Himachal Pradesh Current Affairs @ Helios’ Monthly Magazine (Himachal 30 Days)

December 2019

Global Investors meet

About Rising Himachal 2019

The Global Investors’ Meet 2019 was the flagship business event of the Government of Himachal Pradesh. The State will be organizing the inaugural edition of the marquee event at Dharamshala on November 07 to 08, 2019. In this event Himachal showcased the policy & regulatory environment, investment opportunities across eight focus sectors to boost manufacturing and employment generation in the state.

The state is in accelerated socio-economic growth phase and has transitioned from agrarian economy to an industry and services led economy. Abundance of industrial power that is amongst the cheapest in the country, open and progressive policies of the State Government backed by fast track project clearances, continuous investment in upgradation of infrastructure development, human capital and social welfare has made Himachal Pradesh as the preferred destination in India for entrepreneurs.

Objectives were:

1 To attract investment in the sectors of Agri Business, Food Processing & Post Harvest Technology, Manufacturing & Pharmaceuticals,    Tourism, Hospitality & Civil Aviation, Hydro & Renewable Energy, Wellness, Healthcare & Ayush, Housing, Urban Development, Transport,    Infrastructure & Logistics, Information Technology, ITES & Electronics, Education and Skill Development.

2 To provide a platform to bring together heads of the state, leaders from corporate world, senior policy makers, development agencies, heads    from institutions of international repute and academia from across the world to further cause of socio-economic development in the State.

3 To boost economic growth and GDP of the State.

4 To generate employment opportunities and encourage entrepreneurship.

5 To inculcate an ecosystem that supports its stakeholders to excel in a variety of economic activities.

6 To promote ‘Make in Himachal’ and thereby encourage ‘Make in India’.

7 To boost the share of the state in the exports.

8 To strengthen and empower the MSME sector of Himachal Pradesh

Salient Points of Investors Meet

  • 614 MoUs have been signed which would attract an investment of about Rs 93,000 crore. It’s double of recent HP Budget which was for Rs. 43,000. Initially, investment target was Rs 85000 crore  investment
  • UAE is the Partner Country for the Global Investor’s Meet. Over 1700 Business Delegates including 200 International delegates participated in the event.
  • CII will open a Skill Institute at Dharamshala for Skill upgradation of the youth.

Exemption to Entrepreneurs for approvals & NOCs

  • The Himachal Pradesh Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Facilitation of Establishment and Operation) Ordinance, 2019, promulgated by the Governor, which came into effect today, aims at providing exemptions from certain inspections and approvals for the establishment and operation of MSMEs.
  • The salient features of the Ordinance include the freedom given to any person who intends to start an enterprise to do so by just submitting a declaration of intent to start an enterprise.
  • Approx. 99 percent of the industries functioning in Himachal Pradesh belong to the micro, small and medium sector. They form the backbone of the economy of the State and provide employment to over 3.50 lakh people.
  • “During the period of three years or till the commencement of commercial production, whichever is earlier, no competent authority shall undertake any inspection” and no action will be taken against the official concerned for any action taken in good faith under the provisions of the ordinance.
  • Eight Acts, including the Himachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, Himachal Pradesh Municipal Act, 1994, Himachal Pradesh Fire Fighting Services Act, 1984, Himachal Pradesh Road Side Land Control Act, 1968, Himachal Pradesh Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1969, Himachal Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2006, and Himachal Pradesh Town and Country Planning Act, 1977, have been covered under the ordinance.

Lavi Fair

  • The Lavi fair is believed to have started in 1681 AD at Sarahan and later shifted to Rampur.
  • Initially it was held 3 times a year, this may have been due to periodical shearing of sheep.
  • It commenced as a trade/commercial fair during the reign of 113th king of Bushahr; Chatrapati Raja Kehri Singh (1636-96 AD).  He was son of Son of Raja Chatar Singh.
  • Raja Kehri Singh sided with Tibet when Ladakh attacked Tibet in 1681-83 and a Treay was made. According to this treaty, the Tibet and the Bushahr would remain friends and the traders from both sides would enjoy all facilities without payment of any tax. Horses from Tibet and swords from Bushahr were exchanged in token of friendship.
  • On account of the help given by Raja Kehari Singh and treaty of Tingmosgorg in 1684 AD upper Kinnaur was given to Bushahr. This was seized from Ladakh.
  • Lavi starts on 25th Kartika ( 11th November) every year and continues for three days.
  • Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatreya inaugurated the four-day-long International Lavi fair in Shimla district’s Rampur on Monday. 

