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HPU Campus: Student protest gains momentum against ADN Bajpai’s dictorial politics, demands his removal

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historic student movemnts

himachali young girls

Was the whole incident a pre-planned conspiracy to dissolve SCA, and thus, get rid of continuous student protests against corrupt practices? Isn’t it a paradox that these students are ought to receive higher education, but they aren’t allowed to make use of it to help correct the errors in the system?

SHIMLA- On Monday, the HPU campus witnessed another massive student protest lead by SCA, and almost the same scene, the cops and the Rapid Action Force barricade the gate, was repeated. The students settle down on the road, clap, and the student leaders strip off the helpless top cops and VC with sarcastic speeches like it happened in their last protest on Saturday. Now, the student community is upto chasing away the Prof. ADN Bajapi, whom the SCA claim to be the most corrupt and dictatorial VC HPU ever had. Students conveyed it very clearly to the authorities that the SCA no more wants to negotiate with VC, but want his removal as the VC of HPU.

Click Here to View All Pictures from the 2nd Day of Student Protest

This time, however, the SCA lead student protest grew larger and more aggressive. The continuous ignorance towards the demands of the student community, misuse of police to suppress their voice, and the recent and odd decision to dissolve HPU SCA after a scuffle between the students over eve-teasing fueled the student movement against administrative corruption. Now, the battle between the HPU Student Central Association (SCA) and the authorities seems to has gained momentum after the Vice Chancellor defies his own words he had given to SCA in response to the student protest staged on last Saturday.

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Take a look at the video, listen to the blanket bombing of allegations and questions by the student leaders. After the VC and authorities, DSP Shiv Chaudhary was the second most hit target by the student leaders. DSP Shiv Chaudhary was commanding the police troop and was very much present to hear all of it.

The students were forced to vacate the library before the actual allowed hours. The angry students asked why the authorities are trying to impose emergency measures on all the students. What upset the SCA most was that they weren’t allowed to stage protests or to talk, negotiate with the authorities, and to express their unrest with the existing, inefficient, and anti-student policies.

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The varsity has been transformed into a prison, which is under continuous watch under heavy police security. The authorities are resorting to the use of police and Rapid Action Force to stop student protestors from entering the campus.

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It appears like a scuffle annoyed the Vice Chancellor ADN Bajpai, but if you care to associate the chain of events from the very time Prof. AND Bajpai joined HPU as its new VC , then you’ll realize how lethal wounds politics has inflicted on student’s democratic rights. It’s your misconception that HP varsity will be better place without the student organizations or after abolition of SCA elections.

HW is least interested in serving officially censored press notes. We believe transparency is base of the so called fourth pillar of any democracy; the media. With the same spirit, HW pays special attention to one of the most important community in Himachal; HPU students, the real hub of young guns, fully equipped with education and capable of deploying force, if required. However, the ready-made perception served by the authorities and the media presents student organization/politics as a cause of nuisance and violence in the higher educational institutes.

Most of us end up believing in the same perception that emphasize the question asking why students’ waste time in politics when they are ought to study and receive higher education. Why they always keep protesting instead of concentrating on studies? It’s a kind of paradox that these students are ought to receive education, but they aren’t allowed to make use of it to help correct the errors in the administration or to make sure that political corruption doesn’t deprive those who actually deserved to be in the HPU, as student or as employees.

Now, leave the SCA statement aside and take look at some interesting facts about the decision the VC to dissolve the SCA through unconstitutional means. First, no show cause notice was given to SCA, thus, depriving the students of their right to fair opportunity to defend themselves with an explanation. Second, we have immediate arrest, rustication, and decision to dissolve the SCA in a haste, without waiting for any type of investigation or inquiry. Third, the step to dissolve the SCA was taken in a time when the HPU authorities and the Govt. were facing continuous protest for their mismanagement of resources, misuse of police by the authorities to terrorize the students, and the fee hike in case of admission forms, which were made available online for the first time. Last month, SCA held a massive rally against the bullying behavior of Shimla Police DSP, Shiv Chaudhary, whom students alleged to be drunk and of abusing the students during a surprise police raid in HPU hostels.

HW talked to the eyewitnesses including the shopkeepers to get a better idea of why SCA resorted to violent means against the NSUI members, who were alleged to indulge in eve-teasing in the campus.

According to them, a girl student accompanied the NSUI members while they passed vulgar comments and even threw tiny stones on the girl students passing by. As a response to the complaint from the girls (eyewitnesses), when a few SCA members asked them to leave the campus with a warning, the goons denied to cooperate and provoked the SCA members to use physical force to drive them out of the varsity gate. A remark by one o the alleged students saying, “Apni sarkaar hai, hum chanhe to ladkiyon ko uth bhi sakte hain”, lead to outburst of anger, which resulted in a scuffle. We wonder, how come NSUI, which is mostly passively active or is simply inactive, suddenly dared to provoke and create violent atmosphere?

Nothing much on the name of clash as compared to the past incidents, but it was a matter of some slaps. Yet, six HPU students including SCA members were rusticated, put in jail, and the SCA is dissolved without any inquiry on the FIR lodged by the self-claimed victims.

