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Himachal Pradesh Government today launched an ambitious Atal School Uniform Scheme which envisages to provide free uniform to all the students in Government schools from 1st to 10th Class twice in a year. This will entail an expenditure of Rs. 64 crore. The State Government would also give Rs. 100 to each student for stitching of the Uniform at each time under this scheme. This is a novel and ambitious scheme launched in the country by the State Government and would go a long way in giving fillip to the education in the State. As many as 9,27,205 students out of whom 4,63,680 boys and 4,63,525 girl students would be benefitted from the scheme at present. The uniform had been designed by Textile Department of Government Engineering College, Sundernagar, Himachal Pradesh. The Scheme was launched at Nahan in Sirmaur district by the Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal. Shri Nitin Gadkari, National President, BJP presided over the launching ceremony. Uniforms were distributed to the students to mark the occasion by Shri Nitin Gadkari, National President, BJP and Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister. Addressing a mammoth gathering, Shri Nitin Gadkari appreciated the State Government for having given top priority to education especially for launching Atal School Uniform Scheme which was an ambitious and novel one. Shri Nitin Gadkari said that State had made rapid strides in various fields of development under BJP Government headed by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal and added that conferring of 65 awards on State during last four years for its best performance in the country in various fields were testimony to it. He said that good governance and transparent administration was the main objective of the BJP Governments and Himachal Pradesh had done commendable job in it. He said that Antodaya programme was the ultimate objective of the BJP Governments in the country and Deen Dayal Upadhaya was the guiding spirit. Shri Gadkari accused the UPA Government for poor management of the affairs of the Nation. He said that the endeavour of the State to provide value based education to students in the State was laudable. He said that BJP aimed at making India a world leader by rising above all considerations and bringing about uniformity in the society. He said that every individual needed to be delivered justice and equal opportunity through socio-economic justice. Shri Gadkari condemned UPA Government for allowing rottening of food grains worth Rs. 85,000 crore. He said that national borders were unsafe, Maoism, Naxalites were raising their heads in the country under the United Progressive Alliance. He said that good governance and development was on the top agenda of the BJP. He said that providing employment to unemployed, protecting interests of minorities, weaker sections of the society was the core agenda of Bharatiya Janta Party. He said that BJP was capable of bring sea change in Government with its capable leaders. BJP President said that BJP was a party with a difference. He said that Himachal Pradesh was poised to become a leading State in the country. He said that State should adopt improved electrified transportation system to decongest roads of heavy vehicles besides exploring possibilities of bio-fuel power, solar power and protect the pristine environment for better tomorrow. Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister said that Atal School Uniform Scheme aimed at bringing about uniformity amongst educational institutions students in the class rooms by providing same type of uniforms to all irrespective of their economic status. He said that this would also go a long way in instilling confidence amongst the students belonging to poor families. Lauding the contribution of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister and also his special love for the people of the State, Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal said that State Government had launched various schemes in his honour in the State. He said that earlier, his Government had launched Atal Bijli Bachat Yojna under which four CFL bulbs had been provided to all the domestic electricity consumers free of cost with the provision that the defective bulbs would be replaced within 18 months. Chief Minister expressed gratitude and thanks to Shri Nitin Gadkari and other national leaders of BJP for joining on the important occasion in Nahan. He said that this novel Scheme had added a new chapter in the history of the State. Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal said that Atal Swasthya Yojna was another scheme implemented in the State under which ambulance was being provided free to all those seriously ill and also in any type of emergency to all. This had provided great succour to those poor who otherwise could not afford to reach the hospitals in illness and some time some used to lose their life. He said that under Atal Awas Yojna financial assistance had been enhanced from Rs. 27500 to Rs. 48,500. Chief Minister also detailed other schemes like 'Matri Sewa' under which the facility of free delivery including medicines and transport facility was being given to every expectant mother, Chief Minister's Health Programme under which free medical check up was being done in schools and 'Muskan' under which all above the age of 65 were being provided denture free of cost. Prof. Dhumal said that the State had best 18:1 pupil teacher ratio compared to 40:1 at national level. He said that 19 percent of the total State budget was being spent on education in the State which was the highest percentage in the country. He said that State had successfully implemented Saraswati Bal Vidya Sankalp Yojna by spending Rs. 126 crore during last tenure and 12372 rooms were constructed for primary schools thereby ensuring atleast three rooms in each primary school in the State. Chief Minister expressing his Government's commitment for women empowerment said that State had provided 50 percent reservation to women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Local Bodies in 2008 and added that record 58 percent women got elected to Panchayati Raj Institutions in last elections. He said that there were a number of schemes aimed at women empowerment. He said that from this year women had been given 33 percent reservation in cooperative societies. He said that subsidized essential commodities were being provided to all the ration card holders and electricity to domestic consumers. He said that free education and scholarship was also available to girl students. Shri Shanta Kumar, Senior Vice President, National BJP, MP and former Chief Minister congratulated Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal for launching the scheme for school children. He expressed concern over increasing corruption in every sphere which was hampering the development of the nation. He said that UPA Government was giving shelter to the corrupt and appealed people to oust the UPA Government. He said that history had been created by repeating Government in Punjab after 47 years and reiterated the resolve of the Party to repeat the BJP Government in the State. He lauded achievements of the State and impressed upon the party functionaries to achieve the objective unitedly. Shri I.D. Dhiman, Education Minister giving detail of the progress made in the field of education in the State said that 4000 students would be provided free laptop for achieving meritorious positions in senior classes of school. Shri Satpal Singh Satti, MLA and State BJP President, lauded the achievements of the State under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal during last four years. He said that schemes launched by Shri Shanta Kumar in the State when he was Chief Minister had been adopted even at national level. Shri Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Chief Parliamentary Secretary said that Saraswati Bal Vidya Sankalp Yojna and Atal Bijli Bachat Yojna were also launched from Rajgarh and Paonta Sahib of the district respectively. Welcoming Shri Nitin Gadkari and others, Shri Chander Mohan Thakur, Chairman, H.P. State Cooperative Bank thanked for starting ambitious Atal School Uniform Yojna from Nahan. Shri Vinay Gupta, senior BJP leader proposed vote of thanks. Shri Kalraj Mishra, Incharge, State BJP, Shri Shyam Jaju, Co-Incharge, H.P. BJP, Shri J.P. Nadda, General Secretary, National BJP, Shri Gulab Singh Thakur, Public Works Minister, Shri Ravinder Ravi, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Shri Kishan Kapoor, Industries Minister, Shri Narender Bragta, Horticulture Minister, Shri Ramesh Dhawala, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister, Dr. Rajeev Bindal, Health Minister, Smt. Sarveen Chaudhary, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Pt. Khimi Ram, Forest Minister,, Shri Rikhi Ram Kaundal, Deputy Speaker, H.P. Vidhan Sabha, Shri Virender Kanwar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Shri Virender Kashyap, MP, Shri Baldev Tomar, District Sirmaur BJP President, MLAs, Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of various Boards and Corporations, Senior Officers of different Departments and prominent people of the area were present on the occasion among others.