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Himachal shuts schools, colleges till 31 Dec due to Covid surge

HP to impose night curfew in four districts, including Shimla, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu, from 24 November

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

Concerned over increasing number of Covid cases and deaths in Himachal Pradesh, the Jai Ram Thakur Cabinet on Monday decided that all government educational institutions including schools and colleges will remain closed till 31 December for students in the state.

However, online studies would commence from 26 November, 2020.

In a meeting chaired by Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur here, the cabinet decided to impose night curfew from 8 PM to 6 AM in Shimla, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu districts from 24 November to 15 December, 2020.

An official spokesman said the cabinet decided that the teachers would continue to work from home till further orders. Offices of High Schools, Senior Secondary Schools and Colleges would function with effect from 26 November, 2020. Principals would be at liberty to call faculty members as per local requirement.

The spokesman said the cabinet decided that winter closing Institutions would remain closed from 1 January to 12 February, 2021. However, online studies would continue even during the winter time. The session would be extended in case of winter closing schools and students of classes 1 to 4 and classes 6 and 7th would be promoted as per the provision of RTE, 2009. As the students of the winter closing schools/ colleges would not be attending the classes, therefore winter vacation 2021-22 would be allowed to the teachers posted in winter closing institutions.

It was also decided that final examinations for class 5 and 8th, 9th &11th would be conducted simultaneously for winter and summer closing schools in March 2021. Board Exams for 10th and 12th classes would be conducted in March 2021 together for winter and summer closing schools with 30 percent relaxation in syllabus already carried out by 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. 50 percent employees would attend office for three days and remaining 50 percent for next three days till 31st December, 2020.

The cabinet also decided that all the social/ political/ cultural / sports etc. gatherings in open areas would be restricted to 200 persons with social distancing.

It also decided that a fine of Rs 1000 be imposed for not wearing a face mask in public places. All the buses in the state would ply with 50 percent of occupancy till 15th December.

The spokesman said the cabinet decided to hold the elections to the newly constituted Municipal Corporations of Mandi, Solan and Palampur with the elections of Dharamshala Municipal Corporation in the month of March/ April next year.

It decided to locate the headquarters of one Platoon of Home Guards Volunteers at Kaza in Lahaul- Spiti district, so that Home Guard volunteers were readily available to the local authorities to meet any eventuality.

The spokesman said the cabinet gave its consent to open new Jal Shakti Division at Amb by transferring Swan River Flood Management Project Division Haroli to Amb in Chintpurni Vidhan Sabha area of Una district.

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/tree nurseries/orchards/ post entry quarantine sites/poly houses/ greenhouses/ net houses/water storage/harvesting tanks/farm sheds/grading/pack houses etc.

It gave its consent to create and fill up four posts of Associate Professor and Assistant Professor in Pathology General Medicine and General Surgery Departments of Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Tanda.