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Students ‘Chakka Jam’ at Summerhill after answerless VC flees from HPU

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Reporting today’s student protest against massive fee hikes and for not conducting SCA elections, a newspaper reported (Online Update) that ‘police cane charge after students scramble with the HPU VC.’

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An HW member arrived at HPU Summerhill at 8:00 AM, 45 minutes before the protest begin and before any media person arrived, and captures many images and a video showing what exactly happened. Take a look at the video first. It was a very unfortunate sight to see how Govt. and HPU authorities are misusing police; a tool in state machinery meant for the protection and safety of its people.

HW had been following HPU campus from couple of years, we brought images from SCA elections, SCA functions, and protests for our readers. We always received very encouraging feedbacks from the readers. With respect to the trust of our readers in HW, we would describe the scene as a witness, and not as manipulated news by some bound reporter.

For last 18 days, students are on chain hunger strike, but no authority member of Govt. representative bothered to even listen to their grievance. Before that, students have been staging regular protest against innumerous student grievances, but nobody moved a muscle. The Vice Chancellor and the state Govt. did not consult democratically elected SCA before making massive, rather absurdly unjustified, hike in various HPU fees along with all affiliated colleges in whole Himachal. Some fees are hiked by hundreds of times, while some of them went beyond 1000-2000%.

Click here to read a related HW article on HPU fee hike

However, no one considered the growing unrest among the parents and the students. Afterwards, the VC defers the SCA elections for the present session, which were due to be held in Aug-Sept. A couple of days ago, a student body of research scholars had approached the VC with a plea to take back such huge fee hikes. They received a rude and absurd answer from him. He said, “Quite University if you can’t pay the fee’.

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Today, when the anger reached almost its peak, the students gathered at HPU campus gate in the morning and stopped VC’s car by blocking the road in an effort to make him talk to the students, answer their distressed calls and questions, about providing a justification of such huge fee hikes, the VC literally ran away from Summerhill under heavy police protection. Not even a finger touched his coat, no one abused him, and there was no scramble. But our media seems to be either partially blind, highly manipulative, and biased.

The title by that newspaper wins all sympathy for the VC and stage students as violent creatures. Instead, the students had to bear a light canecharge, and abuse by policemen.

The video uploaded above showed how policemen are overdrunk with wearing the power vested in ‘Khaki’. The students struggled to reach the VC and to stop him so that they could talk to him, but their anger grew as the VC ran away from the situation taking a cover of police protection. What should be expected from suffocating students, who are burdened with unjustified fee hikes while the standards of education and basic facilities rots at HPU?

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What should we expect from frustrated research scholars who are forced to come out on streets against the unjustified economical burden imposed on them for nothing?

It’s not about SFI or ABVP, it’s just about what is right; the truth. The Directive Principles of State Policy, enshrined in Part IV of the Indian Constitution reflects that India is a welfare state. Article 38 of the Constitution reads

The State shall make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.

The Govt. extract taxes from the public on everything they earn or spend. These taxes also include education cess. While proposing this tax, Govt. had claimed it justified on the grounds of commitment that government will provide universal access to quality basic education. It means that the parents are already paying annual installments to the Govt. to meet the expenditure of their children’s education. However, students are again asked to pay fee to get education in a Govt. institute, and on top of it, you raise these fees to such an extent that the institution appears to be a sort of shop where education is being sold, and those who can’t afford it, are left on their own.

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These students, who were ignored when they tried to protest peacefully, are now busting with anger. Their anger is well justified. The university is meant for students. A Govt. educational institute must not be converted into a shop, especially when majority of public is struggling for economical stability. A nation with a low literacy rate is expected to make every possible effort to provide education to unprivileged section of society at the minimum cost possible. Does it make sense to extract profit from education in a nation where a huge number of students are forced to drop their school in order to take up job to earn and to survive.

What kind of economical background should we expect from the students who come to attend the only Govt. higher educational institute in the state?

These students, who are on hunger strike for over last two weeks, need support from all of us.
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Today, while the police was readying their water cannons and canes, waiting for the orders to charge on students, the students instead of dispersing put their bag and purses in a corner, joined hands like they are ready to take up repressive forces of the Govt.

