began to sustain heavy casualties.

Fully realising the gravity of the situation and the direct threat that would result to both Srinagar and the aerodrome if the enemy attack was not held until reinforcements could be rushed to close the gap leading to Srinagar via Hum Hom, Major Sharma urged his company to fight the enemy tenaciously, with extreme bravery, kept rushing across the open ground to his sections exposing himself to heavy and accurate fire to urge them to hold on.

Keeping his nerve, he skilfully directed the fire of his section into the ever-advancing enemy. He repeatedly exposed himself to the full fury of enemy fire and laid out cloth air strips to guide our aircraft onto their targets in full view of the enemy.Sharma.jpg Realising that casualties had affected the effectiveness of his light automatics, this officer, whose left hand was in plaster, personally commenced filling magazines and issuing them to light machine gunners. A mortar shell landing right in the middle of the ammunition resulted in an explosion that killed him. However, Major Sharma’s company held onto its position and the remnants withdrew only when almost completely surrounded.

His inspiring example had resulted in the enemy being delayed for six hours, thus gaining time for our reinforcements to get into position at Hum Hom to stem the tide of the enemy advance. His leadership, gallantry and tenacious defence were such that his men were inspired to fight the enemy outnumbering them by seven to one for six hours, one hour which was after this gallant officer had been killed. Major Sharma set an example of courage and qualities seldom equalled in the history of the Indian Army. His last message to Brigade HQ received a few moments before he was killed was : “The enemy are only 50 yards from us. We are heavily outnumbered. We are under devastating fire. I shall not withdraw an inch but will fight to the last man and the last round.”

A hero to remember!

Gave his life for our future on July 7, 1999

© G.L. Batra, father of Shaheed Captain Vikram Batra, PVC (13 JAK Rifles)Images
© A Ridge Too Far: His Highness The Maharajah of Patiala

Twin sons were born to the family of Mr. G.L. Batra and Mrs. Jai Kamal Batra, on 09 September 1974 at Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. The family had two daughters earlier and twin sons were a joyful addition to the family. The family nicknamed the twins as ‘Luv’ (Vikram) and ‘Kush’ (Vishal). Luv received his primary education from his mother, who herself is a teacher. He received his education up to Middle Standard in D.A.V. Public School, Palampur and up to senior secondary stage in Central School, Palampur. Both his sisters are married and his twin-brother, Kush, is undergoing an internship training course as a Junior Executive with Tata Finance Ltd. Captain Vikram Batra was very brilliant, diligent, and active from the very beginning of his student life. He was very popular among his friends, students and teachers since, he was ever smiling and respectful to everyone.

He was an all rounder, good in studies, always a first divisioner and equally good in sports and all other co-curricular activities. He always kept himself in first line and among the toppers in all the different fields. He was also a green belt holder in Karate. He always kept himself in first line and among the toppers in all the different fields. He used to sweep almost 75% of the prizes from the prize distribution table during his schooling. He participated in ‘national level’ table tennis (Central Schools) and represented the North Zone. He participated in a national youth parliamentary competition. After passing his 10+2 in 1992 from Central School Palampur, he got admitted in D.A.V. College, Chandigarh in B.Sc where he was adjudged the best N.C.C. Cadet (Air Wing) in two zones. He was selected and underwent a helicopter flight course for 40 days at the Pinjore flying club.

He was also selected for the 1994 Republic Day Parade at New Delhi. During his B.Sc. course in 1995, he got selected for the Merchant Navy in a foreign-based company (Hong Kong).However in the nick of time he dropped the idea of joining the Merchant Navy due to his patriotic zeal to serve the Nation. As a true son and soldier of the motherland, he decided to join the Indian Army as a Commissioned Officer. He got commissioned in June 1996 and he joined the IMA (Indian Military Academy) at Dehra Dun. After passing out in December 1997, he joined the Army as a Lieutenant of 13 JAK Rifles at Sopore, Jammu & Kashmir. Later he was sent for the Young Officer’s Course at the Infantry School in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh where he secured Alpha grading for his overall performance.

Next, he attended a 35-day commando course at Belgaum, Karnataka in February-March 1999 where upon completion of the course, he was placed in Instructor’s Grade.Reconnaissance for the capture of Point 5140. Sitting Left to Right: Lieutenant Vikram Batra, Major Vikas Vohra, Captain Chatterji and the CO of 13 JAK Rifles, Lieutenant Colonel Y.K. Joshi.Lt. Col. Y.K. Joshi, adding the third pip on Lieutenant Vikram Batra on his promotion to Captain after the battle for Point 5140. He was to win a posthumous PVC some days later in the battle for Point 4875.On 01 June 1999, his unit proceeded to the Kargil Sector on the eruption of a war-like situation in Kargil, Drass and Batalik sub-sectors from where he was sent along with his company on the first strategic and daring operation to recapture the first peak of utmost importance – Point 5140, which was at an altitude of 17,000 feet. Upon reaching Point 5140, leading a company of troops, he encountered the commander of the Pakistani-backed terrorists on radio. The enemy commander challenged him by saying, “Why have you come Shershah (his nick name), you will not go back.”

Captain Batra, being the last person to back away from a fight, replied, “We shall see within one hour, who remains on the top.” In a short while Captain Batra and his company of troops killed eight enemy soldiers and more importantly captured a heavy anti-aircraft machine gun, neutralising the advantageous peak. Re-capture of Point 5140 paved the way to the return of the rest of peaks and cleared the Srinagar-Leh highway which sat in motion of successes like capturing Point 5100, 4700 Junction, Three Pimples and the ultimate prize – Tiger Hill. After the capture of Point 5140, standing left to right: Captain Jamwal, Lt. Col. Y.K. Joshi, Captain Vikram Batra and Major Vikas Vohra. Sitting Left to Right: Major Gurpreet Singh and Captain Rajesh Adhau, the RMO. Soon after capturing Point 5140, he radioed his commanding officer and said jubilantly,”Yeh Dil Mange More!”