Then, we have dictatorial decision by VC to limit the library timings to 5 pm, which was 9 PM earlier, and to prohibit the guest students in girl hostels while about 250 girls were forced to pay 60 -75 rupee each day as a guest because the University could not provide them with hostels. From the past half-decade, the HPU isn’t able to complete the construction of new girl hostels despite a huge pile requests and protests from the students.

The girl students are forced to pay guest fee or they have no option but to pay 4-5 thousand on outside, private accommodation. The facilities at both girls and boys hostels are no better than worthless. The university couldn’t even provide the students with proper internet facility while the use of web by students as a mean of information is increasing. The students pay for cyber café, they pay for the print out of the admission forms, which is just a pdf file, and then they are made to pay about Rs. 450 more for accepting it. The students asked the authorities to explain and justify this fee when the varsity is no more printing the admission forms. Moreover, the admission form was put online with a careless attitude. As a result of which students are facing confusions regarding various courses and their fees.

When the SCA, a student body elected through democratic polling under strict security, take a stand against the inefficiency and the faults of the administration, it’s labeled as nuisance, a subject to use of force (police).

For the public too, it appears a nuisance and the responsibility is mostly forced on the student organizations for their violent behavior. Student organizations are seen as the undercover agents of their respective patron political parties, which is indeed true. But, then no one can claim that HPU administration and faculties are clean, away from the influence of presently prevailing corrupt political trends. The Govt. and the political personalities enjoy privilege to influence and interfere in the administration of HPU.

Do you really believe that the HPU authorities are clean enough to be left unchecked? The expenditure on HPU including all affiliated colleges is huge. The Govt.’s frequent attempts and hints show their inclination towards the privatization of higher education. HPU offers a wide range of option to let corrupt enjoy privilege over those who actually deserved the benefits. There is a vast scope of corruption ranging from backdoor student entries for various courses to the recruitment of employees, hike in admission fee, university bus fare, hostel fees etc.

The Govt., the HPU authorities, and most of the politically ignorant public advocate a ban on SCA election meant to provide a democratic institute to help student community speak of its demands and grievances. This democratically elected student body is responsible for the protection of the student interests and rights. Why is it so that the political science and laws are taught as subjects to the same students, but they aren’t allowed to make use of it? This educated young blood of Himachal carries the real potential to reform the corrupt democracy. It’s so idiotic to consider the tudent organizations and their political activity as inappropriate.

HPU represents whole Himachal as it has students from every corner of Himachal. That’s not because it is very popular, but because it is the only Govt. varsity in Himachal. The Govts. have always been, and are still corrupt in India. We all know it, accept it, and have even evolved to adapt to this corrupt governance.

However, there are some souls which deny to submit, accept and adapt to this mal-functioning democracy. It’s a great challenge to speak and stand by the truth in a country like ours. There isn’t any doubt that the police force is best agent to terrorize, thus, to suppress those who show resistance to a dictatorial authority . But, the policemen, even the top cops, are mere spades in the malicious political battlefield. They are pushed to use force or to create terror of legalities among the politically illiterate public, which is either unaware of their fundamental rights or are afraid of suppression. However, at HPU, these tactics fails to do the job as here the battle isn’t with helpless, but with the educated and empowered youth of Himachal.

HPU campus hardly sees moments of peace. The news reports of protests, rallies and student clashes in HPU campus are regular sights in dailies. The reason isn’t the student organizations or SCA. It’s the inefficiency of the administration, its preference to political interests over student welfare. No surprise that the administration avoids discussion with the students and rather sent for the cops and Rapid Action Force when confronted with a protest. The excess of security that the VC has assigned to himself is also questionable.

Is the police or the use of force make a appropriate solution when dealing with educated and aware student community? It’ll only lead to more unrest and suffocation among students, which is sure to find a vent through even bigger protests.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Campus Watch

After CBSE, Himachal Postpones Board and UG Exams Till May 1st

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college and board exams in himachal pradesh postponed

Shimla-The ongoing examinations of the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education and under graduate classes have been postponed, a spokesperson of the HP Government informed today. He said that the state government has taken the decision keeping in view the health concerns of the students and parents.

These exams included the ongoing board examinations for Class 10th and 12th and UG examinations starting on 17th April to 17th May, 2021.

The government said that the situation would be reviewed on 1st May, 2021, and further directions would be issued accordingly. In a separate notification, the HPBOSE said that the schools exams for the two board classes were postponed till May 17, 2021. The Board also relieved all the staff engaged in conducting examinations including Superintendents, Deputy Superintendents, Flying Squads, Invigilators and Peons except Chowkidards. 

The decision of the government came after the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) today decided to cancel the examinations for class 10 and postpone exams for Class 12 due to the ongoing surge in daily COVID-19 infections in the country. The Board said that there was a constant demand for postponing the exams from students, parents, and the state governments.

However, the state government in Himachal Pradesh had decided to go on with exams amid the peeking second wave of the pandemic.

