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Don’t let dreams of innocent students die, don’t letdown the democracy, Mr Chief Minister

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open letter to virbhadra singh

open letter to virbhadra singh

Dear Sir,

Thursday, September 19 was not as pleasant as the weather of Himachal these days, calm and cool. The heart-rending pictures of that day when democracy was being throttled and trampled, in my alma mater-the highest centre of learning in the state-Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), was quite painful.

Yes sir, not only me, but many of the alumnae of this institution have felt so. Sir, even the most sacred place, the HPU library was not spared. The walls still must be red with the blood splatter. The innocent students were just fighting for their legitimate right, equal and inexpensive education- guaranteed to them in the Indian constitution.

A day before this brutal murder of democracy, an incident, where the students, who wanted a clarification on the indiscriminate fee hike, stopping vice-chancellor’s vehicle (and as this official claims of assault on him) prompted the police and district administration to impose section 144 on the university campus- though the alleged assault on the top official of the university could not be substantiated in any way, as it was reported.

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Sir, no terrorists live in my alma-mater, they are only students, and thus have every right to ask questions, on what they seem could jeopardize their careers.

Many argue that the protest is not a way to put forward your point of view, but, sir it was unfortunate that when the students pursued the dialogue, they were ruthlessly told to “leave the university if you can’t pay the fees.” Was it not an insensitive answer on the part of an official, who was entrusted with a responsibility of safeguarding the rights of the students?

They (university authorities) claim that the institution’s development was marred by the fund crunch. Oh please! Don’t give such reasons. Sir, I will quote you from your Independence Day speech that, “`3,836 crore was being spent on education sector during the current financial year.”

If it is so, then why the HPU- the only university in the state imparting multidisciplinary education- is so badly starved of the funds. Sir, allocating `200 crore for the university, which so far, was providing opportunity to the poor for equal education and better future, is definitely not that much difficult.

hpu-fee

They justify this fee hike, in some cases more than 2000%, by arguing that the fee structure in neighbouring universities was higher. But, just once, compare the quality and standards of our university with those institutions- unfortunately my alma mater doesn’t have even 1% of the facilities available in those institutions- and nobody is ready to own the responsibility for this mess.

Then, why a student should be forced to pay such a massive fee when a “welfare state”, as defined in the constitution, can’t provide facilities to the students? And please don’t try to create those facilities by extorting money from them.

Click To Read “Black day for HPU: Police brutally beats, humiliates students, over 300 arrested

And here they are being charged even if the mistake is on party the university authorities.

Sir, have you ever tried to find out how the HPU is functioning? Here, a NET/JRF qualified student runs pillar to post, pleading before the authorities in a hope that one day he will realize his dream of getting admitted to Ph D, but the people, who have backing their political masters and are not even into regular studies, deprive him or her of this opportunity.

Just ask the university registrar Mr Mohan Lal Jharta that why his department sociology is locked for the last three months and what is his prime responsibility? These are just examples and if I will try to elaborate the sorry state of affairs, it will take me another 5,000 words, but I have keep constraints on my words- though I have already exceeded them.

So let me come to the point, this vice-chancellor- multicolor bearded man, ADN Bajpai- I will not hesitate to liken him with Nero. Sir, this Nero is burning your beautiful Rome. How cleverly he depicts himself as helpless and the students as demons. And the police, those wild beasts in Khakhi, who wag their tails and lick the feet of powerful, are his guests. They prey on the innocent students in the night. How they mercilessly thrash the protesting girls in the midnight, is just an example.

And those university officials, who are less teachers and more diplomats, indulged in a drama of resignations, are those who do a cackling together with this modern Nero, when state machinery strike democratic rights of students..

So, sir, don’t let the Nero burn this Rome this time. Don’t let the dreams of those innocent students die. Not everyone will be able to pay such hefty fee. The data of poor population released by your government are enough to substantiate this fact and after all how much of the Himachal populace have luxury to shop in the malls?

Yours sincerely
Naresh K Thakur
Staff Correspondent Hindustan Times.

Campus Watch

UHF Nauni Bags Rs.25 Crore Funding, Set for Major Overhaul

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UHF Nauni gets IDI funds

Solan: The learning and teaching environment at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is set for a major overhaul under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) National Agricultural Higher Education Plan (NAHEP) funded by the World Bank, informed the Public Relation Officer, Suchet Attri. He said that under NAHEP, UHF has been awarded the prestigious Institutional Development Project  (IDP). The total outlay of the three-year project is Rs 25 crore with ICAR share of Rs 20 crore and Rs 5 crore funded by the state.

He said that this is one of the biggest projects in UHF’s history and a major achievement for the university. It will help to provide a holistic learning and teaching environment to the students and faculty as scientists and students will be exposed to foreign universities to learn and exchange researchable ideas and issues. The University Vice-Chancellor is the project leader while Dr KK Raina, Professor and Head, Department of Business Management is the coordinator and Principal Investigator of the overall project, he informed.  

The main objective of the project entitled ‘Quality Education in Horticulture and Forestry to generate Human Resource’ is to revamp the university’s UG education through innovative and modern pedagogy, skill development, improving placement opportunities and catalyzing entrepreneurship through global thinking and input. He further said that under IDP, the university will look to strengthen collaborations with leading academia and industry for student exchange and faculty development programmes. 