On the successful capture of the vital peak he was congratulated and graced by the Chief of Army Staff, General Ved Prakash Malik on telephone. After taking rest for 4 – 5 days he proceeded towards Point 4750, where he was challenged again by the enemy who said, “Shershah, nobody shall be left to lift your dead bodies,” to which Captain Batra curtly replied, “Don’t worry about us, Pray for your safety.” He captured Point 4750 and hoisted the national flag. He also played a commendable role in the capture of Tiger Hill. He had dedicated himself and was determined for total victory.On ‘Ledge’ overlooking the 17 Jat objective of ‘Whale Back’ and their approach. An enemy snow-hut is in the background. Captain Vikram Batra was killed here, winning the Param Vir Chakra (PVC).He volunteered himself for a third crucial operation of Point 4875 at an altitude of 17,000 feet, with a gradient of 80º. He attacked the peak along with his company and another led by Captain Anuj Nayyar, MVC. They gave the enemy a tough time, killed a number of enemy troops and re-captured the peak on 05 July 1999. The enemy counter-attacked the peak on 07 July 1999, but Captain Batra retaliated the counter-attack with vigour.In the heat of the battle, one of his junior officers (Lieutenant Naveen) was seriously injured and Captain Batra immediately went to his rescue. Destiny however had something else in store for Captain Batra and during the rescue, he was hit by a bullet in the chest. With the words Jai Mata Di on his lips, the brave Captain fell down and was hit again in the waist by an artillery splinter. Before succumbing to his grievous injuries, this brave son of the motherland and a true lion of Bharat Mata killed another five enemy soldiers. A grateful nation applauds the Batra family. He fought with exceptional bravery and magnitude, which is rarely seen. He has set an example before the youth of our nation, which shall inspire generations to come.

In recognition of his gallant act, Point 4875 has now been renamed as Captain Vikram Batra Top and has received all credit to capturing this vital peak by his Commanding Officer, Colonel Y.K. Joshi, 13 JAK Rifles. For his sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery and junior leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy, Captain Vikram Batra was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest medal for gallantry, posthumously. His father, Mr. G.L. Batra, received the award from the President of India, on behalf of his brave son.

JAI HIND!! JAI JAWAN!!

Jeff Salz’s Trek to GHNP

A Way of Adventure Exclusive


Be a ‘
Special Guest‘ in the Great Himalayan National Park.You are personally invited for a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity!
Join me on an ‘Invitation Only’ Trek.

Help preserve the Earth’s wildest mountain ecosystem and support Himalayan villagers.

I gave up guiding in the Himalayas ten years ago, but when the people of Kullu asked me to help them by bringing some friends over next year…. these people, these mountains.were simply too beautiful for me to say no. By participating in this expedition you will be supporting the efforts of the locals to sustain both the pristine national park and their way of life. And in doing so, create a model for cultural and wilderness preservation in Third World countries world wide.

Read on …

No commercial trekking company offers trips to this region … and you cannot go on your own.

What: A unique ‘benefit trek’ organized at the invitation of local villagers and the Director of the Great Himalayan National Park.

Where: The least-visited, most unspoiled mountain wilderness in the western Himalayas … arguably the world!

Who: 12 people like you – like-minded ‘adventurers’ supported by a team of experienced guides, cooks and porters.

When: Early September 2006, right after monsoon when the meadows are most vibrant with grass and flowers. The entire trip will be 2 weeks from start to finish (you may want to extend this time frame to experience either the Tibetan plateau and monasteries or the Taj Majal).

Why: A chance to climb, photograph, paint, write or just explore, while supporting local villagers.You will take a pilgrimage trek up the holy Tirthan River, sacred to the locals, to our high base camp in alpine meadows (13,500′). You will experience Blue sheep and purple flowers (the sheep aren’t really ‘blue’ but that is their name) – crystalline rivers and snowy summits.

How much? A very reasonable $2,500 – All Inclusive!!

INCLUDED: 5 star hotel in New Delhi … flights and ground transportation within India … all meals, guides, porters, equipment, etc.

NOT INCLUDED: Airfare from North America, personal expenses and tips.

***Non-stop air travel Chicago-New Delhi now available on American Airlines!

What do YOU need to do? Just click here and tell me that you are interested – space is extremely limited so you’ll want to connect with me asap.

Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan yojna KVPY-2011

The “Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana” is an ongoing program started by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, to encourage students of Basic Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to take up research careers in these areas. The aim of the program is to identify and encourage talented students with aptitude for research.

This program strives to assist the students to realise their potential and to ensure that the best scientific talent is tapped for research and development in the country. Generous scholarships are provided (up to the pre-Ph.D. level) to the selected students.

Through this scheme, Govt of India offers scholarships in the range of Rs. 4000/- to 7000/- per month along with a contingency amount of Rs. 16,000 -28,000/- per year.
Who can apply
Students in XI and XII with science background, B.Sc. (I, II and III year), B Tech (any branch and year of engineering) and MBBS students

Application form and other details are available at
http://www.kvpy.org.in

POLYANDRY IN HIMALAYAS

The mechanics of fraternal polyandry are simple. Two, three, four, or more brothers jointly take a wife, who leaves her home to come and live with them. Traditionally, marriage was arranged by parents, with children, particularly females, having little or no say.

 

This is changing nowadays, but it is still unusual for children to marry without their parents consent. Marriage ceremonies vary by income. The eldest brother is normally dominant in terms of authority, that is in managing the household but all the brothers share the work and participate as sexual partners. There is no attempt to link children biologically to particular brothers, and a brother shows no favoritism toward child.

Society in this region allows a variety of marriages including monogamy, fraternal polyandry & polygamy.

