SHIMLA- The student protest row against implementation of RUSA system at HPU and the sudden and exaggerated fee hike isn’t ending from the past many months. Now, the decision of EC to defer HPU Student Central Association (SCA) elections after the violent assault on students, that occurred on Sunday at one of the varsity hostels, has fueled the anger among all three major student unions, SFI, ABVP, and NSUI.
On Wednesday, all three student organizations held a joint protest in front of the library against HPU authorities, warning them to withdraw their decision to defer the SCA elections, take back the fee hikes or face complete boycott of classes, hunger strikes and blockage of roads. Representatives from all three organizations put their opinion regarding the deferring of elections.
In return of these warnings, the Vice Chancellor has also threatened to suspend the classes for the session. Well, that’s interesting. The VC wants students to surrender and vice versa. Both, the VC and the student organizations are threatening to boycott the academic operations. They found a common interest, haven’t they?
In place of direct elections, now, the Vice Chancellor decided to elect SCA members through nomination from the pool of extraordinary achievers in various fields like education, sports etc.
According to the HPU EC, the main reason is, of course, the violent student politics, which is claimed to be a great nuisance in an otherwise peaceful HPU campus. The excuse behind deferring the elections is to restore the peaceful academic atmosphere.
However, all the student organizations are in favor of holding SCA elections, all of them are protesting against the bad implementation of RUSA system, all the organizations are not in favor of the fee hike, all of them aren’t happy with the incompetence of the Vice Chancellor to provide even the basic facilities in varsity and hostels.
Not only students, but no one else associated with HPU, in one way or other, were ever observed to be happy with the authorities, the HPU and the colleges are short of faculty, the pensioners, and the staff is frustrated with Mr. AND Bajpai’s incapable management of resources and his extravagance. While students have continuously staged protests, handed over memorandums to the EC, the Chief Minister, and the Governor, and the Govt. is keen to go all the way against student interests.
It’s been a long time that protesting voices are echoing every other day at HPU campus. The Vice Chancellor ADN. Bajpai definitely relied more on increasing the police troops when he should have listened to the democratically elected SCA and the student representative from all organizations. Now, owing to his negligence towards student interests, the situation is heading towards even worse consequences.
According to the VC, the student violence isn’t tolerable at a higher educational institute. Everyone would agree with that statement. The careers of the students who indulge in aggressive politics, booked, sentenced by courts, suspended from the varsity for assaults are on stake. Politics is such an ugly game.
However, we need to take a closer look at the reasons which lead to violent activities. Presently, the political interference and corruption in administration is almost at its peak. Students are protesting against it, but they get nothing but the cane charge of police in return. Still, the student organizations aren’t giving up. They are trying hard to protect and preserve the ideology of their political patrons at HPU campus and in the affiliated colleges, and so is going on within the organizational level. Like a national political party, each student organization strives to preach the ideology they follow. The student do come for polling and they do select SCA every year inspite the student protests and clashes.
About student politics, we wonder why a 21 years graduate is eligible for a high bureaucratic post through Civil Services Exams but not free to express his political views, unite with other students who share the same political views, and hold democratic elections for an official student body (SCA). But why should they be worried about political ideologies at all? Can’t these all students unite to fight together if they care for common interest of students like unfair fee hikes, student grievances, corrupt practices in administration and even admissions in varsity courses? What’s the need to work under the patronage of national political parties? Why to follow political ideologies at all? What’s the logic of holding separate protests against a common issue like recent fee hike at HPU? The strength of protestors always yields advantage in lobbying with the administration.
Again, we aren’t talking against the existence of student unions, but it’s against the student politics. There could be indirect elections through nomination of DRs, who will then elect the candidates for the SCA. There isn’t any need of more than one student-body, hence, there will be no violence at all.
So, it appears to be a decent idea to go for indirect election of SCA. The student of a each department would nominate an eligible candidate as Departmental representative, and these representatives would elect the panel for SCA.
But, does it follow that it would end all the politics and violent activities. The student unions would not cease to exist, neither the clashes between them would come to a halt. Still, these groups would try to lure and lobby for voting in their favor.
