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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.

Part-1

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 7 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 world around him in his DSLR lens.

Campus Watch

Nauni varsity student to represent India in International Kickboxing championship in Argentina

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Himachali Kickboxer Lokesh Bhanot

Solan: While the youth of Himachal Pradesh is becoming infamous for the sudden surge in drug addiction it is witnessing currently, there are those who are bringing laurels to the State.

Lokesh Bhanot, a local from Solan district and a student of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is all set to represent the country in the World Kickboxing Championship to be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina from November 5-10, 2018. The World Kickboxing Federation is organizing the championship, it was informed by the Public Relation Officer of the varsity Suchet Attri.

A fourth-year student of B Sc Forestry at the University’s College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri, Bhanot had bagged a bronze medal in the senior category (90-100 kg) in the National Kickboxing Championship held at Patna in 2016 and a Gold Medal in the 65-75 kg category at the National Championship held at Ghaziabad in 2012-13.

In addition, Bhanot has won several medals at the state and district level championships in different weight categories, said the PRO.

Hailing from Solan, Bhanot had previously represented India in Italy in 2013 where he became a black belt in the sport. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the World Kickboxing Championship in Sudan and Brazil, but could not participate due to his exams.

Not only has Bhanot excelled as a player, but in 2017 also became a World Kickboxing Federation accredited International referee in the sport by clearing the official exam. He is also an accredited national referee.

Bhanot credits his parents, coach and college teachers, and friends for their constant support for his success. The university has also recognized his achievements and awarded him with Outstanding Student and Sportsperson award at the University and College level.

While congratulating Bhanot for bringing laurels to the university and the College, Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that the University has been encouraging sporting activities along with academics.

He added that this achievement will also motivate other students of the university. Dr PC Sharma, Dean of COH&F and faculty also congratulated Bhanot for his sporting achievements.

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Campus Watch

A pack of lies behind Viral Video of Sanjauli College

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Sanjauli college viral video

Shimla: Politics is a science but not for Indian ideological groups. The political parties lay more emphasis on cheap sentimental tricks or false propaganda, especially through the social media. However, the right wing has taken the concept of opportunistic manipulations of facts to a new level.

They have sensed the weakness of the media to fall easily and quickly to sensational news. The media publish hurriedly and it creates a noise in which facts struggle to be seen or heard.

The most recent and quite an ugly example was presented at the Centre of Excellence, Government Degree College Sanjauli.

A video of a quarrel between students appeared on the social media claiming it took place between two student organizations, Student Federation of India (SFI) and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at the Sanjauli College. Within no time, it was on news websites. Some national Hindi dailies also covered it with the same claim.

By Thursday, ABVP claimed that some hostel students were allegedly attacked by students of left-wing ideology. By this statement, ABVP suggested that it was not involved in the clash directly but fought for the suspended students.

As a contrast to this statement, in the video, one student is seen being attacked by a group of about 20-25 students.

The video was not fake, and the brawl did take place inside the campus of the college.

Himachal Watcher had too published a report based on initial reports received from our sources including some media person. They also repeated more or less the same story. One of the dailies said the violence had broken out over the banner of a student organization, which was baseless.

ABVP even held a protest on Thursday to revoke the suspension of the students involved in the brawl. It alleged that some faculty members abused, slapped, kicked, and pushed them out of the office when they tried to reach the Principal to submit a memorandum against the one-sided action.

The ABVP, in its press statement issued on Thursday, called it an ‘aggressive protest’ that compelled the college administration to yield to its demand of revoking the suspension.

About 27 students took part in this ‘aggressive protest’, as shown in the picture below:

ABVP ka ugr pradarshan

About 27 students staging ABVP’s (aggressive) protest

ABVP repeated the same allegations when HW reached its leaders. It said the college took one-sided action against some specific students while the left-wing supporters were spared.

The college revoked the suspension, which the ABVP termed as their victory.

After receiving critical comments from the readers and students, HW today talked to all concerned parties including the Principal, CB Mehta, Shimla Police, the injured student (red shirt), ABVP and SFI leaders.

Except for the ABVP, no one, not even the victim or eyewitnesses, told HW that it was a clash between ABVP and SFI or an assault by SFI on hostelers. The victim himself told HW that the incident had no relation to student politics or student organizations.
It turned out that this victim student who was attacked is a national level volleyball player, who has represented Himachal several times.