The explanation for choosing polyandry is materialistic. If you ask someone why he decided to marry with his brothers rather then take his own wife, they say it prevents the division of his family’s farm & animals.

Polyandry is practiced commonly in the Trans- Giri of district Sirmour & some other parts of Himachal.Usually the eldest brother, in a polyandry family is regarded as the head of the family after the death of the father. He exercises a general control over all brothers.

Samrat Shankar Proposes to open magic academy in Himachal

World renowned magician Jadugar Samrat Shankar has announced to open a magic academy in Himachal Pradesh to impart training in this ‘fine art’ to the promising youths of this country.

Speaking at a press conference here today Samrat Shankar disclosed that he has discussed this proposal with the top ranked political leaders and officials of Himachal Pradesh government. He added that very shortly he was going to submit a proposal in this regard to the government for granting two to five acre of land for the academy

Samrat Shankar said that from the very beginning he was demanding that for the promotion of this superb art, it may be declared as a fine art in the country. He added that government should scrap entertainment tax on the magic shows in the country immediately.

He stressed that government should also give loans and aid for the promotion of this art so that new budding magicians of this country who had promising future ahead may not collapse in the absence of financial crunch. He added that in the foreign countries governments were extending full financial and moral support for this art in their countries. He quoted the government of USA had given a grant of crores of rupees to the famous magician of their country Devid Coper field who had brought laurels to the America in this field. In the absence of full government support ‘as a fine art’ magicians of the country can not rise speedily on the world scene.

Samrat Shankar made it clear that in the present era of T.V. and internet, holding magic shows in the different part of the country was no more a profitable business but in fact his motto was to carry message of Indian Magic door to door in the country and tell countrymen that they should always watch such shows as a fine art of Indian
tradition.

He thanked Himachal government for declaring magic shows in the state as entertainment tax free shows. He will show his magic tricks in the Basant theatre in Nahan town for the next 15 fifteen days and would donate a good part of his income to the Sirmour Red Cross Society. Magic shows would be inaugurated by the D.C. Sirmour tomorrow evening. In the Tuesday morning he will drive motorcycle in the busy market of the town by tiding a cloth on his eyes. He would also show some newly developed magic tricks.

Kaul Dass: at service of Baba Balak Nath

He is a man with a difference. He can think better. He can write better. He can speak better. However, he is without limbs and that it why he is always respected by all and sundry who visits the temple of Baba Balak Nath at Deotsidh in Hamirpur district from time to time.

The thirty-six years old, Kaul Dass of Khann village of the Hamirpur district is a man to watch with rapport attention. He is handsome, smart but a man with difference. He writes profusely but with a difference. While others write with their hands, he writes with his teeth, as he is limbless. He does his work more accurately than others, as he is a good worker.

Who so ever comes to temple, he meets Kaul Dass, as he maintains records of all who come to the temple and want to stay in the temple for the night. He provides them all sorts of material for their night halt and issues them a receipt. People watch him with rapport attention when he writes with his teeth as he is handless.

Hailing from a remote village of the Hamirpur district, Kaul Dass used to sing songs to earn his livelihood on the floor of historic shrine of Baba Balak Nath at Deotsidh in Hamirpur in the early age. He is a rare case of genetic abnormality (Maromelia). From there he was taken to the local school by the then Mahant, Shiv Gir of BBN temple. He studied up to B.A from BBN College Chakmoh and later on did his Post graduation in English with 55% marks as a private candidate.

He works as a clerk in the temple and presently he is working in the main gate of the temple. However, those ruling the temple play a joke with him and used to shift him from one post to another due to his disability.

Narrating his past, he says that he was considered to be a bad omen for the family when he took birth. However, his mother nursed him without caring for the comments by the local community. In this process, he also got full support of his father, sister and younger brother. The younger brother accompanies him till date and both serves in the same section of the temple. He was given this job by the present chief minister, Vir Bhadra Singh, when he had taken over as the chief minister of state in year 1985.

Kaul Dass says that he is indebted to his family for what he is today. He gives full credit to his mother, two sisters and a brother who still nurse him. His younger brother, Bikram Singh still takes care of him and works along with him in the temple. He brings and takes back
Kaul Dass to temple and then to home in a bus.

He says that he is happy with his present status. He has no regret for his disability.
He is a keen follower of Baba Balak Nath and goes to his cave daily to pay his obeisance there. He says that Babaji has given him strength and power to face the world. He has no grudge with the God. The God has given me everything and I’m happy with that.

Gaddis of Himachal on their way back to higher hills

Shepherds from kangra area on way to plains for pasture. this is their routine affair every year. the pioneer photo

With the advent of winter, Gaddis (shepherds) move to plains along with their herd of sheep and goats for their pasture. However, with the onset of summer they go back to hills to meet their families. They mainly belong to Bharmaur area of the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.

They have homes, substantial village houses, and they own land which they or their family cultivate, their homeland is Gadderan, Bharmaur tehsil, in the west of Chamba district. It comprises the valleys of the upper Ravi and its tributary the Budil.

During the last hundred years or so many Gaddis have bought land and built houses on the southern slopes of the
Dhola Dhar- the northern edge of Kangra valley but whether or not they still have land or relations in Bharmaur tehsil, they consider themselves as belonging to Gadderan. While the Gaddis of Bharmaur falls in the category of scheduled tribes, no status has still been given to their Kangra district counterparts who also live in the same conditions but with no facilities from the state government. The previous BJP government had assured them that they too would also be covered under the S.T category. However, the BJP government collapsed just before providing status of ST to them by the state government after getting permission from the central government.

At least six groups of gaddis reached Hamirpur town from various parts of Punjab today where they spent months together grazing their cattle wealth. They were accompanied by their sheep, goats and big dogs to protect their flocks. They were moving slowly and steadily on way to their respective destinations.