He informed that around 150 UG students and 50 faculty members will be selected through a competition, to visit top-flight foreign universities for a period of 3-6 months. Organization of webinars and seminars, workshops and capacity building, and engaging industry experts as adjunct faculty is also included in the project. In addition to the creation of several student amenities, the university will establish UG and language labs for improving soft skills, eight smart and two virtual classrooms. He said that the project will also push green initiatives like the use of solar energy for cooking, lighting, use of battery-operated vehicles, solid waste management and recycling, campus landscaping and development of nature parks.

He said that one of the highlights will be the development of Short-Term International Certificate course on temperate horticulture and forestry crops and the strengthening of Student Development and Career Development Cell by developing a proactive industrial interface to create job and internship opportunities. Remedial courses, special attention towards weak students, agri-incubation centres on hi-tech plant nursery, processed food and forest products for entrepreneurial and agribusiness skills will also be taken up during the course of the project.

He further informed that several works have already begun under the project, and initiatives like raising new plantations have been undertaken. The students are eagerly looking forward to this project and have been actively taking part in all activities. A review meeting of the core project team and the statutory officers under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor was held on Saturday. Director Extension Education Dr PK Mahajan, Deans Dr Bhupinder Gupta and Dr ML Bhardwaj also took part in the meeting. 

“This is a very proud moment for the university as we are among the national group that has got grants under this project. It will help us to improve the work culture and change the outlook of the students by providing a holistic learning environment. Besides, it will also help to enhance the quality of study and potential of the faculty will be fully utilized,”

said Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor.

He said that only a select few agricultural universities have managed to bag the project through nation-wide competition.

The university will further focus on skill enhancement of students through study programmes with international collaborations and provide an inclusive and equitable quality education for the students through the faculty development programme. Dr Kaushal added that under the project, the university will ensure the sustainability of quality education and system effectiveness through the strengthening of the University Alumni network and industry interface. 

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Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity UG Admission Process Revised, No Entrance Exam, Seats to be Allotted on 10+2 Merit

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Solan-uhf nauni ug admissions 2020-21 session

Solan-Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has revised the admission process for its undergraduate programmes for the academic session 2020-21 in view of the COVID 19 pandemic. This year, the university will not be conducting an entrance test to fill the normal seats of UG programmes. The decision in this regard was taken during a special meeting of the Academic Council meeting held recently.

The basis of admission for normal seats would be merit drawn on basis of marks obtained at 10+2 level examination in four subjects-English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology/ Mathematics plus weightage of participation in sports/ NCC, NSS, scouting, co-curricular activities (if any). The university offers three undergraduate programmes B Sc (Hons) Horticulture, B Sc (Hons) Forestry while B Tech Biotechnology is offered only at the COH&F Neri. 

The candidates have been advised to download the counselling proforma from the university website and fill it as per the instructions mentioned on it. Those students who want to be considered for both normal as well as self-financing seats need to fill two separate proformas. A single page pdf file must be created, containing scanned filled counselling proforma along with legible documents mentioned in the checklist as provided in the counselling proforma. No column must be left blank. The counselling proforma for normal seats and self-financing seats will be uploaded on the university website on 3rd August (afternoon) and 5th August (afternoon) respectively.

For normal seats: The scanned pdf file must be sent through email to [email protected] on or before 18th August, 2020.

For self-financing seats: The scanned pdf file must be sent by email to [email protected] on or before 20th August, 2020. Every candidate must submit the duly filled counselling proforma in order to be considered for the admission. The detailed notification can be downloaded from the university website.

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Campus Watch

HPBOSE Syllabus to be Reduced by 30% for 2020-21 Session Following CBSE’s Lead

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HPBose Syllabus 2020-21

Dharamshala: The syllabus of Himachal Pradesh School of Board Education from 9th to 12th classes would be reduced by 30 percent following the lead of CBSE.  The Board today constituted a five-member committee for this purpose, informed Chairman of HPBOSE, Dr Suresh Kumar Soni. The step is being taken considering the disruption to regular classroom study of students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The committee comprises of Deputy Secretaries Anjali Saini and Sudarshan Kumar, and Anil Naag – the principal, Senior secondary School, Sulah, Kangra district-and Vijay Sharam- the principal, GSSS Daroh, Kangra. The fifth member would be Dimple Kanwar.

The Board also held a workshop in which experts in Hindi, Political Science, History, Geography, and Psychology subjects gave their opinion regarding the syllabus.

Further, the Chairman said that emphasis would be laid on reducing the syllabus for the board classes. Exclusion of topics from syllabus would be done in accordance with suggestions received from subject experts, he said.

The teachers should keep in mind that the students do not remain deprived of knowledge but at the same time keep the stress of syllabus off them, he said. He asked the teachers to not include any questions in exams from the topics which would be excluded from the syllabus. A proposal regarding it would be submitted to the state government for its approval, he informed.

Earlier this month, CBSE had announced a reduction in its syllabus for students of class 9 to 12. For class 11, CBSE had excluded chapters on federalism in the Constitution, political theory sections on citizenship, secularism and nationalism. For class 12, India’s relations with its neighbours, sections on social movement, regional aspirations, the changing nature of India’s economic development, and the Planning Commission were excluded.

For class 10, CBSE had excluded the chapter on forest and wildlife in contemporary India from social science. Besides it, chapters on democracy and diversity; gender religion and caste, popular struggles and movements, and challenges to democracy have also be removed. For science classes, the students would not have to study the human eye functioning, a section on concepts of evolution, several practical experiments, like tests on acetic acid, mounting a leaf peel, and studying the comparative cleaning capacity of soap in hard and soft, water were also removed from the syllabus.

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