State Government is spending Rs. 3165 crore on education this year which is 19 percent of its total annual budget, highest in the country. This was revealed by Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister while speaking at the annual function of Lala Jagat Narayan Himotkarsh Girls College at Una today.

Emphasising the importance of girl education, Chief Minister expressed happiness that girls had outnumbered the boys in getting Gold medals. He said that their achievements strengthen the idea of women empowerment in the State. He said that victory of 58 percent women in Panchayati Raj Institutions was the outcome of 50 percent reservation for women by the State Government in year 2008.

Chief Minister said that the Government was making concerted efforts to make society free from gender bias and ensure fair sex ratio in the State. He said that ‘Beti Hai Anmol’ scheme has been a great success in the State. He said that under this scheme Rs. 5100 each were being deposited upto two girls in the State which are given to them with interest on attaining the age of 18 years. He said that the State Government had decided to give benefit of two increments to the State Government employees opting for family planning after two girls child. He said that the State Government was implementing various schemes directed at socio-economic upliftment and welfare of women folk in the State.

Prof. Dhumal said that Himachal was one of the leading States in the country to have contributed immensely for the cause of the country. He said that State had a history of sacrifices whether it was soldiers laying down their lives for the cause of national security, displacement of people for undertaking power projects like Bhakra and Pong Dams or conserving Himalayan ecology. He said that the State Government had urged the Centre to modify the Army Recruitment Formula for the eligible unemployed youth in the State and to shift Dogra Regiment Centre from Faizabad to Himachal as most of the Soldiers serving in the Regiment hail from the State.

He said that 52 soldiers from the State sacrificed their lives during the Operation Vijay at Kargil in the year 1999. Two Parmaveer Chakra out of the four were conferred on brave sons from Himachal. He underlined the need to include stories of great patriots like Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru, Chander Shekhar in the school syllabus so that values of patriotism and social service could be inculcated in students. He emphasised upon the fact that strong bonding is needed to create conducive atmosphere for education. He assured all possible assistance to the college management to run the college smoothly. On this occasion, Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal was conferred upon ‘Shan-e-Himachal’ Award for winning 55 Awards for the State by Himotkarsh.

Prof. Dhumal honoured six persons with Himotkarsh National Unity Award. Lt. Gen (Retd.) Jasbir Singh Dhaliwal, PVSM, AVSM, VSM was given Capt. Amol Kalia Memorial Bravery Award, Ms. Devi Cherian, Journalist was given Lala Jagat Narayan Memorial Best Journalism Award, Late Thakur Ram Singh, veteran social worker was given late D.D. Garg Memorial Best in social work (environment) Award, Dr. Surender Kumar Sharma, Adviser, Ayush, Government of India was given late Roshan Lal Memorial Best in Medicinal Research and Dedication Award, Chinmaya Mission, Gurdaspur, Punjab was given M.M. Kanwar Memorial Best in Voluntary Organization Award, Prof. Satish Chander Mittal from Saharanpur was given Sanyukta Chaudhary Memorial Best Education Luminary Award.

Meritorious students of Himachal Pradesh University, Chaudhary Sarvan Kumar Agriculture University Palampur, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar Horticulture and Forestry University, Solan were also honoured by the Chief Minister on the occasion. 77 meritorious students were honoured by presenting them with gold medal, memento and citation to each.

Kanwar Hari Singh, Chairman, College Management council welcomed the Chief Minister and thanked him for gracing the 38the Annual Event of Himotkarsh. He said that Himotkarsh had 12 branches over the State and college was providing 750 girl students education with hostel facility free of cost. He detailed various social welfare activities being run by the organization.

Satpal Satti, Virender Kanwar Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, Praveen Sharma, Vice Chairman, Water Management Board, Balbir Chaudhary, MLA, Kripal Parmar, Ex MP, Santosh Saini, Chairperson, HIMFED, Rani Ranaut, Chairperson, Zila Parishad, Balbir Bagga, President, State BJP Scheduled Castes Morcha, prominent persons and senior officers of the State Government were present on the occasion.

Earlier, Chief Minister inaugurated Rs. 82.60 lakh drinking water supply scheme, Chalola, Rs. 79 lakh drinking water supply scheme at Badsala. These schemes would benefit about 12000 persons of these areas. He also inaugurated eight kms long Dhamandari-Ambehara road constructed at a cost of Rs. 368.40 lakh by flagging off a HRTC bus.