UK-based global conglomerate SRAM & MRAM Group signed a historic association with Himachal Pradesh government to set up an EV bus manufacturing unit. SRAM & MRAM Group, a billion dollar conglomerate in association with CSEPEL Holding Nyrt, Hungary, will become the world’s largest bus manufacturing conglomerate in the world with a capacity to produce over 8,000 buses per annum.

A new survey, called the Jaccha-Baccha Survey (JABS), conducted in June in six states (Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh) to map the state of pregnant and nursing women has found that a high proportion of women do not eat enough during pregnancy.Within the six states, which the survey divided into laggard and leader states, Uttar Pradesh, which is India’s most populous, performed the worst, while Himachal Pradesh, on average, performed the best.

Other Tit-Bits

  • Government has come up with H.P State AYUSH Policy, which envisages attractive incentives for prospective investors in AYUSH and Wellness Sector.
  • In HP, people from other states will now be eligible for class III and IV jobs only if they have passed the board examination from the state.
  • The important fiscal incentives are Capital subsidy on Ayush Therapy unit at the rate of 25 percent of Fixed Capital Investment with a ceiling of Rs. One crore excluding cost of land, interest subvention of 4 percent on term loan with ceiling of Rs. 15 lakh per annum,
  • Net SGST reimbursement at the rate of 75 percent for seven years,
  • Incentives for initiatives in power saving, environmental conservation and for women entrepreneurs,
  • Recruitment assistance will be provided in giving employment to Himachali bonafides
  • lease rental subsidy and rebate on stamp duty will be given to selective investible projects.
  • HP Cabinet gave its nod to new IT, ITes and ESDM Policy, 2019 for making Himachal Pradesh as a most favoured investment destination for IT, ITeS and ESDM companies. The policy also envisages building infrastructural support system which can cater to all IT, ITeS and ESDM industry requirements.
  • In order to create a comprehensive, holistic policy framework to address all aspects of housing for the urban poor including slum rehabilitation and redevelopment and to promote mixed housing development in all new housing projects, the Cabinet gave its nod to the Affordable Housing Policy, 2019.
  • The Cabinet decided to set up five Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts in Bilaspur, Solan, Kullu, Shimla and Nurpur in Kangra district for facilitating and treatment of affected people.      
  • Under Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kissan Yojana (PKKKY), target has been fixed to train 50,000 farmers during the current year of which more than 20,000 farmers have so far been trained of which more than 15,000 farmers have already started practicing natural farming in their fields. He said that the PKKKY would help in achieving in the target set by the government to double the income of farmers by 2022.
  • HP Govt cleared a proposal to establish a Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) for regulating and promoting the real estate sector in the state, an official spokesperson said.
  • NTPC Ltd has signed an agreement with the HP government to set up two new hydropower projects in the state with a total capacity of 520MW. The two projects  – Seli (400MW) and Miyar (120MW) – are to be located in Chenab Basin at Lahaul & Spiti district. Seli will be a run-of-river project with pondage scheme,  while Miyar will be a run-of-river project without pondage scheme.
  • Family members of martyrs will not be charged toll tax in Himachal: CM
  • Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur was conferred upon Fame India Sarvashresth Mantri Award for distinguished services in politics and as Minister.
  • Dr. Rajendra Prasad medical college and hospital, Tanda in district Kangra achieved 31st rank among the 600 institutions of the country and first rank in North India.
  • Palampur may soon get a Municipal Corporation: Sarveen Chaudhary, Urban Development Minister.
  • JSW Energy is planning to revive its 240 megawatt (MW) hydro power project in Kuther (Chamba) at a cost of ₹2,750 crore.
  • The Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL) has set 2022 as the new deadline for completion of the Rs 315-crore Kol Dam lift drinking water scheme that will provide 24X7 supply to residents of the capital city.
  • The intensified mission Indradhanush 2.0 aimed at achieving full immunization coverage for all children and pregnant women at a rapid pace would be launched in Chamba district of the state.

