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HC stays academic qualification for Haryana panchayat polls

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Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday stayed a Haryana government decision making academic qualifications and some other conditions mandatory for those contesting panchayat (village council) elections in the state.

The BJP government on August 11 decided to amend the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, and announced new rules to make it mandatory for candidates to have basic minimum academic qualifications and even ensure that they have functional toilets in their homes.

The amendments also barred candidates facing criminal charges and loan defaulters from contesting the elections.

The stay was granted by the high court following a petition by a woman candidate. The court sought a reply from the Haryana government.

The new amendments, approved by the Haryana cabinet, had prescribed that Class 10 would be the minimum academic qualification for all levels of elected representatives of panchayati raj institutions.

“To ensure that women and Scheduled Caste voters are not placed in a disadvantageous situation, the minimum qualification for education for them to be considered suitable for candidacy will be Class VIII pass,” the government had proposed.

“This amendment will enable elected representatives to be more accountable as they would no longer be able to take excuse of illiteracy.

“Another reason for prescribing minimum educational qualification is that even after the introduction of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, illiteracy is a common excuse by the elected representatives for poor functioning of the Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samities and Zila Parishads.

“Most elected members are dependent on the government functionaries or their relatives or friends who many times takes advantage of them,” the government had pointed out in its note to justify the amendments.

“The move is aimed at improving the quality of leadership and governance in Panchayati Raj Institutions,” Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said.

People against whom charges have been framed by the competent court for grave criminal offences punishable by not less than 10 years in jail would not be allowed to contest the elections till they are acquitted.

Defaulters of cooperative loans would also be debarred from contesting the elections.

Another amendment made it mandatory for candidates to ensure that they clear their outstanding dues of rural domestic electricity connections to contest the elections.

“Finally, any candidate desirous of contesting elections for any part of PRI will have to file a self-certified statement that there is a functional toilet in his or her residence,” the spokesman said.

Feature

Delhi CM lays foundation for new block at LNJP Hospital, hails corona warriors

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Arvind Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party, AAP, Lok Sabha polls, Lok Sabha elections, General elections, Assembly elections, Politics news

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday laid the foundation stone of a 1,500 bed new wing at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital, in a step towards providing high-quality healthcare amenities in the national capital.

The Delhi government’s target is to complete the project in 2.5 years to make the LNJP one of the biggest hospitals in the nation with a modular design and modern medical infrastructure.

Coming up in a 25 floor structure, this new wing will be the tallest building in the country and offer the best health care available under one roof, a statement said.

 

This fully air-conditioned, state of the art building will house 1,500 beds. This new wing at LNJP is estimate to cost Rs 462 crore, with per bed costing around Rs 30 lakh.

At the event, Kejriwal said with the additional 1,500 beds, LNJP Hospital’s overall capacity will rise to 3,800 beds.

Noting other governments spend Rs 1-1.5 crore per bed, he said that he believes in smart spending and effective utilisation of public funds.

“In the last five years, it has been of utmost importance that we improve the living standards of the people of Delhi. The AAP government has completed projects on time and saved cost as well which is then further utilised for the betterment of the city.

“Delhi government is the only government which has given ex gratia of Rs 1 crore to all those who sacrificed their lives during Covid-19 pandemic. We can’t bring back the heroes but we can help them in whatever way possible,” he said.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the building will have three main departments, a new medical block, new maternity wing and an advanced paediatric department.

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