Matter will be raised with GoI to declare HPU as Central University: CM

SHIMLA- 22 July, 2019-The state government would take up the matter with the government of India for declaring Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) as Central University so that it could get adequate funds for development and expansion. This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the 50th Foundation Day of the HPU, here today.

Jai Ram Thakur announced enhancement of budget of HPU from existing Rs. 115 crore to Rs. 130 crore.

He also dedicated and laid foundation stones of developmental projects worth Rs 8.20 crore in the University.

The Chief Minister while congratulating the teachers, students and non- teaching members on this occasion said that this University was established with a specific aim to empower the people of Himachal Pradesh through educational process by undertaking teaching, research and outreach programmes and it is heartening to see that the it has succeeded in its endeavour.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the University should be a repository of knowledge, an instrument of dissemination of knowledge and promoting the traditions, values enshrined in Indian heritage and tradition, for which the teachers should come up with new ideas and concepts. The state government is committed to provide adequate infrastructure in the University so as to facilitate the students. He said that due to topographic constrains, the University campus was not well planned and organized. He emphasised that proper planning and research must be done before executing developmental projects so that maximum benefits could be derived.

He said that the opinion of the world community has changed towards India due to the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said he recently visited a few European nations to attract investment for the State and the meetings with the potential investors were fruitful as several entrepreneurs have shown interest to invest in the State.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the establishing of library for visually specially- abled students in the University campus is a major initiative of the University. He said that the state government would establish special library for visually impaired students in selected colleges and even schools in order to facilitate the students with special ability. He said that the government would provide all possible help to ensure WiFi facility in the University campus.

The Chief Minister said that the state government would provide all possible help for establishing new campus at Ghanahatti as well as for expansion of other activities of the University. The government would ensure that autonomy of the University was maintained at any cost. He said that teachers should also come forward to check the menace of drug abuse amongst the youth of the State.

The Chief Minister released University newsletter “Himshikhar”, research journals, souvenir and other publications and books on the occasion.

He honoured Padamshri Dr. Omesh Bharti for his contribution in providing cost effective treatment of rabies on the occasion.

Chief Minister also honoured teachers, students and employees for their outstanding contributions on the occasion which includes Dr. Sushma Sharma, Dr. Saraswati Bhalla and Dr. Anurag Sharma with best teacher awards. He conferred best researcher award to Prof. Ram Prakash Sharma, Dr. Anita Sharma and Dr. Amarjit Singh. The best employee awards were given to Shrawan Kumar, Jamna Dass and Kewal Krishan. He also honoured students Manisha and Divya.

Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated the “Atal Bhawan”, a residential building of non-teaching staff of the University constructed at a cost of Rs. 2.38 crore. He laid foundation stone of residential building of Class -IV employees to be constructed by spending Rs. 2.56 crore. This would have sixteen quarters for the employees.

Chief Minister inaugurated University Model School (Phase-III) completed at a cost of Rs. 1.56 crore, the library for visually challenged and other students constructed by spending a amount of Rs. 25 lakh and the network jointly established by the HPU and Space Tele-infra Private Limited completed by spending Rs.1.50 crore.

Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the HPU has created a special place for itself due to the hardworking teachers, students and other staff. He said that since its establishment in 1970, the University has produced several alumni who have brought laurels to the University and State. The State Government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was committed to provide quality education to the youth of the State. The State Government has established Higher Education Council in the State to ensure quality higher education to the students. He said that Rs 400 crore have been earmarked by the Union Government for research activities in the country.

Vice Chancellor, HPU Prof. Sikander Kumar, said that the fifty years of this university were full of achievements and milestones. He said that the students passed out from this University have excelled in various fields, the credit of this goes to the students, teachers and non-teaching staff of the University. He said that the teachers, students and staff of the University were committed to maintain the “A” grade given by NAAC to the University. The University would be fully computerized by end of July this year and counseling of B. Ed. has been done online.

He said that the campus of the University would be provided WiFi facility by the end of this year. He said that the University was committed to establish a few departments in the University and the condition of the University hostels would be improved and renovated so as to provide better boarding and lodging facilities to the students.

Dean of Studies Prof. Arvind Kalia detailed the achievements of the University during the year 2018-19 on the occasion.

Registrar of University Ghanshyam Chand presented vote of thanks.

MLAs and Members of HPU Executive Council Subhash Thakur and Rakesh Jamwal, Mayor Kusum Sedrate, State Coordinator Kaushal Vikas Nigam Navin Sharma, Deans, Professors and Heads of departments, members of teaching and non teaching staff and students were present on the occasion among others.

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Govt. increases ex-distillery price of county liquor and IMFS

The State Government has increased the ex-distillery price (EDP) of the country liquor and IMFS (English Liquor) for the year 2019-20. The ex-distillery price has been increased by five percent to meet the increased cost of production of the liquor manufacturing plants.

Commissioner of State Taxes and Excise Dr. Ajay Sharma said here today that it was brought to the notice of the government that the cost of ENA (Extra Neutral Alcohol), the basic ingredient for manufacturing of liquor has increased considerably over the last years. Similarly, the cost of glass bottle packing carton has seen an upward trend in the recent past.

He said that the basic raw materials needed for manufacturing of liquor are taxable under the GST regime whereas liquor is covered under VAT. The taxes imposed under GST cannot be adjusted under VAT due to which the cost of production of liquor has increased. In order to protect the liquor industry in the State, a marginal increase of 5 percent in the ex-distillery prices has been made.

He said that there shall be no impact on the MRP rates on the beer, wine, cider and the liquor brands manufactured and bottled in foreign countries such as Chivas Regal, Glenlivet and Blue-label etc. However, the effect on the country liquor and English liquor brands manufactured and bottled in India shall be an average increase of about 10 percent. The government exchequer is expected to gain additional revenue of Rs 20-25 crores by this minimal increase.

Dr. Ajay Sharma said that normally the increase in EDP rates is given at the beginning of the financial year from 1st April every year but the same could not be given due to the implementation of Model Code of Conduct for the Lok Sabha Elections-2019.

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Industries department clarifies regarding hike in cement rates

The Industries department has refuted the news item that appeared in a section of media in which it has been claimed that the state government has failed to check the cement prices in the open market and all the cement companies have increased the price of the cement bag by Rs. 50.

A Spokesperson of the Industries department said here today that the cement rates varies from rupees five to Rs. 20 in Shimla, Chamba, Kullu, Hamirpur and Kangra districts. Whereas the current cement rate in Punjab areas are in variance from rupees five to Rs. 15 as compared to the adjoining areas in Himachal Pradesh.

He said that in the past, the cement rates in Punjab areas adjoining to Himachal areas normally used to be on lower side whereas now the cement rates are normally on a higher side which has affected the rates in the state as a whole.

Therefore, it is not correct to say that hike in cement rate in Himachal Pradesh is by Rs. 50 per bag.