Ram Singh of Chhota Bhangal area said that he had come with a flock of 500 animals this time. However, the flock rose to one thousand, he added.

He said that gaddis were happy with their present status and were following the century old traditions. We worship Lord Shiva as he (Lord Shiva) is our chief Devta. He said that about fifty percent of gaddis had no flocks and they work in their fields. About 3,000 persons go to plains along with their flocks as during the winter their areas faces acute shortage of pastures.

According to him, they have grazing rights in almost all parts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh on basis of old traditions.” No one stops us from grazing the flock in their fields. At many places, people themselves offer them their fields and also provide them with food as a goodwill gesture. There is general belief in the people that with the arrival of gaddis along with their cattle wealth in their fields, their productions will increase and they will not face any threat from evil forces, “he added.

Another shepherd, Nandu Ram said that despite his old age he used to visit plains every year. He said that he had been visiting plains for last sixty years except for once when he had fallen ill. He said that it was too hot in Punjab this time due to change in the weather.

He said that such tours were fantastic and were beneficial to them and their families.

Dharmshala Boy brings laurels to Himachal Pradesh

Paritosh Pathak, resident of Dharamshala brought laurels for the ‘land of gallantry Army officers- Himachal Pradesh’ as he was awarded Sword of Honour by the Director General Indian Costal Guards last week.

Pathak impressed with his all-round best performance and extraordinary courage shown in the ocean. The award was conferred at the passing out Parade of 46th Assistant Commandant course of Indian coastal Guard, for his outstanding performance in the ‘Autumn Term 03 Training Course’ organized for the induction of new Costal Guard officers, in an impressive ceremony held onboard Coast Guard Ship Varuna, Naval base at Kochi.

A student of Govt. College Dharmshala, Paritosh comes from a family of defense officers. He was selected for Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guards, both, but he opted for Indian Coast Guards where responsibility of an officer stretches 7500 kilometers along the coastline and over a sea area of 2.01 million square kilometers in Indian ocean.

Assistant Comdt Paritosh Pathak born and brought up in village Dari just two K.M. from Dharmshala in Distt Kangra received his early education from Scared heart High school, Sidhbari village and central school Yol and passed out his graduation from Govt. College Dharmshala. His Father Prof Y.R. Pathak had been teaching English in Govt. Post graduate College Dharmshala till retirement and his mother Muktesh Pathak is also teacher in Dharmshala.

His parents returned back from Kochi after attending the ceremony, were very excited on the performance of their son as boy from Hills have excelled in mighty Sea and getting ready for ensuring the safety and protection of offshore island,offshore installations , structures in maritime zones, and giving assistance to the customs in anti smuggling, protection of maritime environment, protection of fishermen and assistance to them in distress and protection of life at Sea.

Working on the motto ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ that means ‘we protect’, the Indian Coast Guard was established in 1977 as principal agency for the enforcement of all National Laws in the maritime zones of India stretches 7500 K.M. along the coastline.

Dharmshala Boy brings laurels to Himachal Pradesh

Paritosh Pathak, resident of Dharamshala brought laurels for the ‘land of gallantry Army officers- Himachal Pradesh’ as he was awarded Sword of Honour by the Director General Indian Costal Guards last week.

Pathak impressed with his all-round best performance and extraordinary courage shown in the ocean. The award was conferred at the passing out Parade of 46th Assistant Commandant course of Indian coastal Guard, for his outstanding performance in the ‘Autumn Term 03 Training Course’ organized for the induction of new Costal Guard officers, in an impressive ceremony held onboard Coast Guard Ship Varuna, Naval base at Kochi.

A student of Govt. College Dharmshala, Paritosh comes from a family of defense officers. He was selected for Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guards, both, but he opted for Indian Coast Guards where responsibility of an officer stretches 7500 kilometers along the coastline and over a sea area of 2.01 million square kilometers in Indian ocean.

Assistant Comdt Paritosh Pathak born and brought up in village Dari just two K.M. from Dharmshala in Distt Kangra received his early education from Scared heart High school, Sidhbari village and central school Yol and passed out his graduation from Govt. College Dharmshala. His Father Prof Y.R. Pathak had been teaching English in Govt. Post graduate College Dharmshala till retirement and his mother Muktesh Pathak is also teacher in Dharmshala.

His parents returned back from Kochi after attending the ceremony, were very excited on the performance of their son as boy from Hills have excelled in mighty Sea and getting ready for ensuring the safety and protection of offshore island,offshore installations , structures in maritime zones, and giving assistance to the customs in anti smuggling, protection of maritime environment, protection of fishermen and assistance to them in distress and protection of life at Sea.

Working on the motto ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ that means ‘we protect’, the Indian Coast Guard was established in 1977 as principal agency for the enforcement of all National Laws in the maritime zones of India stretches 7500 K.M. along the coastline.

Dr. Puneet Gupta of My Himachal featured on TOI

Dr Puneet Gupta, 42, India’s first certified cancer specialist and currently attached to the Indraprastha Apollo hospital, has taken upon himself the task of making cancer therapy affordable to every common man in the country.

His take on the subject: With the latest medical care, detection machines and screening instruments, including mammography machines, PET scan, cancer patients in the country should get equal, if not better, treatment than those in the US, and at affordable prices.

“We have to look into the physical, mental, social, economical and spiritual aspects of a cancer patient before treating him so that we doctors are able to deliver in a comprehensive way,” Dr Gupta says.

The first doctor in India who has done an MD, DNB and DM in oncology — all certified by the Medical Council of India – Dr Gupta is also the first Indian to deliver trans-arterial chemotherapy by using arterial electronic pump and to use latest targeted monoclonal antibody therapy for head and neck cancer.

A Padmashree hopeful, Dr Gupta has under his belt a string of awards, including Leading Scientist of the World 2004, Certificate of Merit Award, Glory of India 2007, Vijay Shree 2005, and Indira Gandhi Shromani.

