Himachal Pradesh

Virbhadra not to celebrate birthday

Virbhadra-SinghShimla, June 22 : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh will not celebrate his 79th birthday Sunday in view of the natural calamity and deaths in the state and neighbouring Uttarakhand, a statement said here.

"The chief minister has decided not to celebrate his birthday in this hour of grief and sorrow due to natural calamity which struck Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh and neighbouring Uttarakhand," the statement said Saturday.

"The people of the state have sympathies with those affected by this natural calamity and pray for early mitigation of their sufferings," the chief minister said.

FDA’s import alert on Dabur facilities may be due to unauthorized export

FDA’s import alert on Dabur facilities may be due to unauthorized exportResponding to the U. S.  Food & Drug Administration's (FDA's) imposition of an import alert on Dabur's two Himachal Pradesh-based manufacturing facilities, the Indian FMCG giant claimed that the products in question were exported without its consent and knowledge.

The FDA imposed the alert after two unapproved products from Dabar's Baddi and Nalagarh facilities were found selling in the U. S. market.

Hydro projects causing degeneration of hill ecology: CAG

hydropower-ProjectShimla, June 5 : The hydropower projects in Himachal Pradesh -- in private and public sectors -- are not only gobbling up forests but also damaging natural resources, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found.

The compensatory afforestation by the state is highly deficient as 58 percent of the test-checked hydropower projects reported no afforestation at all, the CAG said in its recent report.

It pointed out that lack of re-greening of hills poses severe hazards both to natural ecology and stabilisation of hill slopes.

Sukh Ram to campaign for Virbhadra's wife

Sukh-RamMandi (Himachal Pradesh), May 30 : Former telecom minister Sukh Ram will campaign for Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh's wife Pratibha Singh, the Congress candidate for the June 23 Lok Sabha by-poll from Mandi constituency in Himachal Pradesh, the party said Thursday.

Popularly known as Pandit-ji in his bastion Mandi, Sukh Ram had in 2009 general elections refused to campaign for Virbhadra Singh, who was contesting from this parliamentary constituency.

According to a list released by the Congress Thursday regarding the state campaign committee for the Mandi by-election, Sukh Ram is one of the members.

Himachal to reduce fertilizer use

Himachal to reduce fertilizer useShimla, May 25 : To reduce the use of fertilizers, Himachal Pradesh is going to check samples of soil under the Soil Health Programme, an official said here Saturday.

The government has asked the farmers to get soil from their fields tested free of cost, agriculture director J. C. Rana said.

He said that the department has set a target of checking 63,750 samples of soil during the current kharif season.

The report of the test samples would be recorded in the soil health cards of the farmers so that they could make judicious use of fertilisers.

President calls for centre of excellence in every varsity

Pranab-MukherjeeBaddi (Himachal Pradesh), May 25 : Expressing concern over the declining standards of higher education, President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday called for identifying at least one department in each university that could be made a centre of excellence.

"It is possible to revive the lost glory of our higher education system and take at least a few of our universities into the global top league," Mukherjee said, while inaugurating the Maharaja Agrasen University at Kalujhanda, near here, in Solan district.

President concerned over crime against women

President-Pranab-MukherjeeShimla, May 24 : Expressing concern over rising incidents of crime against women and children, President Pranab Mukherjee Friday called for effective measures to ensure their safety and security.

Underlining the need for arresting the moral decline in society, the president told students of Himachal Pradesh University here to find answers for reversing the degradation of values.

Favouring imparting moral and quality education, he said: "Our universities have the capability to shape the minds of the youth."

President concerned over disruptions in legislatures

Pranab-MukherjeeShimla, May 24 : President Pranab Mukherjee Friday expressed concern over repeated disruptions in parliament and state legislatures.

Addressing members of the Himachal Pradesh assembly at its Golden Jubilee celebrations, Mukherjee appealed to leaders of political parties to discuss and find a solution to this problem.

"Every legislator has got his job after begging people for their votes, and after gaining their trust. It would not be fair if he does not discharge his responsibilities," he said.

Marry outside caste in Himachal, get Rs.75,000!

Virbhadra-SinghShimla, May 4 : While 'khap panchayats' (caste councils) in Haryana continue to frown on inter-caste and sub-caste marriages and punish those who do so, marrying outside one's caste is ever so profitable in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh - it'll get couples all of Rs. 75,000.

To prompt young men and women to break the caste barrier, the cabinet headed by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has enhanced the inter-caste marriage incentive from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 75,000. It's given to couples where one of the spouses belongs to a Scheduled Caste.

Rahul Gandhi to review Himachal's performance

Rahul Gandhi to review Himachal's performanceShimla, May 1: The performance of the four-month-old Congress government in Himachal Pradesh will be reviewed by party vice president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi May 3, party leaders said here Wednesday.

Gandhi will hold a review meeting with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and state party president Sukhwinder Sukhu. The meeting will also be attended by AICC general secretary Birender Singh Chaudhary, who is in charge of the party affairs in the state, and his deputy Anees Ahmad.