November 2019

Kullu Dusshera Cultural programmes are held at Lal Chand Prarthi Kala Kendra (Amphitheatre) More than 281 deities from various parts of Kullu district participated in this cultural extravaganza.
CEO (Chief Electoral Officer) launched Electoral Verification Programme to avoid duplication of entries in the voters list.
Dr. Shrikant Baldi assumed charge of Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh. 
HP Govt. signed MoUs worth Rs. 1000 crore to set up Solar Power PlantsTwo Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) worth Rs. 1000 crore were signed between the state government and two companies for setting up of Solar Power Plants in the State.  One MoU worth Rs. 600 crore was signed between State Government and M/s Renew Energy Pvt. Ltd. for setting up of 150 MW Solar Power Plant in the State to produce green energy.While another MoU  worth Rs. 400 crore was also signed with M/s CSE Development (India) Pvt. Ltd. for  setting up of 100 MW  Solar Plant to produce renewal energy.
The Department for promotion of Industry  and Internal Trade (CDPIIT) of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved to release Rupees Five Crore as budgetary support for organising Himachal Pradesh Global Investor’s Meet, to be held on 7-8 November, 2019 at Dharamshala.
District open air jail Dharamshala to be named after Lala Lajpat Rai.
93 MoUs were signed by the state government to attract investment worth Rs. 2219 crore during the mini conclave of proposed global investor’s meet held in Manali in Kullu district. Out of these, 63 MoUs are for tourism sector only with investment of Rs. 1500 crores.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS) under the Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme on pilot basis in Shimla (Urban) and Kumarsain Tehsil of Shimla district in first instance for online registration of land records. Himachal Pradesh has become 7th State of Country to have implemented this project.
CM launched Mukhya Mantri Seva Sankalp Helpline 1100 for speedy and time bound redressal of public grievances by effective use of latest technologies.
CM announced increase in Sports Grant for school tournament from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh and diet money from Rs. 60 per day to Rs. 100 per day.
CM rolls out online module of permissions under Section 118 of H.P Tenancy and Land Reforms Act 1972.
CM  launches Solar Rooftop Programme for all Panchayati Raj /Rural Development Government Building in Mandi. This Project will be part of PM one sun one grid programme.
Waste management plants will be set up in Baddi and Kangra on pilot basis.
Dr. Surender Kashyap has been appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Atal Medical and Research University, Himachal Pradesh.
CM launched Pragati Rath of HDFC bank. It is a month long initiative of the bank where the van would move to different parts of Himachal to provide financial and digital literacy to the people. HDFC Bank provided a cheque rupees one crore to the Chief Minister towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund on the occasion.
The 5th International Film Festival of Shimla ended with screening of 20 national, international and regional films and music videos.
Justice Lingappa Narayana Swamy Sworn -in as the 25th Chief Justice of H.P High Court.
The week-long International Kullu Dussehra festival commenced with traditional fervour at Dhalpur ground. More than 331 deities from various parts of Kullu district participated in this festival.
State Government has started an innovative policy to buy back polythene from the individuals and municipalities at a rate of Rs 75 per kilogram. 
Himachal Pradesh aims to end tuberculosis by year 2021 under the National Tuberculosis Control Campaign.