A practitioner of synchronous chemo radiation therapy and organ sparing technique, Dr Gupta says, the Indian way of treating cancer is the best in the world now, as in the US the method of treatment is predominantly modern. But in India the approach is total cancer care.

Earlier, one had to depend on the US for drugs to treat cancer which was unaffordable. However, the same drugs are available now here at reasonable prices. For example, persons suffering from lung and head-neck cancer bank upon Geftinib capsules, hard to come by in India till recently. However, it is now being made available here by the drug company NATCO.

Multiple Myloma (bone marrow cancer), which the former PM Chandrasekhar was suffering from, can now be treated with an injection with no wastage, whereas 60 per cent of the US-made injection goes waste, says Dr Gupta.

A member of various national and international cancer bodies, Dr Gupta also wants to be an effective link between the drug industry and cancer patients.

It is trailblazers like Dr Puneet Gupta who can lead the way to making India self-sufficient and a force to reckon with.

Dr. Puneet Gupta is Vice President of India chapter of My Himachal

Sanjeev Awasthi elected President of journalist body

NAHAN: At a meeting of Sirmour Union of Journalists held here today, senior journalist of Renuka, Sanjeev Awasthi was unanimously elected new district President of the union.

In a resolution passed in the meeting journalists demanded that state government should come out with a complete media policy to give social, financial and professional security to the journalists working in the state. Several issues related with the welfare of journalists were discussed in the meeting.

Yoginder Kapila was elected to the vacant post of district advisor and Ramesh Paharia was made Joint secretary of the Union. Union has decided to launch its own website also.

Amitabh Bachchan remains a friend – Shatrugan Sinha

Not being invited to Abhishek-Ashwariya wedding was a matter between friends and its is settled, is how Shatrugan Sinha dismissed the controversy where he is reported to have returned the sweets packet sent by Amitabh Bachchan after the ceremony. Evading media queries over the issue with a dialogue from one of his film dialogues Sinha said “Khamosh, band karo yeh nacch gana.”However, he maintained that Amitabh Bacchan was one of the finest persons in the film industry whom he held in high esteem.

Later talking to students of DAV school Lakkar Bazar, the actor turned politician derided his tribe by saying that today politics was not the last but first resort of the scoundrel. Praising the DAV institutions, Sinha said that it was a little known fact that these institutions have thrown up three prime ministers which include AB Vajpayee, IG Gujaral and Manmohan Singh. “Today it was a need for all politicians to recall lessons about honesty and discipline learnt at school” he said.

Political – religious processions be kept a private affair – Shatrugan Sinha

Shimla: Dharna’s, religious processions, marriages and political rallies need to be kept a private affair in the country and should not be allowed to encroach upon the liberty of others or disrupt emergency services like the one that cost the live of a boy, here, a few days ago, stated Shatrugan Sinha, the actor turned politician.

Talking at a ‘meet the press’ program he said “Thus far, not farther” and asked all political parties to deliberate and consider appropriate legislation to curb the practice of encroaching upon public space while celebrating or demonstrating that causes hardships to the common man.

Speaking on a wide variety of issues Sinha, who was the health minister in the Vajpayee government, said that the death of the boy because of the violence outside the Vidhan Sabha was sad but it had pricked the conscience of many.

“Was the congress party, which is in the government, not holding a support rally on the same day that the opposition had planned a protest demonstration to suppress the voice of the opposition,” he questioned? “It was an act of desperation of the congress government which by all intent appeared to be packing its bags,” said Sinha.

About criminalization of politics he said his dignified, disciplined and silent protest of not supporting or campaigning for criminals in Bihar elections had been appreciated by his party (BJP) and president Rajnath Singh and senior leader LK Advani had recently announced that criminal elements would not be given tickets.

Talking about the performance of the Bihar government, he said that chief minister Nitish Kumar was doing it best to bring about order. He said that the state had been neglected for long and had perhaps the lowest per capita income of Rs 300 per month in the country. About 42 % of people are below the poverty line and improving all that would take time. Without reacting to a question over Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi’s long term as chief ministers, he said, “Lalu’s rise in politics had brought dignity for the common man.”

About the film industry Sinha said that with the previous NDA government having given films the status of industry has helped in financing and executing projects.” The industry was becoming more transparent and payments were being made through cheques,” he said. About Indian singers, musicians and actors not being allowed to perform in Pakistan, he said, that though India and Pakistan share a common heritage, it was sad that even legendary personalities like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale were not permitted to do so.

Bilaspur girl honoured at a public function for her honesty

Sapna, a young girl of village Kajeil in Bilaspur district was honoured by Mr Vivek Chandel, Sub Divisional Magistrate Rajgarh yesterday at a public function organized at Rajgarh PWD Rest House by the President and Members of Bhanat Panchyat of the area for setting an example of honesty by returning a bag containing one lac and six thousand of rupees to its actual owner.

As per details Arjun Mehta, a progressive farmer of Ser village under Bhanat Panchyat lost his bag containing rupees one lac and six thousand at bus stop, in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner Solan, resently. Sapna, who works with a private concern near Solan found this bag laying on the road, when she was passing through the bus stop. Setting an extraordinary example of honesty she searched its owner Arjun Mehta and returned the money bag. Every body in the Bhanat Panchyat praised the moral and honesty of Sapna and decided to honour her publically.

In an impressive function Mr Chandel , SDM praised her honesty and honoured her with Himachali cap, a shawl and commendation certificate. A number of immanent persons of the area in their speeches called lerp roll model of honesty for new generation.