Pranab to visit Shimla for convocation

Pranab-MukherjeeShimla, May 1 :  President Pranab Mukherjee will be the chief guest at Himachal Pradesh University's convocation here May 24, while Human Resource Development Minister M. M. Pallam Raju will be the guest of honour, an official said Wednesday.

Vice-Chancellor A. D. N. Bajpai said Mukherjee would confer the degrees.

During his visit to the hill state, Mukherjee is also scheduled to deliver the first Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Lecture at the Indian Institute of Advance Studies (IIAS) here and address a function to mark the state Vidhan Sabha's golden jubilee. (IANS)

Central Bank to open more branches in Himachal

Central-Bank-Of-IndiaApril 24 : Central Bank of India would open more branches in Himachal Pradesh and finance infrastructure development and other private projects to increase the credit-deposit ratio, chairman of the bank M. V. Tanksale said here Wednesday.

"We are going to expand our activities in the hill state by financing hydropower, horticulture, infrastructure development and tourism projects," he told reporters.

He said with 4,300-odd branches and 2,500 ATMs, the bank has a turnover exceeding Rs. 4 lakh crore.

Desperation behind self-immolations in Tibet: Dalai Lama

dalai-lamaDharamsala, April 11 : Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has described the people in his homeland as his "boss" and said they were setting themselves afire owing to the desperate situation there.

"For years, I have considered myself a free spokesperson for the people of Tibet, but those people are my boss. Those who are pursuing this course of action are doing so not because they are drunk or beset by family problems but because of the desperate situation in which they find themselves," said the Nobel Peace laureate in Bolzano, Italy, Wednesday.

Rs.2.61 crore loss in Himachal power project: CAG

HP-Power-CorporationShimla, April 10 : State-run Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation showed undue favour to a private contractor during 2009-10 which led to a loss of Rs. 2.61 crore to the exchequer, the CAG has said.

The power corporation, executing the 111-MW Sawara Kuddu Hydro Electric Project in Kinnaur, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) favoured Patel Engineering Ltd., it said in a report Tuesday, which was tabled in the assembly.

The Bharatiya Janata Party was ruling Himachal Pradesh during that period.

Himachal asks cement firms to lower prices

Cement-companiesShimla, April 4 : Cement companies operating their plants in Himachal Pradesh have been asked to lower their retail rates, state Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said Thursday.

"The cement companies will have to reduce the prices of a cement bag sold in the hill state," Agnihotri said in the assembly, in his reply to a debate on a private member's resolution moved by Bharatiya Janata Party's Rajiv Bindal on tapping limestone deposits.

Himachal to hire 100 doctors through walk-in interviews

Himachal to hire 100 doctors through walk-in interviewsShimla, April 4 : Himachal Pradesh will recruit 100 doctors through walk-in interviews to overcome the acute shortage of doctors in the state, Health Minister Kaul Singh said here Thursday.

The cabinet at its last meeting gave the nod to recruitment of doctors on priority, the minister told the assembly.

"A total of 198 doctors are currently doing post-graduate studies. We will recruit 100 doctors from among them this year, and the same number next year," he said.

BJP walks out of Himachal assembly on colleges issue

Virbhadra-SinghShimla, March 28 : Himachal Pradesh's opposition BJP Thursday walked out of the state assembly against the refusal of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to reopen eight colleges.

Not satisfied with the reply of the chief minister on the issue, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members, who had moved cut motions for re-notifying the colleges, staged a walkout.

Virbhadra Singh said these colleges were notified during the BJP regime just before the assembly elections without making budgetary provision and allocation of staff and infrastructure.

Virbhadra bestowing plum posts on loyalists draws fire

Virbhadra-SinghShimla, March 23 : Septuagenarian Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh bestowing plum posts on two loyalists has drawn fire as this is being seen as a lack of confidence in the bureaucracy.

Subhash Ahluwalia has been appointed principal private secretary to the chief minister, the post he had occupied during Virbhadra Singh's 2003-07 stint. Ahluwalia is also media advisor to the government.

T. C. Janartha, who was Virbhadra Singh's private secretary during his 1993-1998 tenure, has been appointed officer-on-special duty (OSD) in the chief minister's office.

HP Govt. is trying to reduce cement prices: Virbhadra Singh

HP Govt. is trying to reduce cement prices:  Virbhadra SinghThe committee headed by the Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri is on the job to fond out ways to reduce prices of cement in Himachal Pradesh (HP), Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh informed the state assembly yesterday.

Trying to convince the Opposition over unbending high prices of cement in the state, Mr.  Virbhadra said that the government was in talks with cement companies to convince them to reduce cement prices in the state.

BJP walkout in Himachal assembly over budget reply

Himachal-assemblyShimla, March 21 : The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday staged a walkout from the Himachal Pradesh assembly, expressing dissatisfaction over the chief minister's reply to a discussion on the state budget for 2013-14.

The opposition accused the government of being anti-poor and betraying the unemployed youth.

The BJP staged a walkout shortly before the house was to adjourn for the day.

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