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Take minute to contemplate as to why over 500 students would choose to be a subject to canechare or why they would bear water cannons, and still come back to face the same fate again and again? Their motivation doesn’t lie in political interests. Rather, it’s the zeal to fight for their rights, stand for the truth, and follow the principals that true revolutionary freedom fighters had laid down.

We would request all to stop assuming the situations based on what media says, and try to adopt a critical approach. These students aren’t foreigners. They hail from different parts of Himachal and as insiders, they have every right to protest and fight for their rights.

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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

Proposed HPBOSE Date-Sheets for 8th, 10th, 12th Exams 2021 Issued, Objections Invited till Feb 10

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HPBOSE Exam Datesheet 2021

Shimla-Date-sheets for Class 10, 12, and 8 yearly examinations for the 2020-21 session have been released by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education yesterday. These schedules would apply to both regular and State Open School (SOS) students. 

These are proposed date-sheets, which have been uploaded on the official HPBOSE website and objections have been invited from teachers, students, and parents. Objections can be mailed on [email protected] till 10 February 2021.

According to the proposed HPBOSE date-sheets, examinations for 10th class would be held from May 5 to May 20, 2021. For 12th class, exams would be held from May 4 to May 29. Exams for 8th class would be held from May 5 to May 19. While timings for class 10th and 8th would be 8:45 to 12 PM, class 12th exams would be conducted from 1:45 PM to 5 PM.

The Board has already decided that yearly examinations of HPBOSE for Class 10th and 12th for the session 2020-21 would not be conducted online. The decision was taken considering the fact that several regions of the state do not have Internet connectivity due to which students face difficulties.

HPBOSE Class 12 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 10 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 8 Date-Sheet 2021

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Campus Watch

Class 10th and 12th Yearly Exams Will Not be Conducted Online Due to Lack of Uniform Internet Connectivity in State: HPBOSE

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hp bose board exams 2020-21

Dharamshala-Yearly examinations of Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education (HPBOSE) for Class 10th and 12th for the session 2020-21 will not be conducted online, informed Dr Suresh Kumar Soni, Chairman, HPBOSE. The decision was taken considering the fact that several regions of the state do not have Internet connectivity due to which students face difficulties, he said.

It was decided after the Chairman held a video conference with Deputy Directors and school principals/headmasters to discuss the matter relating to the conduction of examinations.

He also informed that due to the pandemic schools remained closed and the Board could not conduct online practical exams and said that it is considering to allow the schools to conduct them at their level.  Further, to avoid crowding at schools, exams would be conducted in morning and evening sessions and more examination centres would be created. He informed that the Board is also considering to provide question papers for 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th classes to maintain uniformity in examinations across the state.  

Various aspects related to various classes are under consideration and would be forwarded to the Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur, he said. In accordance with Minister’s directions, the Board would try to resume regular examinations, the Chairman added.

Further, he informed that the Board is conducting examinations for 12th class (Science) in March 2020 and has invited applications from candidates. The candidates can apply online through nearest SOS centre between 28th December to 28th January.

HP SOS Examination Eligibility Criteria

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Campus Watch

Himachal Shuts Down All Educational Institutes A Week After Re-Opening 

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Himachal Pradesh Educational Institutes closed again

Shimla-A week after re-opening for regular classes, the Himachal Pradesh Government had to shut down all government and private schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, engineering colleges and coaching institutes from 11th to 25th November 2020, for students, teaching and non-teaching staff amid alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting held on November 10, 2020. It’s pertinent to mention that the state government had re-opened the school for the students of 9th to 12th from November 2. However, during the past few days, hundreds of teachers and several students tested positive in various schools, especially in Mandi district.

Meanwhile, the unpreparedness of the state government came to light as the largest medical facility – IGMC Shimla- ran out of space in isolation wards for COVID-19 patients. It’s packed to full capacity. Reportedly, another dedicated COVID-19 hospital – DDU Shimla- was also running out of space. The government has also failed to establish make-shift hospitals, which it had been promising for the past couple of months. However, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had been maintaining in media statements that the government was prepared for all eventualities.

Questions have also been raised over the quality of protective gear provided to health staff as several officials tested positive at a COVID-19 hospital in Mandi district.

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