The nomination method would collect achievers from various fields like music, sports, academics etc. However, it doesn’t ensure that a gold medal winner in sports or that in music would make an efficient and visionary student representative and leader.
Many men and women, while sitting at home with newspapers in their hands, would suggest a complete ban on elections. But, what about the rising corruption within HPU administration, student grievances, and many relevant demands which otherwise the authorities always ignore.
Although, deferring elections makes a well deserved punishment for violence is no good, but it would not calm down the political influence on these student organizations. They’ll still roam in groups, protest separately.
The biggest strength of revolution is to stand united on one single platform, and be able to convince others for the same. Truth is sufficient as an ideology to follow. Why to make it complex mixture of religion, regionalism, and nationalism?
Sadly, it’s almost impossible to keep student activism alive when the students face political powers in response to their protests. There is HPU’s employee union, which is completely political. The faculty member, if not all, then most of them do show inclination towards their favored ideology. How come the students would remain untouched by political influence when they are completely surrounded and submerged in it? The absence of student activism would only hike the corruption within HPU administration and dictatorial attitude of the Vice Chancellor.
Meanwhile, the student organizations are gearing up for huge protests all over Himachal, and the HPU authorities have already deputed police security to counter them.
Video: Girl Who Jumped from Bilaspur College Building Tells Why She Attempted Suicide
Bilaspur-Video of the girl student of Bilaspur Degree College, who had jumped from the third floor of her college building on December 3, 2019, has appeared on social media. The girl can be seen in the hospital talking about how continuous mental harassment by one of the teachers led her to attempt suicide.
“I attempted suicide because I could not take any more torture in the classroom because of the teacher,”
the girl said when asked about the reason.
“She would only point out my mistakes and ask questions just from me, and then ask me to leave the classroom,”
the girl added.
On being asked since when the teacher had been behaving this way, the girl said,
“For the last one month, every day during the class, she would point me out and ask me to leave the classroom.”
The girl had informed her mother regarding this, but she asked her to ignore it.
“I told my mother regarding this issue a few days back. But she told me to ignore her because she is a teacher,”
the girl said.
Her mother confirmed that she talked about a teacher’s indifferent attitude.
“I had told her to ignore it, but I did not expect that the situation would reach such a point,”she informed.
The girl informs, the day she jumped from the building, some students had seen her crying and even inquired as to what was wrong.
“I thought of approaching the principal with a complaint, but then I went blank and jumped,”
The college staff with the help of some students rushed the girl to the District Hospital Bilaspur. She received critical injuries and has fractured both her legs. She was later taken to Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, for treatment.
In its initial investigation, the local police had taken statements of some people but could not talk to the girl as she was unconscious.
Now, as the video, with the girl’s statement, is being circulated on social media, the alleged teacher is likely to face police questioning. So far, not much has been given out by the police regarding its investigation and action taken against the teacher alleged of harassing the girl.
Principal of the college, Ram Krishn Sharma said, if a teacher is found responsible for abetting the girl to attempt suicide appropriate action would be taken against him/her.
HPBOSE Faces Flak for Charging Rs 2000 Late Fee for Compartment Exams
Shimla-Students of Class 10 and 10+2 have complained of hefty late fee imposed by Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education, Dharamshala, for the compartment examination. The actual fee was Rs 450 per subject and now, after the due date of submission of applications, the students are paying Rs 2450 per subject with a late fee of Rs 2000.
The students enrolled in government schools mostly hail from the weaker section of society who cannot afford private schools due to their hefty fee structures.
Two major student organizations of Himachal Pradesh, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Student Federation of India (SFI) condemned this fee hike alleging that the students could not apply timely due to an error on the part of the HPBOSE. The Government is encouraging private schools with its policy of closing government schools, SFI said while staging a protest on November 30.
“The Board invited online applications but did not issue the payment gateway link to school managements, therefore, students could not apply in time. Secondly, when the gateway started to work, the fee was hiked from Rs 450 to Rs 2450,”
“Now, the Board is washing its hands off and holding students responsible for not applying before the last date without late fees,”
The Organization said it is not justifiable for the Board to blame students for its mistake.
The Organization gave an ultimatum to the Board and demanded that this decision should be withdrawn by Monday and students should be allowed to apply with a fee of Rs 450. It warned of a state-wide agitation if the decision is not withdrawn.