October 2019

Himachal Govt. launched Mukhyamantri Seva Sankalp Helpline. The state government has issued a toll-free number 1100 for this helpline. Any person sitting in the remote area of Himachal can now call and file a complaint.
Himachal Pradesh prison department has proposed closing down the state’s first open air jail in Bilaspur. This jail was set up in 1960. This is the only jail in the state where some convicts with a good track record are allowed to work outside the prison to earn a livelihood.
Himachal Pradesh unveils new Tourism Policy, which incentivises new projects. There will be 5% capital subsidy for the new projects under this category. To provide accessibility to new tourism projects, which lacked road connectivity and drinking water supply, the government has proposed 15% subsidy.
Forest Minister, Govind Singh Thakur said that Rs 5 crore would be spent on developing Pandoh dam area and Bakhli temple for Eco-tourism purpose in Mandi district. A cactus park would be developed in the vicinity of the Pandoh dam. 
Kaardaar Sangh, Mandi, has demanded a sum of Rs 3 crore for Shivratri fair from the Central government. Shivpal Sharma is the president of the Sangh.
The Delhi Development Authority has granted 3197.58 sq meters of land on (perpetual leasehold basis) in Dwarka Sector-19 area to the Himachal Pradesh state government for constructing their guesthouse.
HP government is planning to introduce a happiness-curriculum in government-run schools from the next academic session. Dr. Suresh Kumar Soni is the Chairman of Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education.
Bandaru Dattatreya took oath as the 27th Governor of Himachal Pradesh at Raj Bhawan. Dattatreya has replaced Kalraj Mishra, who has now been appointed as the Governor of Rajasthan.
Himachal is the biggest producer of marigold essential oil. The main wild marigold growing regions are Bhatiyat and Salooni in district Chamba, Seraj and Gogardhar in district Mandi, Banjar in district Kullu and Rampur in district Shimla.
The Government of Himachal Pradesh has signed two agreements for setting up Solar Power Projects for 250 MW in the state. The two companies that signed the deal with the Himachal Pradesh government are New Power and CSE Development (India), Private Ltd.
Himachal Pradesh is all set to open first Sanskrit University.
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the New Delhi-based research and advocacy body, has launched a special initiative called Solar in Schools in Shimla in partnership with the Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE).
Shrikant Baldi (Himachal Pradesh, IAS, 1985 batch) assumed the charge of new Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh.
The Global Investor’s Meet to be organized from November 7 to November 8, in Dharmshala aims at making Himachal Pradesh an industrial hub of the country.
The Bill titled as Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2019 is meant to re-enact the law to provide freedom of religion by prohibiting of conversion by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, inducement, or by any fraudulent means or by marriage. The earlier law, Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2006, will be repealed when the new Act comes into force. The 2006 Act provided a maximum of two years imprisonment while the Bill proposes five year imprisonment for violation of the provisions of the Act.
Manali Sky Cycling Park has been developed for Adventures Sports in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. It has been built at an altitude of 9000 feet above sea level by the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering.
Himachal government has notified the Himachal Pradesh ‘Industrial Investment Development Policy 2019’.
The Himachal Pradesh government has cancelled the Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) signed with a Singapore-based company for the construction of new township near Shimla at Jathia Devi. The state government has decided to execute the project through its own agency, Himachal Urban Development Agency.
Airport Authority of India has found Nagchala in Mandi district suitable for construction of the first International airport of H.P.
The Women and Child Development Directorate under the State Social Justice and Empowerment Department has been conferred with the Skoch-Order-of Merit Award- 2019 for its outstanding performance in skill development and providing employment avenues to the orphan and abandoned children living in the child care institutes of the state. The department was also presented with Skoch Award for Governance (Bronze) on this occasion.
Government of India has released Rs. 1660 crore pending funds under CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) to the state which would be spent on various forestry activities in the state.
The State Government has launched the ‘Sahara Scheme’ to provide financial assistance of Rs. 2000 per month to the patients belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society, who are suffering from specified diseases such as Parkinson, Malignant Cancer, Paralysis, Muscular Dystrophy, Hemophilia and Thalassemia etc.
State government has approved Himachal Pradesh Film Policy 2019. Himachal Pradesh Film Development Council (HPFDC) would be set up for long term and meaningful development of Film Industry.
CM Jairam Thakur launched Pahari Naati Album ‘Shan-e Himachal’ of singer Rahul Sharma. This album depicts the life story of CM Jai Ram Thakur.
CM inaugurated   the ‘Art Gallery’ at Kotwali Bazaar in Dharmshala.
In H.P. Voter Verification Programme was run from 1st September to 15th September.
HP got first position in eradicating TB in the data released by Central TB division.
The name of Dr. Brij Lal Atri has been included in the Limca Book of Record, because he grew 865 flowers in a single marigold plant in 2015. He belongs to Solan district.
Nandgram school of Bilaspur district in HP get 3rd rank in cleanliness across all over India.
The exiled Tibet govt. celebrated its 59th Democracy Day in Dharamshala.
Three Online services of Municipal Corporation, Shimla – online garbage charges collection application, online building planning application and rent and lease application were launched by the Chief Minister.
In Shimla district National Boxing Competition will be organized from 4 Oct – 10th October.
In Rohru region of Shimla Robotic Lab has been launched.
Amar Ujala foundation has started “Har Ghar Amrita Abhiyan”.
We4Climate’ event was organized in Himachal Pradesh University.
Three districts of H.P. viz Kullu, Shimla and Sirmour were awarded with national awards under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
Simbla Resis a new variety of fish has been founded in Simbalwara National Park of H.P.

September 2019

Regional Conference on Drug Menace

  • Second regional conference on drug menace organised on 25th July at Chandigarh. It was attended by the Chief Ministers of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan besides senior officers of the Jammu-Kashmir, UT Chandigarh and Delhi governments. The Chief Secretaries and Director General’s of Police of these states also participated in this conference.
  • In HP, as many as 1622 cases were registered in the state till June this year and 789 people were arrested including 27 women and 2 foreign nationals. Amongst the arrested people, 40 percent are from Punjab and 25 percent from Haryana.
  • As decided in August 2018, the chief ministers will meet every six months to monitor the progress of the joint strategy against drugs, while officers will meet every three months. Head Quarters shall be Panchkula in Haryana.

