Cong to give 20% tickets to ex-servicemen in polls
Former CM and Congress leader Harish Rawat has announced 20 per cent preference for ex-service personnel in ticket distribution of the party. “In the upcoming Assembly elections, the Congress party will prefer ex-service personnel from the armed forces on at least 14 seats. Once we form government, a committee will be formed to look into the concerns of our ex-servicemen. To take care of concerns of the soldiers is a national duty of the Congress party,” said Rawat. The step is said to be a counter move to tackle the BJP’s narrative of caring for the armed forces. The move is also a counter to the AAP’s decision to field a former Army officer as its CM face.
Voters above 80 may get vote-from-home facility
In a first, Uttarakhand voters aged 80 years and above will get the facility to cast vote from home through postal ballot. Sowjanya, Uttarakhand’s chief electoral officer (CEO) who does not use a second name said, “The decision has been taken in this regard while the voter list preparation is going on in the state. The state has 1,65,113 voters above 80 years of age including 71,537 males and 93,576 females.” Assembly elections are due in Uttarakhand in March 2022. The hill state has a total of 78,46,000 voters including 40,87,018 males and 37,58,731 females. The state has a total of 11,647 polling booths. However, this number could change before the publication of final electoral roll on January 5, 2022. The differently-abled voters are numbered at 53,900 including 34,832 males and 19,067 female.
Better AQI in cities compared to last year
Major cities of Uttarakhand have showed improvement in air quality after Diwali festival this year in comparison to corresponding period last year. Haridwar’s air quality index (AQI) registered an improvement with the figure dipping to 321 from 352 last year. The AQI of Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district was also down to 267 from 314. SP Subudhi, member secretary of the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board said, “AQI crossing 300 anywhere is a serious sign that we have crossed threshold in terms of air pollution. This could affect every aspect of our lives including quality of life and longevity.”
Students not satisfied with fee cut for MBBS
As the state government has announced reduction of MBBS course fee in government medical colleges in Uttarakhand from Rs 4 lakh per year to Rs 1.45 lakh, students said the fee must be further reduced to around Rs 50,000-60,000 per year. In Uttarakhand the fees for MBBS in government medical colleges was Rs 4,26,500 lakh per year while in other states such as Uttar Pradesh it is Rs 36,000 per year, and Rs 5,000 in Assam. MBBS students of 2019 and 2020 batches in Government Doon Medical College, Dehradun have been protesting with a demand for reduction in the fee.
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