Ganesha Goes to Lunch: Classics from Mystic India

Kamla K. Kapur’s GANESHA GOES TO LUNCH: Classics from Mystic India (Mandala Publishing, $14.95), offer both a window into a fascinating culture that has endured for thousands of years, and a code for living that can be applied to the modern world. The 24 insightful myths, recreated and embellished, reveal timeless insights into the human condition. Yoga + Joyful Living magazine has said: “Kapur has done yoga students a huge favor by collecting some of the best-loved tales of Hindu mythology and explaining their underlying spiritual meaning. This gorgeously illustrated book retells ancient tales with a delightful modern sensibility.”

Kamla K. Kapur, a resident of Himachal Pradesh, lives in a remote region of the Kullu Valley, The Valley of the Gods. Many of the heroes in Kapur’s book are worshipped in the temples of the region.

Himachal Governor stressed need to promote Kangra Paintings

Dharamsala:
Governor VS Kokje said that there was a need to protect and promote the distinct identity of the Kangra School of paintings. Governorinaugurated Kangra Painting Training School at Dharamsala today.

“Besides popular themes from ancient Indian mythology, those from Mughal, British as well as modern era should be depicted,” said Kokje.

Speaking at the Kangra Art Promotion function at Dharamsala the governor said that the responsibility of popularizing of the art lay with the artists as it would help them to earn well. “Incorporating modernity there was a need to preserve the originality of Kangra painting,” he said

Lauding the efforts of Kangra Art Promotion Society in reviving Kangra Paintings, Kokje said that there was a need to undertake research and cooperation with artists and institutions associated with Rajasthan and Madhubani style of paintings could be soughtgovsep11b.jpg.
Kangra paintings are an offshoot of the school of Pahari school paintings that were patronized by the Rajput rulers between the 17th and 19th centuries.

Kangra Art Promotion Society (KAPS) is behind the opening of school. The School would provide Rs. 1500 scholarship per month to six students and Rs. 35000 would be spent on each student every year. Kokje appreciated the efforts of Kangra Art Promotion Society in reviving Kangra Paintings.

Governor honoured Dr. Akshay Ranchal, Ajay Mittal, Vijay Lal, Faiz Murtaza Ali, Ms. Smriti Chadda, Yogi Mahajan and Ajay Singh Mankotia for sponsoring trainees to the Kangra Art Training School.

BSNL targets 20,000 broadband connections in HP by end of fiscal

Shimla: BSNL, the public sector telephony provider, is expanding its broadband services in the state and targets to provide connectivity at 130 locations that would help it to achieve a 20,000 customer figure by the end of the financial year.

Talking to the media, Anil Kaushal, chief general manager BSNL for Himachal said that the network was aggressively expanding its data network. Capacity expansions had taken place and additional 9000 broadband connections would be released by the end of this month, said Sharma. As of now there were only 4000 broadband customers in the state, he added.

He said that the Himachal circle had achieved a turnover of Rs 400 crore last year and made a profit of Rs 64 crore. As part of corporate social responsibility, the network was in the process of providing telemedicine and HIMSWAN, an e-Governance project at highly subsidized rates, he said.

Sharma said that there had only been a marginal fall in landline customers in the state and by including 5.08 mobile subscribers, the network had over 9 lakh customers making it the biggest player in the state. He said that BSNL had a waiting list of 19,000 landline connections, mostly in difficult regions of the state. The company planed to set up another 500 towers for providing coverage to all parts of the state, he added.

Hindi Divas celebrated

Shimla: V.S. Kokje, Governor stressed upon the need to promote Hindi Language in day-to-day life and added that country could progress only when it is established as official language (Rajbhasha). He was speaking in the State level Hindi Divas function.

Governor said that electronic media is also playing a significant role in popularizing Hindi language by making it a medium for reaching the public.

Kokje honoured Secretariat, Directorate and District level Officers and officials with Rajbhasha Puraskar.

GAD (F) , Revenue (B), Industries (B) branches won 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively for Secretariat level,Bhim Sen , Principal Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment was awarded Secretariat level Best Officer,Mrs. Parvati Verma, TCP for Secretariat level Rajbhasha Officer, Mrs. Laxmi Pal, SAD, Sushil Kumar Sharma, Health branch, Pyare Lal, Urban Development branch were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively for Secretariat level Best Official category.

Small Savings, Panchayat Raj and Land Record Directorates were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively . Hrideya Ram Chauhan, Cooperative Directorate and Ghanshyam Singh Bali, Assistant Director, Small Savings were awarded Best Officer and Rajbhasha Officer at Directorate level. Pyare Singh Agriculture, Mrs. Kamla Chauhan, Local Audit and Mani Ram, Hospitality were awarded Best Officers at Directorate level.

District Panchayat Officer, Kullu, DPRO Mandi and DFSC were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively at District level. Mrs. D.D. Thakur, District Welfare Officer, Chamba and Mrs. Anita Gautam, District Employment Officer, Una were awarded for Best District level Officers category. S.R. Gautam, District Welfare Office, Hamirpur, Baldev Singh, Statistics Office, Bilaspur, Mrs. Krishna, Statistics Office, Nahan were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively for best official at district level category. Deputy Commissioner Kullu and Bhim Singh Chauhan, DLO, Mandi were also honoured.

Municipal Corporation, Shimla, Social Welfare Board and Khadi Gramodyug Board were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively.

Jammu and Kashmir children calls on CM

Shimla: 33 children of Chinar Corps of Indian Army hailing from Killore, Kupwara region of Jammu and Kashmir lead by Major Rudra, touring various states of the country under Operation Sadbhavana launched to provide exposure to the children affected by insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, called on Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, today.

Chief Minister welcomed the group to Himachal Pradesh, informed them about various developmental and allied activities taking place in the state besides replying to their various querries to fulfill their quest for knowledge of the state.

Singh called upon the children of Jammu and Kashmir to uphold the nationalism above all and become the ambassadors of peace, communal harmony and non-violence to build a strong Jammu and Kashmir.