Sampark Smartshala Programme (under SAMGRASHIKSHA Himachal)

  • Maths and English to be introduced in 10,661 schools benefiting over 3.2 lakh students.
  • Sampark Foundation has contributed Rs 25 crore for this project.
  • “ShikshaSaath Mobile App” was launched for monitoring and evaluating the education system in the schools which would work off line as well.
  • “e-Samwad mobile app” was launched to create direct contact with the teachers and parents under the SamgraShikshaAbhiyan. This would be made available to over 15,000 schools of the State. 
  • Founder Chairman, Sampark Foundation VineetNayar said that presently the Foundation is running SamparkSmartshala in 76,000 schools in six states of the country. He said that during the year 2019-20, the Foundation is aiming at training over 55,000 teachers on SamparkSmartshalaProgramme, distributing over 21,100 SamparkSmartshala English Kits and monitoring progress of 3.2 lakh children on monthly basis.

Solid-Transmitted Helminth (STH) Survey

  • As per parasitic worms or STH follow up survey, Himachal Pradesh has topped not only in the country but in the world as worms prevalence was estimated lowest at 0.3 percent only amongst children in the age group of 1-19 years.
  • 942 children samples of five districts of all the four agro-climatic zone in Himachal Pradesh were taken and only 3 children were found positive of STH which was lowest in the world.
  • As per WHO guidelines, deworming can be stopped when STH prevalence is less than one percent. However, the government of Himachal Pradesh should continue NDD for another two to three years.
  • National Deworming Programmewas started in the year 2015 by Centre. In HP, Albendazole medicine was given to all the government and private school students, left out students and Anganwadi students of 1-19 years age group.

‘Him Vikas Samiksha’

  • Him Vikas Samiksha is the unique initiative of the state government which aims at constant reviewing of progress of the ongoing developmental projects besides expediting the pace of development.
  • 103 Key Performance Indicators (KPI) have been set for 21 departments of the state besides four common KPIs for 26 departments.
  • This is a holistic programme to review the working of the government departments as a whole instead of individual departmental reviews.
  • Online reporting is being done in place of the manual reporting for accelerating the pace development.

‘Mukhyamantri Harit Vidyalaya Abhiyan’

  • HP Board of School Education, Education Department and Forest Department accomplished ‘Mukhyamantri Harit Vidyalaya Abhiyan’ from 9 to 16 August, 2019 to plant saplings in the different schools of state.
  • During ‘MukhyamantriHaritVidyalayaAbhiyan’, forest Department provided saplings of various kinds of plant according to the concerned area and educating students about importance of forest and environment.
  • 5 saplings were planted in every Primary and Middle school besides 10 saplings were planted in each High and Senior Secondary school.
  • Special emphasis will be given on conservation and protection of the planted saplings.

MIS approved for procurement of Apple

  • Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) is similar to Minimum Support Price (MSP). The MSP for 24 agricultural commodities of kharif and rabi season are announced by the government based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agriculture Cost and Prices (CACP) in the country.
  • The market intervention scheme (MIS) is implemented in case of the prices falling below the threshold level in perishable/Horticultural crops.
  • The state government has given approval to implement MIS for procurement of apple in the state during the year 2019.
  • The scheme will be implemented for procurement of 1,47,919 M.T. apple for which procurement price will be Rs. 8.00 per kg and handling charges will be Rs. 2.75 per kg, while assumed sale realization will be Rs. 3.50 per kg.
  • Under the scheme, 279 procurement centres will be opened as per demand of the fruit growers out of which, 162 collection centres will be opened and operated by the HPMC and 117 by the HIMFED.

Schemes

  • State Cabinet decided to increase financial assistance to the eligible destitute women and widows under Mother Teresa Matri Asahay Sambal Yojna from existing Rs. 5000 to Rs. 6000 per child per annum subject to maximum of two children for their proper upbringing.

Tit-Bits

  • To help Sanskrit regain its lost glory, efforts will be made to teach the language in government primary schools of Himachal Pradesh: CM
  • Government of India has accepted restoring of financial assistance for developmental projects in the ratio of 90:10 for hilly states of the country.
  • The state government has declared Nalwar fair, Lambathach in Thunag tehsil of district Mandi as district level fair.
  • Chaudhary Sarvan Kumar Agricultural University, Palampur has jumped from 23rd to 11th rank among 75 agricultural Universities of the country. University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni (Solan) acquired 12th Rank in the standings.
  • Central government has raised import duty on Apple from 50 per cent to 70 per cent.