On July 31, I was sitting with my friends inside the campus when a group of students tried to assault one of the friends. I was not aware of the pre-existing grudges between these students but I intervened peacefully and tried to protect my friend,

the victim said.

However, I became the fresh target of the group, who thrashed me badly. I was punched and kicked repeatedly until I got back on my feet and retaliated,

he explained.

I was left alone as my friends disappeared from the scene,

he said adding,

I am neither a goon nor do I belong to any student organization. I am mostly occupied by my daily basketball practice. But the video has casted a negetive impression not only on my senior players but anyone who saw it. The media too circulated the video with the pack of lies told to them.

The Principal, when asked about the matter, said,

The brawl was not associated with any of the organizations. Moreover, as the Principle, all of them were only students for me. However, some of the suspended students might have included those associated with ABVP. The protest and the allegations of the ABVP against the faculty members were most likely an effort to revoke the suspension of the students.

When asked about revoking the suspension of the students, he replied,

We did not revoke the suspension of the students due to a pressure from the organization or the protest but after speaking to their parents and receiving written apology regarding the violence,

As per the Police Station, Lakkar Bazaar, where the students were taken for questioning following the brawl, refuted the claim that the two parties decided to compromise. A complaint has been filed against the involved students, the police said.

HW also talked to SFI leaders, who termed it a false propaganda to defame student politics.

SFI has recently begun its protest over the demand of reviving direct elections to the Students Central Association, which were banned in 2014. Prior to the ban, the students always supported and elected SFI as their representative and ABVP had been facing defeat in the elections,

said an SFI leader adding,

It is a deliberate manipulation to defame the student politics, thus, give a reason to prevent the revival of the direct elections to the SCA.

SFI also shared screenshots of a post shared by ABVP on its Facebook page with alleged false information blaming the violence as hooliganism created by SFI. 

Abvp 2

Post shared by ABVP on Facebook

The worst hit of the alleged false propaganda is the victim student, and the media owes him an apology. As per the account given by him, he had just tried to protect his friend and was dragged into this brawl, which was given a political colour.

He was worried that his mother would be in great distress if she came across this video. This is why HW has refrained from mentioning the name of the victim. 

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Shimla based startup to manufacture Nauni varsity’s spinach pasta

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Naun varsity past sold to shimla-based start-up

Solan: Soon people of the country will be able to cherish Pasta, which will not only satisfy their taste buds but also helps to keep them healthy. As part of its technology transfer initiative, the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has sold its two nutrient-rich pasta variants to ‘La Himalayan’ – a Shimla based startup.

It was informed today by Suchet Attri, the Public Relation Officer, UHF, Nauni. 

He further informed that the two variants- Plain Pasta and Spinach Pasta, score high on the nutrient value as compared to normal pasta. These pasta variants are based on Semolina (Suji), which is easy to digest as compared to pasta based on refined flour (Maida). The spinach variant is rich in Iron and Zinc and will be nutritionally rich besides improving the ability to fight diseases.

The University’s Food Science and Technology Department has developed the two variants of this nutrient-rich pasta under the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Post Harvest Engineering and Technology. Initially, the University carried out a survey where it was found that youngsters were more attracted towards instant foods, which at times lead to digestion-related ailments, Attri said. 

For over six years, the University scientists conducted various research trials, which led to the development of these pasta variants. The department also conducted pilot testing of the products, he said. 

A Shimla based startup, which had approached the university’s Incubator Center for expertise regarding cold storage, showed a keen interest in the two pasta variants.
Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that the University has tied up with a company to manufacture the pasta variants.

The company has already deposited a sum of Rs 1 lakh with the university. For the next one year, the university will supply 20 quintals of pasta while the cost of raw materials will be borne by the company. In addition, it will also pay Rs 10 kg as making charges and Rs 2,000 as machine depreciation charges per month to the university. Thereafter the product will be manufactured by the company.

The company will also undertake the task of packaging and labelling along with nutritional profiling of the products. The university’s name will feature in the product details.

This is a part of the technology transfer initiative through which the technologies developed by the university is made available to the industry for commercial exploitation,

said Dr Sharma.
He added that efforts will be made to transfer more such technologies developed by the university to the people and the industry.

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