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

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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.

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HPU College Teachers Condemn Lowering Pass Percentage to Improve RUSA Results, Student Organizations in Favour

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HPU Lower Passing percentage in RUSA 2

Shimla– The Himachal Pradesh University appears to have succumbed to the pressure from students as it recently issued a notification announcing lowering the pass percentage from 45 percent to 40 percent. The university also withdrew the criteria of separately obtaining qualifying marks for the Continuous Comprehensive Assessment (CCA) and scrapped the End Semester Examination (ESE). The announcement came following reports of poor results of Under-graduate Classes under RUSA system.

While the students and student organizations have welcomed this decision, the Himachal Pradesh College Teachers Association has condemned it. The teachers are of the view that reducing pass percentage alongwith withdrawing ESE and mandatory condition of obtaining 35% in CCA would only degrade the quality of education. The teachers termed lowering passing percentage as a very poor step to improve examination results. The teachers further complained that the university amended the provision without consulting all stakeholders and considering the negative implications of this decision.

The Association is of the opinion that the university is playing with the future of the students and the quality of education for the sake of improving results. The teachers also termed the decision contrary to the claims of the government to introduce quality in education.

Because now the students are required to obtain only 10 to 14 percent marks in the End Semester Exams instead of 35 percent, the teachers said, they would be under pressure to grant students 28 to 30 marks in CCA, which was decided based on three aspects: attendance, mid-term test, and overall assessment through assignment, tests, class seminars, and assignments.

On the other hand, student organization Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has welcomed this decision.

“ABVP welcomes this decision. Prior to the introduction of RUSA, the passing percentage used to be 35 percent, and the number of subjects was also lesser. But now, under RUSA, the passing percentage was 45 percent, and the number of subjects was also higher. Moreover, there was a mandatory condition of securing passing marks in theory and CCA separately,”

Yograj Dogra, the Campus President of ABVP told Himachal Watcher.

“Moreover, it was ABVP that had raised this demand of lower passing percentage and scrap mandatory condition of securing 35 percent in CCA,”

he further added.

The Student Federation of India has not released any statement regarding this decision so far. However, SFI has also been advocating lowering of pass percentage to improve the results.

In May, the students had approached the Vice-Chancellor with a plea to reduce the pass percentage arguing that 70 percent of students who had appeared in the examination of the fifth semester were flunked. About 2600 students had scored below 10 marks and 900 had scored zero. The students had complained that there is no provision of re-evaluation under RUSA. For re-checking, students were made to pay a hefty Rs. 400 fee per subject, which was termed as financial exploitation of the students.

On June 14, 2019, the University issued a notification stating that the Vice-Chancellor has approved changes in these conditions.

“The pass percentage for the students of Under-Graduate Classes under RUSA(CBCS) system for the academic session 2016 and 2017 onwards be reduced to 40 percent instead of 45 percent to maintain the uniformity with the Annual system. However, the rewards of Practical examinations shall be kept apart, and it will only be calculated after the candidate secures 40 percent marks in CCA and ESE,”

it said.

The notification further said,

“The criteria of qualifying marks (i.e. 35%) for CCA and End Semester Examinations separately shall be considered withdrawn.”

The Teachers’ Association is of the view that the university has taken this decision to benefit a handful of politically backed students. The long-term results would be fatal for the academic standards and the future of the students, the Association believes.

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Nauni Varsity Ranked Highest in NIRF Rankings for Past 3 Years as it Leads in Academics, Extension and Research

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UHF Nauni Varsity in Last Three Years

Solan-The past three years have been highly successful for Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, and the university has made rapid strides on all the three fronts- academics, extension and research, informed the Public Relation Officer, Suchet Attri.

He said that Dr HC Sharma, who will be completing a successful term as university Vice-Chancellor on June 14, credits the whole university for this unprecedented success. Dr Sharma has thanked the government for its support in improving the financial situation of the university in the past three years. He informed that the sanctioned budget of the university has increased from Rs 64.25 cr to 90.5 crores and the domestic income rose from Rs. 19.79 crore in 2016-17 to Rs. 29.27 crores in 2018-19. This figure is expected to touch Rs. 32.6 crores in the current financial year. Owing to the improvement in the financial health, the university has been able to clear long pending dues (since 2011) of the employees and pensioners worth over Rs. 41.27 crores, he said.