“The pandemic situation in the country is seeing a resurgence of COVID 19 positive cases in many states, with a few states having been affected more than others. In this situation, schools have been shut down in 11 states. Unlike State Boards, CBSE has an all-India character, and therefore, it is essential to hold exams simultaneously throughout the country,” the Union Education Ministry today said.

Looking to the present situation of the pandemic and school closures, the Ministry decided that the Board Exams for Class XII to be held from May 4thto June, 14th, 2021 would be postponed. The situation will be reviewed on 1st June 2021 by the Board. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations.

 The Board Exams for Class X to be held from 4thMay to June 14th, 2021 were  cancelled.

“The results of Class Xth Board will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the Board. Any candidate who is not satisfied with the marks allocated to him/her on this basis will be given an opportunity to sit in an exam as and when the conditions are conducive to hold the exams,” the Ministry said.

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Himachal’s Educational Institutions Closed Till April 4 Amid COVID-19 Case Surge, Pubic Holi Celebrations Prohibited, No Restriction on Tourism

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Himachal PRadesh closes Educationla institutes

Shimla– All the educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh, including Universities, Colleges, Technical Institutes and schools, would remain closed till April 4, 2021, as a precautionary measure keeping in view the spike in COVID-19 cases in the State, the government informed today. But schools would remain open for the classes having their examinations, it was informed.  

The decision was taken in a meeting held today that was presided by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur.

“Last year the spike in cases was gradual, but this year this surge is very rapid. In the last 20-25 days, the number of new cases has spiked from 220 to 2000, which is a matter of great concern for the state,” Chief Minister told media.

On being asked about tourist movement from neighboring Punjab – a state with massive surge in daily cases- the Chief Minister said that for now no restriction would be imposed on tourists given the peak tourist season starting from April.

Also Read: Himachal Reports Over 300 New COVID-19 Cases With 2 Deaths, Second Wave Could Peak in April & Last for 100 Days, says Report  

“Last year, the peak season was completely foiled. Therefore, it would not be favourable for the economy of the state and livelihood of the people to restrict tourist movement,” Jairam Thakur said.

“But if the surge continued and picked up more pace, then the government would review the situation again,” he told media. But the hotels and homestays would have to follow the SOPs while operating, he said. 

Chief Minister said that schools having residential facilities need not close their hostels, however, they would have to comply with all the SOPs to keep these residential areas cut off and appoint Compliance Officer to comply with all the orders. He said that teachers and other school/college staff would continue to attend the institutions.

Jai Ram Thakur said that no social and cultural events would be organized in the State by the Government and gatherings would be restricted to a maximum of 200 for indoor and 50 percent for outdoor events.

He said that nursing and medical institutions would continue to function as usual. He said that congregations and langers inside the temples would also be banned and other darshans would be allowed.

Chief Minister said that 3rd April would also be a holiday for all the offices in the State and there would be no public celebration of Holi.

He urged the people to celebrate Holi at their home with their family members only. He said that all the frontline workers would be sensitized to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest completing their second dose as per schedule.

It was also decided in the meeting that District Administration would take a judicious call on more restrictions keeping in view the positivity and fatality rate in their respective districts.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretaries R.D. Dhiman and J.C. Sharma, Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi, Mission Director NHRM Dr. Nipun Jindal and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

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UHF Nauni Gets New Labs Equipped with Latest Technologies, Nature Park for Students  

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UHF Nauni Soil and leaf analysis lab

Solan- Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, today dedicated four projects to the students and farmers at the university campus. 

Among the project inaugurated by Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, was a state of the art Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory established with the financial assistance of Rs 4.55 crore (over seven years) from the World Bank-funded HP-Horticulture Development Project.

UHF Nauni Vice Chancellor

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, Inaugurating Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The laboratory is equipped with the latest equipment like Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, CHNS Analyzer, Microwave digestion system, UV-VIS Spectrophotometers. It is well equipped to analyze the different soil properties including different macro and micronutrients and as per the analysis values, the recommendations are also given to the farmers.

NEW UHF nauni lab building

Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The samples received from different HP-HDP clusters of the state are being analyzed in the laboratory and ad-hoc recommendations for High-Density Planting on clonal rootstocks are given. A field laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology constructed for Rs 14.17 lakh met out of the pesticide testing scheme was also inaugurated today.NEW Labs in UHF nauni

Two projects- Nature Park and a Commercial plantation model of wild pomegranate developed under the ICAR National Agricultural Higher Education Project were also unveiled today.

Lab facility uhf nauniv

The nature camp developed by the Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture has been developed as a recreation cum activity area for the students and showcases different landscaping methods. Under NAHEP,a commercial model of wild pomegranate developed by the Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry was also dedicated to the students and farmers. 

UHF nauni nature park

Nature Park

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Parvinder Kaushal congratulated all the team members behind the completion of the projects. He said that both the laboratories will be immensely beneficial for conducting research. Speaking about the development of projects under the ICAR’s NAHEP, Dr. Kaushal said that the university is in process of developing more such plantation models which will not only be beneficial to the students but also help popularize new technologies among farmers. The statutory officers of the university, heads of all departments, coordinator and team members of NAHEP IDP, students and staff were present on the occasion. 

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