Major Rudra, the group leader apprised the Chief Minister of the motive of the Operation Sadbhavana and the goodwill activities started by the armed forces in the insurgency affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir.Children sang patriotic and Kashmiri songs.
Lt. Col. S.S.Rana of ARTRAC was coordinating officer of the army.

3 dead, 1 injured in Himachal as van rolls into gorge

Shimla:Three persons died on the spot and one was seriously injured when a van on its way from Gopalpur to Rampur went of the road and fell into a gorge in the interiors of Shimla hills. The dead were identified as Chinta Ram (34), Padam (30) and Kamala Devi (32). Driver of the vehicle, Gopal, was seriously injured and has been admitted to the government hospital at Rampur. The accident near Baruni Nallah, 135 Km from the state capital, took place at about 10 in the morning, police sources said. The cause of the accident could not be ascertained.

NREGA to be implemented in remaining districts of Himachal

CM ANNOUNCED A NUMBER OF DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES DURING HIS TWO DAY VISIT TO SIRMOUR WHICH CONCLUDED YESTERDAY EVENING

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to be implemented in all the remaining eight districts of the State from October 10, this year while four districts Sirmour, Chamba, Mandi and Kangra had already been covered under the national ambitious programme.

This was stated by Shri Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Shillai, the remote area of district Sirmour, after he laid the foundation stone of newly sanctioned college building complex estimated to cost Rs. 7.5 crore and dedication of helipad constructed at a cost of Rs. 15 lakh to the people of the area.

Chief Minister said that people of the State were indebted to the UPA government which had envisioned the ambitious programme to ensure minimum of 100 days guaranteed employment to the rural people near to their homes. He said that the NREGA had been announced to be implemented from next financial year, while the state would be implementing the programme from October 10,2007, so that the benefits were delivered to the targetted groups. He said that it was a tribute to the Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi who dreamt “Gram Swaraj”.

Shri Virbhadra Singh said that State Government had decided to double the Public Distribution ration quota to all the categories of ration card holders from 1st October, onwards. He said that Antyodaya, BPL, IRDP and other general category of ration card holders would now be eligible to draw double quota of the subsidized ration from fair price shops. He said that H.P. was the first State in the country which had made such provision to check the price rise in essential commodities in an effective way.

Shri Virbhadra Singh said creating best educational infrastructure in rural area had been the policy of the State Government. He said that so far 72 degree colleges had been made functional, majority of which were in rural areas. He said that 22 new Government degree colleges had been opened in the remote, tribal and difficult areas. With this programme government was committed to make Himachal Pradesh a ” Knowledge Hub” where private participation would be encouraged.

Another function of CM was organized at Kafota in Shillai assembly constituency.

‘One ITI would be opened at Kaffota, Sub-Tehsil upgraded to full-fledged tehsil of Kamrau to facilitate the people of the area with revenue and industrial training facilities to the local youth of the area’, this was stated by Shri Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister while addressing a mammoth public meeting at Kaffota after he dedicated Milk Chilling Plant constructed at a cost of Rs. 85 lakh to the farmers of the area and laid foundation stone of Science Block of Govt. Senior Secondary School, Kaffota at an estimated cost of Rs. 50 lakh, today.

Chief Minister announced upgradation of Govt. High School, Katwal, Channi to Senior Secondary Schools, Govt. Middle School Poka and Kando Shagawa to Govt. High School to facilitate local students avail of higher education facilities.

He said that medical college, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Govt. Medical College, Kangra at Tanda was complete and ready to be dedicated very soon, which had been completed at a cost of Rs. 400 crore. He said that one more medical college to be started soon at Mandi and private sector medical college at Hamirpur.

He said that the Milch Chilling Plant of Kaffota would generate annual income of Rs. 100 crore to the local people and benefit 2500 milk producing families which had formed 20 cooperative societies in the area. He said that rural women would be the main beneficiaries under the programme.

Later, Chief Minister also dedicated PWD Rest House at Jakhna completed at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh and the foundation-stone of the Rohgvi-Piabhar-Mashli Water supply scheme to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 2.20 crore to benefit 19 villages of the area.

UK MP’s discuss ways to support Tibetan campaign for freedom of Tibet

A leading 5-member delegation from the UK parliament, presently on a five-day historic visit to Dharamshala met the members of the Tibetan parliament in exile to discuss ways in which the members can give support to Tibet’s non-violent campaign for freedom and self-determination.

Harry Cohen, MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet said, “We are further strengthened in our resolve to provide solidarity for the cause of genuine Tibetan autonomy and will continue to help in any way we can.”

Cohen added, “We have seen also examples of Tibetans’ distinct cultural identity in their schools and arts,” adding, “that identity needs to be saved for the world, but it is also the Tibetans’ right to express it in their own homeland.”

In his address, Norman Baker, MP and President of the Tibet Society said, “There is a very strong development of democracy in Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, and a robust parliament.”

He added, “We are honored to meet the Dalai Lama yesterday for a very long interesting session,” adding, “the audience was proactive and practical, with His Holiness speaking frankly about his concerns for the Tibetan people.”

He said” We are very conscious as British MPs for the role we must play in order to take matter forward in a more constructive way on the issue Tibet,”

“We recognize the strong historic link between Tibet and United Kingdom , and it is a historic fact that Tibet is an independent country,” Baker said.

He said the members are concerned about the consequences of the construction of railway into Tibet, which brings large number of Han Chinese into Tibet , posing danger of population imbalance in Tibet.

“We are particularly concerned about the human rights situation and repression of religious freedom and the interference by the Beijing government in religious appointment,” he added.

Saying that the Chinese were not sincere during the six rounds of negotiations, Norman further added, we need to recognize the opportunity next year, when Beijing is in spotlight with the Olympics, to bring united message from British States and the European Union to engage Beijing to constructive dialogue.

