(CM Jai Ram Thakur chairing the State Cabinet meeting on Monday )

The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to extend closure of all government schools till December 31, 2020 in the wake of upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the state.

The government has also decided to enforce night curfew from 8 PM to 6 AM in Shimla, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu districts from November 24th to December 15.

These decisions were taken in the state Cabinet meeting held on Monday chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. A spokesman of the state government said, “All government educational institutions i.e. schools and colleges etc. would remain closed till December 31st, 2020 for students; However, online studies would commence from November 26th in all schools and teachers would work from homes while principals would be at liberty to call faculty members as per requirement.”

“The winter closing schools would also remain closed for winter vacations from January 1st to February 12, 2021 and online classes would be run during the vacations”, the Cabinet decided.

“The academic session would be extended in case of winter closing schools and students of classes 1st to 4 and classes 6th and 7 would be promoted as per the provision of RTE Act 2009. As the students of the winter closing schools and colleges would not be attending the classes, the winter vacation 2021-22 would be allowed to the teachers posted in winter closing institutions”.

It was also decided the final examination for class 5th , 8, 9 and 11 would be conducted simultaneously for winter and summer closing schools in March 2021;  Board Exams for 10th and 12 classes would be conducted in March 2021 in all schools ; 30 percent relaxation in syllabus has already been granted by the HP Board of School Education.

In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the Cabinet decided to restrict attendance of Class-III and IV government employees to 50 percent. Fifty percent employees would attend offices for three days and remaining for next three days till 31st December, 2020.

The Cabinet also decided all social, political, cultural, sports and other gatherings in open areas would be restricted to 200 persons with maintaining social distancing and a fine of Rs 1000 would be imposed for not wearing face mask in public places. All buses in the State would run with 50 percent occupancy till December 15.

The state Cabinet has decided to hold elections to the newly constituted Municipal Corporations of Mandi, Solan and Palampur with the elections of Dharamshala Municipal Corporation in the month of March or April 2021.

The Cabinet also decided to station headquarter of one platoon of Home Guards Volunteers at Kaza in Lahaul- Spiti district, to create circle at Brikhmani in Balh Tehsil and to open Jal Shakti department’s division at Amb by transferring Swan River Flood Management Project Division Haroli to Amb.

It decided to allow contract farming by interested registered farmers on private land with Himachal Pradesh Nurseries Management Society under  World Bank funded Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project for cultivation of fruit plants, trees,  nurseries, orchards, post entry quarantine sites, poly houses,  green houses, net houses, water storage / harvesting tanks, farm sheds, grading and  packing houses.

It gave its consent to create and fill up four posts of Associate Professors and Assistant Professors in Pathology, General Medicine and General Surgery Departments of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Tanda and  to fill up eight posts of different categories in Dr. Y.S. Parmar Horticulture and Forestry University Nauni .

The Cabinet gave its nod to provide reservation to eligible widows less than 45 years of age for getting skill development allowance for their skill up -gradation training subject to maximum period of 24 months.

It allowed relaxation in setbacks height of floors and buildings in government projects. In case of private construction, projects relaxation in setbacks, height of floors and buildings etc. may be considered by the competent authority keeping in view the site conditions.

The Cabinet gave its consent to open new Elementary Education Block office at Khundiyan in Kangra district by carving it out from Elementary Education Blocks Dehra and Rakkar.

It gave its nod to bring Shri Neelkanth Mahadev Kandapatan temple in district Mandi under Sub Section 1 of Section 29 of Himachal Pradesh Hindu Public Religious Institution and Endowment Act, 1984.

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