Himachal Pradesh Cabinet in its Meeting granted approval to the ‘Policy on Elderly Persons’, above 60 years of age, especially those living in rural areas, with a view to ensure well being of senior citizens by providing them legitimate place in the society and help them in leading financially, socially and physically a dignified life in recognition to the valuable services rendered by them to the society during active service time. The Policy aims at providing such people shelter, protection against any abuse and exploitation by constituting an ‘Age Integrated Society’ to strengthen inter-generational relationship, particularly between children/youth and older persons in the families. It has been proposed to prepare an Action Plan for implementation of the Policy, constitute a ‘State Level Advisory Committee’, comprising of members of all concerned departments/public agencies having interface with senior citizens besides National/International NGOs working in the field. Panchayati Raj institutions will also be encouraged to participate in the implementation of the State Policy to address local level issues. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal presided over the Meeting.

Cabinet also approved to adopt a policy to regularize services of Rogi Kalyan Samities contractual staff by converting them into government contractual employees on completion of three years of RKS employment. Once on government contract they would be further eligible for regularization after six years of contractual service as per the standard Department of Personnel Policy in this regard. Only such RKS appointees who have been kept through prescribed procedure would be eligible for such conversion. The decision will benefit 1,591 RKS contractual employees in Health Department.

It was approved to open 171 Aanganwari/Mini Aanganwari Centres and fill up available vacancies of Aangawari Workers in the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment by recruiting eligible Tailoring Teachers. It was also approved to fill-up 112 posts of Female Health Worker, 236 posts of Staff Nurses and 48 posts of Health Officers on contract basis under Rogi Kalyan Samities, to strengthen medical services in rural areas.

Cabinet in its meeting also decided in principle to create State Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (SIMHANS) by merging the Department of Psychiatry, IGMC and State Hospital for Mental Health and Rehabilitation, to cater to the requirements and medical care of mentally challenges people.

It was approved to enhance stipend/ honorarium to Interns, House Physician and PG Scholars of Rajiv Gandhi Government PG Ayurvedic College, Paprola, District Kangra, from Rs. 3,200 to Rs. 5,000 to Interns; from Rs. 6,300 to Rs. 12,600 to House Physicians; from Rs. 7,300 to Rs. 12,000 to Students of Post Graduate First Year; from Rs. 7,600 to Rs. 13,000 to Second Year and from Rs. 7,800 to Rs. 15,000 to Final Year Students. The decision will benefit 100 Interns/House Physicians/Junior Residents and PG Students of the College.

It was approved to open a new Sub-Tehsil at Nithar in Ani Sub-Division of district Kullu to provide revenue related services to the local residents at their door steps.

It was decided to grant National Festival Status to Masroor Rock Temple Festival at Masroor and District Level Status to Dussehra Fair at Shahpur in district Kangra.

It was approved to upgrade Ayurvedic Health Centre, Bijhari, district Hamirpur to 10 bedded hospital. It was decided to issue NOC in favour of Vidyawati Memorial Educational Society, Village Jachh, Tehsil Nurpur, district Kangra, to admit 20 additional students for B.Sc. Nursing and 40 students to ANM Courses by granting them one time relaxation in laid down norms.

It was also approved to issue Letter of Intent in favour of Shiva Ayurved Medical College and Hospital, village Luhnu, Tehsil Sadar, District Bilaspur to conduct course in BAMS at Abdhanighat, Ghumarwin, District Bilaspur.

It granted approval to creation of 6 posts of Superintendent, Grade-II in State Election Department; fill up one post of Scientific Assistant (Organic and Serum Science) in Zonal Forensic Laboratory, Dharamshala; create one post of Treasury Officer and one post of Clerk in Treasury, Accounts and Lottery Department; upgrade post of Clerk/Junior Assistant to Senior Assistant in Ayurveda Department; create one post of Superintendent Grade II in WOOLFED; upgrade one post of Assistant Director in Department of Hospitality to Deputy Director.

It was approved to frame fresh Recruitment and Promotion Rules for the post of Radiation safety Officer (Radio-Diagnosis) (Gazetted) in Department of Radiology, IGMC, Shimla; amend Recruitment and Promotion Rules for the post of Programmes, Class-I (Gazetted) in the Department of Elections

It was approved to purchase two vehicles for GAD and one vehicle for Election and 3 vehicles in replacement to old vehicles for Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) offices at Dehra, Kangra and Baijnath of district Kangra.