Speaking to Himachal Watcher, the Public Relation Officer, HPBOSE, Anju Pathak, said that the board did not make any hike in late fees. The provision for late fee already exists.
Refuting the allegations that the payment gateway was not working, she said,
“It was working fine. We have looked into it. It’s just the carelessness on the part of the students,”
the PRO said.
“About 85 percent of students had filled their forms before the last date. They had the chance to apply between 9 to 31 October with a fee of only Rs 450. The last date was extended and the students were given a second chance to submit their applications till November 15 with a late fee of Rs 1000. It’s the third chance for which already notified fee of Rs 2000 is being charged,”
she told HW.
“A group of students today met the Chairman, who convinced them that only notified late fee is being charged. The students have demanded an extension so that they could fill their forms,”
Further, student outfits also raised questions over the poor quality of clothing provided to the students of the government schools under the Atal School Uniform scheme.
The government issued distributed free uniform to lakhs of students after a delay of two years. However, despite this delay, the quality of the clothes provided is very poor, ABVP said. Similar poor quality uniforms were distributed during the regime of the previous government and a penalty was imposed on the contractor. However, the student outfit said, imposing penalty doesn’t change the quality of already distributed uniforms.
The Organization suspected a possible scam behind it. The government talks about offering quality in education when it can’t even distribute good quality uniforms to students.
The state government also faced flak over the distribution of poor quality bags of the same size to all students. These bags have become a mere show-piece.
HPU, College Students in Shimla Protest Against Brutal Gangrape, Murder of Hyderabad Vet
Shimla-The brutality of the gangrape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor in Hyderabad has led to public outrage across India. Though the rate of crime against women did not go down even after similar pubic outrage was witnessed in the Nirbhaya case in 2012, once again nation is shocked over the heinousness involved in the committed crime.
On the evening of November 27, 2019, the doctor was trapped, gang-raped, smothered to death and then set on fire in the underpass of Shadnagar Outer Ring Road in Hyderabad. Next day, the charred body of the victim was recovered from the said spot. The police investigation led to the arrest of four accused, two of whom are truck drivers and the other two are cleaners. The accused were identified as Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jollu Shiva and Jollu Naveen. They were booked under Sections 376D (gangrape), 302 (murder),201 (destroying evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. A magistrate from Shadnagar sent all four accused to judicial custody for 14 days on Saturday.
Meanwhile, three policemen including a sub-inspector and two constables were suspended for causing a delay in filing an FIR.
Protest and outrage also reached Himachal Pradesh with students of the Himachal Pradesh University and colleges paying tribute to the victim and staging protests. On November 30, girl students of HPU gathered at Summerhill Chowk to pay a tribute to the victim.
Taking up the issue of women safety in the country. The students termed government’s “Beti Bachao’ program a political gimmick.
“Such crimes have become very common nowadays. Himachal is also not untouched and such crimes are reported regularly,”
said Sapana, a student.
“Kotkhai Gudiya case is still not solved and such delay encourages criminals,”
“Priority to women safety remains confined to state and centre government’s announcements in election campaigns. The ground reality is altogether different,”
said Reena, another student.
On November 30, students of Shimla’s colleges also staged a protest in front of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, demanding justice for the victim. The students said the rate of crime against women is increasing and females are not feeling safe due to regular occurrences of such heinous, ruthless crimes.
“Average of 50 cases of rape are registered every day in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, half of the cases of rape are not registered in India, and average over one lakh cases of rape are reported every year, which is alarming,”
said Sachin, one of the protesting students.
“India stand embarrassed in front of the World due to repeated occurrence of such heinous crimes. The government need to be more serious and take necessary measures to ensure the safety of women,”
said Komal, another protesting student.
Protests were also reported from various colleges in Shimla where students targeted the government over playing politics on such issues instead of working toward the eradication of crime against women.
As per the report issued after the police remand, the trap that the accused had laid for the victim did them in. It also said that the accused had downed one-and-half bottles (around 930 ml) of alcohol before committing the crime. They inflated the tyre of the two-wheeler she had parked near a toll plaza and then trapped her on the pretext of helping her.
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