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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 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

Campus Interviews at Nauni University: 13 MBA students offered placement by Policy Bazaar

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Campus placement at UHF nauni Varsity

Solan: The Department of Business Management at Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry organize the first round of campus interviews at the university premises this month. The students of the Masters in Business Management (MBA) appeared for the interview.

The reputed insurance company PolicyBazar selected thirteen students. 13 students were given offer letters by the recruiting company with the initial package of Rs 2.64 lakh per annum, informed Dr KK Raina, Head, Department of Business Administration

Quality education is the core theme of the MBA programme at UHF and the department believes in the generation of quality manpower rich in academics, industrial exposures and moral values,

he said.

The recruiters were also highly impressed with the quality of MBA students.

 We are very pleased with the quality, confidence as well as the job attitude of the MBA students of this university,

Urvashi Sharma, a representative of the hiring company said

The company has also offered summer training for the first year students and showed immense interest in visiting the campus for recruitment of management professionals in the future as well. Dr Modgil, Assistant Director Placement and Dr Nisha Kumari coordinated the placements.

Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice Chancellor congratulated the selected students and appreciated the efforts of the Department.

The varsity had organized its ninth Convocation on May 21, 2018, which was presided over by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

Apart from the gold medals, degrees were also awarded to 462 students of B Sc, M Sc in Horticulture, Forestry and Biotech programmes from the College of Horticulture, College of Forestry and College of Horticulture and Forestry, Neri, MBA and PhD programmes

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Campus Watch

UHF Nauni’s 9th Convocation presided over by President, 462 students conferred degrees

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9th Convocation of the UHF Nauni

Solan: The ninth Convocation of Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry at Nauni in district Solan was held today and was presided over by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

This was the second instance when the President of India attended the convocation of the University. Former President R Venkataraman was the chief guest at the first convocation of the university held in the year 1988.

The University was founded in the year 1985 with the objective to promote education, research and extension education in the fields of Horticulture, Forestry and allied disciplines

The President presented Gold Medals to meritorious students on the occasion. He presented gold medals to Rajesh Kanwar, Bharti, Neha Verma, Ankita, Chirag Bhatia, Kritika Sharma, Priyanka Chauhan, and Manvi Sharma.

He also presented SP Dhull Gold Medal to Ankita. He congratulated all the students receiving gold medals and degrees on the occasion.

Apart from the gold medals, degrees were also awarded to 462 students of B Sc, M Sc in Horticulture, Forestry and Biotech programmes from the College of Horticulture, College of Forestry and College of Horticulture and Forestry, Neri, MBA and PhD programmes

Addressing the graduating students, the President said that the goal of their education should not be limited to simply getting a job. They can start their own enterprises by using their skills and learning.

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There is immense potential in the field of fruit and vegetable processing. With their knowledge and enterprise, graduates of the University could help consumers in the country and abroad get better food products and help farmers get better value for their produce.

He urged the students to take advantage of various schemes and initiatives of the Union and state governments to set up their businesses in the agriculture sector.

The Governor awarded degrees to the students on the occasion. He said that since this University was the first Horticulture University of the country and the only horticulture university of the State, therefore the horticulturists have great expectations from the University.

He stressed on better coordination between the scientists and farmers so that the State could earn a special name in the production of fruits, vegetables, flowers and medicinal plants.

Further, the Chief Minister informed that the State Government was promoting Zero Budget Natural Farming. For this, the Government has made a budget provision of Rs 25 crore for the current financial year to promote natural farming.

He also congratulated the University for being adjudged amongst the best 100 Universities for continuous best performance in a survey conducted by the Government of India.

Vice Chancellor of the University Dr H.C. Sharma welcomed the President and other dignitaries and also read out the annual report on the occasion.

Deputy Director General (Education) Research and Extension Council, ICAR New Delhi Dr N.S. Rathore gave a discourse on ‘Higher Education in Agriculture’ on the occasion.

Speaker Vidhan Sabha Dr Rajiv Bindal, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr Rajiv Saizal, MP Prof. Virender Kashyap, former Minister and MLA Col. Dhani Ram Shandil, Vice-Chancellor of Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University Palampur Dr Ashok Kumar Sarpal, faculty members of the University were present on the occasion among others.

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Campus Watch

HPU Teachers Association raises 15 demands including 5-day working, multi-story parking, retirement age enhancement

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List of HPUTA Demands

Shimla: The members of Executive of Himachal Pradesh University Teachers Association (HPUTA) has placed a list of at least 15 demands before the Vice- Chancellor.  The HPUTA has requested the Vice Chancellor to accept these genuine demands immediately in the interest of the teaching community of the university.

The VC assured to take cognizance on their demands, which is on his purview. He further added that some of the demands would be raised before the government while some other will be settled on their own behalf.

In its first demand,  it was requested that the teachers appointed to examination, inspection, flying and other official duties for University and also the teachers coming for conducting viva voce examination from another university must be provided actual taxi fare or the university should arrange its own transport to perform such duties.

The Association also demanded that the teachers who travel by their own car for conducting entrance test be given at least Rs. 12/- per kilometre and Hotel Room rent must be provided to the teachers performing any official duty for the university within the state.  

Complete list of HPUTA Demands

 

Multi-storeyed Parking must be constructed within the campus. Separate Parking should be earmarked for the teachers within campus and teaching colony separately. The teacher must be issued stickers or vehicle pass so as to avoid inconvenience on the campus.

 

The Promotion under CAS should be made on a priority basis. Vacant posts of the teachers in the entire departments be filled at the earliest. Special attention should be given to those departments where there are acute shortages of teachers. 

 

Retirement Age must be enhanced from 60 to 65 years as per UGC and Central University norms.

 

Revised Pay Scale based on 7th Pay Commission must be provided to the teachers at an earliest possible. 

 

GPF must be deposited in the Nationalized Bank as per Chandan Committee recommendations. The teachers appointed after 15th May 2003 be covered under Old Pension Scheme. HRA should be at least 10% of the basic pay.

 

At least Rs. 2 crores (Two crores) must be deposited each year in the Corpus Fund. The government in this regard must be requested to sanction at least 20 (twenty) crore to tackle and facilitate the grave issues of the retired teachers. 

 

University budget should be increased up to 1.50 Crore by arranging talk to the Government. The UGC and government should be brought together to deal with the issue. 

 

Allotment of the houses to the teachers may be done on priority basis. The houses which have been allotted by the previous Vice-Chancellor arbitrarily should be reviewed according to the merit. The Vice-Chancellr is requested not to exercise his power arbitrarily on the house allotment.  

 

PhD increment should be granted to the teachers. Past services of the teachers may be counted as per UGC guidelines.

 

The remuneration rate to hold entrance test be revised as per rule. Chairmen and Directors should be provided equal and revised remuneration.

 

There should be five-day working in the university keeping in view the UGC rules and traffic conditions in the Shimla city.

 

Beautification of the campus must be made on a priority basis. Tarring and metalling work of the road within the campus, teaching colony and hostels may be done on priority basis. Construction, repair and maintenance work (whitewashing, CI/GI/PVC work) in the entire buildings may be done on priority basis. Demarcation and fencing of the university land may be done at an earliest. 

 

The Group Insurance should be increased from 200 to Rs. 1000/- Newly recruited teachers should be covered under the scheme. 

 

Untimely demise/death of teachers should be compensated with Rs. 5 Lakh from the teacher’s welfare funds.

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