He further informed that the university has been the highest ranked in the NIRF rankings in Himachal Pradesh for the past three years. The university achieved 80th position in the top 100 universities in the country and is the only one from the state to make it into the list. This year only nine agricultural horticulture universities from the country were in the top 100 list. In the ICAR State agriculture Universities ranking, UHF improved its ranking from 51 in 2016 to 38 in 2017. In the past three years, 44 positions of scientists and several posts of the non-teaching staff were filled by the university and 80 additional positions of scientists/assistant professors have also been approved by the Government, which will be filled up very soon. The student intake of the university also increased from 1250 in 2016 to 2250 in 2018/19.

The University has taken a great leap forward and a new College of Horticulture is being established at Thunag with a budget outlay of over Rs. 70 crores, he added. It is expected to give a major boost to horticulture and forestry activities in the area. The process of ICAR accreditation of the College of Horticulture and Forestry, Neri has also been completed and the college is expected to accredited soon.

The university has made significant progress in research and infrastructure development. During the past three years, the grant from ICAR and other central resources has increased significantly and the university received more than 10 crores assistance from ICAR over the past two years.  Several works like the Pavilion block and stadium (Rs. 1.20 Crores), gymnasium (Rs 25 lakh), Lab. for Soil Testing: (Rs. 45 lakh), Examination Halls (Rs. 2.00 Crores) Boys Hostel-(Rs. 2.50 Crores), Girls Hostel-VII – (Rs. 2.50 Crores) and other works worth several crores of rupees were commissioned and completed. On 1st December 2018, the Hon’ble Governor and Chancellor of the University inaugurated the newly constructed girls’ hostel at Nauni Campus, and one girls’ hostel and UG block constructed at Neri, were inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur in October 2018.

The crowning glory for the university, the PRO said, was the 9th Convocation of the university held on 21st May 2018, which was presided over by the Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind. The Governor of Himachal Pradesh Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur also graced the event. On the research front, scientists developed several varieties and technologies.

Varieties like Solan Giriganga in ginger, Solan Srijan in cucumber, Epicotyl grafting technique in walnut, high-density orchards of apple, guava, litchi, and mango were developed by the university. The university was successful in getting projects worth over Rs. 18.37 crores from various funding agencies in the past three years. Several technologies that were developed by the scientists were transferred to the entrepreneurs and the industry. The Botanical Survey of India signed an MoU with the University for opening up a Western Himalayan High Altitude Regional Circle at the university with a budget outlay of Rs 15 crore. The university has also been shortlisted for the Rs 30 crore project of the ICAR, which aims at strengthening undergraduate education in the university.

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Sanjauli College Himachal’s First to Offer Paperless and Cashless Facilities: Edu Minister

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Sanjauli College Website

Shimla-With the launch of its new website (www.gcsanjauli.com), the Centre of Excellence Government College Sanjauli has become the first college in Himachal Pradesh to provide paperless and cashless facility to its students. The website, however, redirects to sub-domain (https://gcsanjauli.highalteducation.in/) when students click on the button given for online admission portal.

The Education Minister, who launched the website, said that with this launch the college students will get an online registration facility. They will be able to fill up more than one form and will have the facility to update their forms online.

The students can also deposit their fees on this website by using HDFC payment gateway. The students can pay by various online payment methods including payment through debit and credit cards, e-wallets, Paytm etc.

The Principal Dr. C.B Mehta further informed that there are total 600 seats in Arts category, 20 in English Honors, 80 in Commerce, 140 in Medical, 140 in Non-Medical, 40 in BCA, 90 in Vocational Course (45 in Retail Management and 45 in Hospitality and Tourism). Other than these courses, the College is also offering a course in Journalism and Mass Communication from this session.

He also informed that several online application were received soon after the launch of the website.

The website was developed by a Shimla-based company.

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