Five Tibetan beauties for the Miss Tibet 2007 contest

Five Tibetan beauties are vying for the Miss Tibet2007 contest that will be held at Dharamshala later this month. These beauties will have to go through seven competition rounds, according to Lobsang Wanagyal, the man behind the pageant

He said in fact, for this year, there is one less in number compared to last year’s. Nevertheless, Lobsang is adamant and is hopeful to add more contestants in coming years, as he promises to continue with the beauty show.

“The enthusiasm with which more than ten women applied is a clear sign of hope to have even more contestants in the future” Lobsang said at the beauty pageant’s press conference.

Deeki Dolma, 20, from Gangtok, Sikkim; Tenzin Dolma, 21, from McLeod Ganj; Tenzin Pema, 19, from Clement Town, Dehradun; Tenzing Dolma, 25, from Gangtok, Sikkim and Tsering Yangzom, 20, from Kollegal, Karnataka are contesting for this year’s Tibetan beauty title.

“To represent and promote Tibet by taking part in Miss Tibet,” is the sole purpose of taking part in the contest for Deeki Dolma from Sikkim .

Before the actual final competition rounds would begin from 12 to 14 October, the contestants will undergo a week-long training, which among others includes yoga, dance and catwalk, Lobsang said. A week-long training will be accompanied by orientation on Tibetan history, culture and current affairs, environmental issues, human rights and music and, visits to Tibetan Government-in-Exile, NGOs and institutions.

The contestants were shown “Miss Tibet in Exile”, a documentary film on Miss Tibet pageant, directed by Tashi Wangchuk and Tsultrim Dorjee of Tibet Motion Pictures & Arts.

Miss Tibet 2006, Tsering Chungdak successfully participated in the Miss Earth contest last year and won “Miss Good-Will” title of the pageant.

“We hope to produce yet another memorable edition of the Miss Tibet pageant,” says Lobsang.

HIMACHAL: MAD DOG BITES OVER 25 PERSONS IN NAHAN

A mad stray dog created panic in the Nahan town in the after noon today. Dog took a round almost half of the town and bite 25 persons who so ever came in the way.
The mad dog suddenly attacked school children at about 2.30 PM and went on biting every person or dog what so ever came to its contact. No body could control the rampage of the dog and number of persons bitten raised to 25 including 8 children and one Army person. Eye witnesses said that dog was very violent.
As per Chief Medical Officer Sirmour Dr. D. K. Oberoi 25 persons had reported in the district Hospital till late this evening with the injuries of Dog bites. He said that four persons with serious injuries on the different parts of their body had been referred to IGMC Shimla. He said that they required some special treatment and medicines which were not available here.
Eyewitnesses told this correspondent that mad dog had bitten over 18 dogs also in the town. They fear that in the coming days such horrible incidents may be repeated if the stray dogs of the town were not killed immediately by the authorities for the sake of safety of the residents of this town. They said that mad dog was big one in size and it was very difficult task to counter its violent attacks, it was the reason that some people who tried to save themselves were severely bitten. In the different parts of the town people counts over two hundreds stray dogs roaming in the streets of the town without any check. They said that these stray dogs had put a threat on the security of residents specially school children of the town.
When information reached in the office of Municipal Council Nahan a team of workers was dispatched to kill the dog but in vain. Municipal Council Executive Officer Mr. R. R. Sharma and Vice Chairman Avinash Gupta were also out with the MC team in the hunt of mad dog. Mr Sharma told this correspondent that mad dog was killed by some villager near Cantonment area late this evening which was buried by the Municipal workers. Mr. Sharma said that residents of the town had reported MC officials that there were a large number of stray dogs roaming in the town but Municipal Council had no power to kill these dogs. He said that MC was giving serious thought to this problem and some solution would come out shortly to come out of this problem.

Temperatures fall after snow in higher reaches of Himachal

Shimla: The higher altitude areas of Lahaul Spiti and Kinnuar districts of Himachal Pradesh are experiencing snow, while lower areas were lashed by rain, plummeting temperatures in the state, the met office said. The higher altitude areas of the twin districts are experiencing snow since this morning and the met office said Patsio in Lahaul Spiti had recorded about 17 cm of snow by 1630 hrs.

It said several mountain peaks and passes are also receiving snowfall for the last few days following which the entire tribal areas and other surrounding areas were under intense coldwave conditions.

Several important roads and passes, including Rohtang Pass and Baralachala Pass, had also received snow during the past few days following which the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has informed that Manali-Sarchu and Tandi-Killar-Sansari roads would be closed for vehicular traffic from October 31, this year. It said that the extreme weather conditions and heavy snowfall does not allow movement of vehicles during the winter season.

Since BRO would not be in a position to to carry out any snow clearing operations or evacuate anyone after October 31, the local people are advised not try crossing over these passes during the winters, it said. The met office said thick clouds were also hovering the Kullu and Chamba districts of the state, official sources said.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperatures across the state plummeted due to snow at higher reaches, though a few places in the mid hills recorded a marginal increase in the maximum temperature during the day, the met office said. The night temperature at Shimla dropped to 11.5 degrees from yesterday’s low of 12.4 degree Celsius, while Sundernagar, Bhuntar and Dharamshala recorded night temperatures of 11.5, 12.8 and 16 degree Celsius as against 13.5, 15 and 17.1 degree Celsius recorded yesterday.

The met office said the minimum temperature at Kalpa dropped further to three degrees, while the maximum plummeted to 12.9 degrees from yesterday’s high of 18.9 degree Celsius after three mm rain during the day.

Sundernagar, Bhuntar and Dharamshala recorded a day temperature of 31.4, 27.6 and 27.4 degree Celsius respectively, it said.
The met office has forecast more snow and rain in the higher altitude areas of the tribal districts of the state during the next 24 hrs.