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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.

Watch Video & Images from the Day

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

HP University: Student Agitations Over Vaccination Intensify, Delay in Opening Hostels Adds to Their Woes

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HP University Student Vaccination

Shimla-While the Himachal Pradesh Government has put the vaccination of the 18-44 year age group on hold till July 9, voices demanding vaccination of all students and staff of Himachal Pradesh University are rising. Today a student organization demanded to open the varsity for all, including the hostels and library. In fact, students had been demanding the opening of the varsity library and hostels for some time now.

On Thursday, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had also met the Chief Warden, demanding opening of the hostels as students were compelled to spend on renting rooms or making alternate arrangements for stay to take their exams. It’s adding a financial burden on students, ABVP said.

The student body also highlighted the plight of students hailing from tribal areas where they don’t have Internet connectivity to carry on online learning.  

The National Students Union of India is already on a chain hunger strike for nearly a week over its demand to vaccinate all students and staff before conducting exams. If it is not possible for the state government, then cancel the exams, the student body is demanding. NSUI had also been protesting against offline exams and demanding online exams for the students of the first and second years.

NSUI has taken to social media to mobilize students and had been posting videos/photos of students addressing the government and the people on the problems they are facing due to offline exams.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Nigam Bhandari (@nigambhandari_)

Leaders of the Congress party, including the opposition leader, Mukesh Agnihotri and GS Bali, were seen supporting the student body by visiting their protest sites.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Nigam Bhandari (@nigambhandari_)

“We know the entire world is suffering from COVID-19 and all educational institutions remained closed for more than one and a half year. But now all educational institutions should be opened for all as the situation is under control,” the Student Federation of India said in a memorandum submitted to the Vice-Chancellor today.   

Now, SFI has also included vaccination of university employees and students in its list of demands. 

SFI demanded that a permanent vaccination centre should be set up on the university campus.

“The only hope against the pandemic is vaccination. We demand setting up a permanent vaccination centre on the HP university campus so all students in summer could get vaccinated,” the student body said.

Other demands of SFI included issuing schedule for the pending recruitment exams  for the posts of non-teaching staff and Panchayat Sahayak, forms for which were invited in March 2020.

The student body said the varsity must conduct entrance exams for the admissions to postgraduate courses this year.

“Last year, we saw the university authority didn’t conduct entrance exams, which was against the varsity admission norms. The HP High Court had also declared it arbitrary and unethical. We demand that for the sake of quality of education, the varsity must conduct entrance exams for admission in postgraduate courses,” the student body said in its memorandum.

Further, the student body gave some suggestions to the varsity authority, which included strengthening the online mode of education, buy online web services/apps, like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet etc., and preparing for the third wave. 

It also suggested undertaking online assessments of the performance of students and teachers. The student body said that the varsity will have to prepare a proper pattern for the assessment of the students and offer an objective type alternate mode of examination.

Other suggestions included inviting the students for the practical examinations batch-wise and setting up face shields in the library to increase the capacity.

The student body also demanded extending library membership to all researchers and students till the completion of their courses.

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Campus Watch

HPU Exams Without Vaccinating Students Opposed, If Online Classes Are Possible, Why Not Online Exams, Asks Student Body

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Cancel HPU Exams

Shimla-Amidst the ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to hold exams for various Under Graduate classes.

The HPU has released the date sheet for B.Ed 1ST and 3rd-semester exams. The date sheet for M.Ed exams has also been released by the university. Final examination schedule for B.A., B.Sc., B.Com, Hons. and Shastri courses were also released on the University website on Monday.

However, ahead of the warming for the third wave, which is predicted to hit within the next 7-8 weeks, an HPU student body has opposed the decision citing the risk posed to students by offline examination in the middle of a pandemic.

Students have also taken to social media and have been demanding the cancellation of exams. Students had been Tweeting this demand with the hashtag #cancelhpuexams.

They also questioned why the government was not considering the safety of the college students while exams of school students were cancelled.

The NSUI state unit on Monday submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Director of Higher Education demanding a statewide vaccination drive for students aged above 18 years before conducting the university exams. The student body also raised a demand for a reasonable reduction in the syllabus.

In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the student body raised three demands. The body has asked the Chief Minister to ensure vaccination of all students before conducting exams. It proposed conducting online examinations if the government can’t vaccinate all students in such a short span.

“If online classes are possible, then exams should also be conducted online,” said Chattar Singh, the NSUI state president.

The student body also asked the state government to find an alternative medium for conducting exams so that students are not put at risk. The student body urged the state government to not use the students as “experimental kits.”

ABVP, SFI Demand Re-Opening of University Library

The state unit of SFI (HPU) and ABVP(HPU) on Monday raised the demand to re-open the university library which remained closed for the students due to the pandemic induced restrictions. In separate memorandums submitted to the University Library in-charge, both the student bodies have said the state government had allowed the re-opening of libraries with a capacity of 50% students on June 19. Despite the notification, the University has not released any notice regarding the same.

Research scholars are unable to pursue and complete their research without access to libraries. Students preparing for various exams are suffering a loss, ABVP said.  

SFI also raised concern over keeping students deprived of the 24×7 library section.

“The university takes pride in mentioning that it has a 24×7 section in its library. But the same section remains closed for the last one year and seven months. Last year, when the library was re-opened, the 24×7 section was kept closed,” SFI said. The student body has demanded that this students shouldn’t be kept deprived of this essential facility. 

SFI expressed disappointment over the lackadaisical attitude of the varsity authorities towards the demands for basic facilities. It said that while the students had been demanding the replacement of furniture in the libraries which is in a very poor state, the university administration is “busy installing sculptures.”  Despite demands, the varsity authority hasn’t moved a muscle, it said.

The student union has demanded the replacement of broken furniture, maintenance of the library washrooms and frequent sanitization of the library.

The student bodies have warned of protests if the varsity authority still doesn’t pay attention to their demands.

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Campus Watch

Video: How HPBOSE Will Calculate and Allot Marks to Class 10 Students

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hp board marks calculation formula for promotion

Shimla-The second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has washed out another academic session and disrupted the academic calendars of institutes. A

The HPBOSE recently notified its detailed criteria for compilation of result and promotion of students to the next higher class while focusing on, what it called, “Continuous Comprehensive Assessment (CCA)” and “Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)”.

The notification came following the cancellation of the Annual Examination of Matriculation and Senior Secondary (Plus Two) classes of HP Board of School Education in wake of the pandemic.

The formula is based on class 9 result of the student, Class 10 first and second term exams, pre-board result, paper of one subject held on April 13, internal assessment and practical marks.

Himachal Watcher has prepared this video to help you understand the process.

Subject wise weightage will be allotted to students depending on the distribution of subjects by HPBOSE. Visit this link to check the weightage of marks per exams

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