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CM on back-foot after HPU Fee Hike decision backfire, still clings to political tricks

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The Congress Govt. is withdrawing now, but still it’s trying to collect credit for its representative student organization at HPU, NSUI.

SHIMLA- The HPU campus student protests were triggered as soon as RUSA was implemented very poorly by the HPU administration. Then, the massive and illogical hike in fees fueled it, and now, the brutality of HP Police on peacefully protesting students has sparked anger in the student community of Himachal.

The Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, had declined every appeal from the students and had given a statement that clearly said, “In no way neither the decision of fee hike will be rolled back, nor the SCA elections will be reinstated”.

Now, when the anger is bursting among students in various colleges all over Himachal, the Govt. has declared that a three member committee, headed by retired Justice V.K. Sharma, will review the decision. The education bandh call given by the joint front of the SFI and the ABVP till September 25 affected teaching on the very first day in the State on Monday. The colleges in Mandi, Hamirpur, Nahan, Una are also burning in the flame of anger, and their protests are making headlines.

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The Congress Govt. is withdrawing now, but still it’s trying to collect credit for its representative student organization at HPU, NSUI.

nsui fee hike protest

Today, the daily newspapers wrote that the decision to form a review committee was taken after NSUI approached the CM with an appeal to reduce the hiked fees. NSUI, which was nowhere to be seen from the time when all this turmoil begin at HPU campus, which did no more than signature campaigns, neither suffered the brutal lathis and kicks of police, has forced the Govt. to change its decision in just one day. SFI was protesting from past many months, then they were on chain hunger strike for 20 days, they were exposed to police brutality, but that did not move him and NSUI did this in a single attempt. It’s quite a good joke on the part of dailies publishing this news. Each one of us knows who deserves the credit here.

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Even ABVP was on chain hunger strike and they had also faced lathicharge by police when they had surrounded the HP Legislative Assembly. NUSI was nowhere to be seen except in daily newspaper headlines.

Previous Story: Black day for HPU: Police brutally beats, humiliates students, over 300 arrested

Either, the newspapers are so innocent that they believe everything which is dictated to them by the Govt. or they are pimps.

The Congress Govt. doesn’t want to accept that the unexpected union of SFI and ABVP supported by CPI(M) and BJP has scared the CM. While he loses the battle he himself had started, the Congress Govt. trying to make up for the damage to its reputation.

Previous Story: Sensationalised news sells quickly, and consequences are additional incentives

The newspapers are equally helping him to spread a manipulated story. The newspapers are deep into the abyss of corrupted politics. They are the medium to keep the public in delusional states, where they are told that they are free and they are the real rulers in a democratic state. The media is the best tool to exploit psychologically effective tricks.

Politics isn’t dirty itself, the people playing tricks of manipulation, and the slave media is. The real power is always in the hands of the people of any democratic state. It’s just that the politicians are manipulating it to turn this power against the public. ‘Divide and Rule’ is the most valuable asset that our politicians have inherited from British while they ruled India.

For example, HPU students are divided into groups called ABVP, SFI, NSUI, and remaining are categorized as neutral students. The biggest advantage that encouraged the Govt.’s brutal attempt to murder the righteous students protesting against the massive fee hikes in their courses was the lack of unity among students.

hpu girl students assault

After 18 September’s brutal assault on students by police, now, ABVP and SFI are compelled to come together and fight from one platform against the common enemy of the state and it’s only Govt. University.

Previous Article: Incongruous HP Police unites HPU student associations in one voice against suppressive forces

The political parties are the one who encourage young seeds of politics at educational institutes. It ensures that students always stand divided, which inflicts the unity, and as we all have read in our primary book, “Union is Strength”. Same is the case with whole India. The democracy is faulty just because a very essential prerequisite of a successful democracy is missing; unity in the people, the unity that should scare the Govt., and not the other way round.

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Ex-Chief Minister of Himachal, Dr. Prem Kumar Dhumal, critized the Govt. for its incapability of dealing with the student unrest. The unwanted environment at HPU campus is the creation of the Govt. itself. He commented:

“Police force is being used to silence the voice of students which is undemocratic. Instead of dealing students with lathis and sending them to jail, the government should treat them like their own sons and accept their demands before the situation becomes tense.” Further, Dhumal added, “In the session 2012-13, our government had given Rs 72 crore to Dr YS Parmar University of Forestry and Horticulture, Solan, and Rs 82 crore to Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, but the government had reduced it and given only Rs 48 crore and Rs 65 crore.”

First results under RUSA were declared after a prolonged delay. It took nine months for HPU to declare results. Out of 2.45 lakh award received in the first year of undergraduate courses, discrepancies were detected in 90,000 cases. There were colleges which could not generate the 14 digit roll number for conducting examinations.

One of the causes of this mess was the inefficiency of the examination branch, which is already reeling under staff crunch. Executive Council member Chaudhry Waryam Singh Bains said: “The employees are over burdened as 246 posts of teacher are lying vacant and 18 will retire next year. Not only this, 333 posts of non-teaching employees are vacant and 62 more will retire this year.”

Now, the people from other sections of the society are also coming out in support of the students. A social activist in Mandi district has threatened to go on an indefinite fast to protest the unprecedented fee hike by HPU and lathicharge on students in Shimla.

It’s time to be careful and critical while we go through any news in dailies or on news channels. If the media had really been unbiased and dutiful to the responsibility it was bestowed with, then India would have been a much better place. The fourth pillar of democracy need to be put back on track, and no other than the people themselves could do it.

The student organizations need to learn the real meaning of a protest. Lack of unity in any protest is the biggest advantage we could give away to the corrupt Governments. The present situation is an opportunity to test the power of unity, to shed the badges, and stand like one body.

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.

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HPU College Teachers Condemn Lowering Pass Percentage to Improve RUSA Results, Student Organizations in Favour

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HPU Lower Passing percentage in RUSA 2

Shimla– The Himachal Pradesh University appears to have succumbed to the pressure from students as it recently issued a notification announcing lowering the pass percentage from 45 percent to 40 percent. The university also withdrew the criteria of separately obtaining qualifying marks for the Continuous Comprehensive Assessment (CCA) and scrapped the End Semester Examination (ESE). The announcement came following reports of poor results of Under-graduate Classes under RUSA system.

While the students and student organizations have welcomed this decision, the Himachal Pradesh College Teachers Association has condemned it. The teachers are of the view that reducing pass percentage alongwith withdrawing ESE and mandatory condition of obtaining 35% in CCA would only degrade the quality of education. The teachers termed lowering passing percentage as a very poor step to improve examination results. The teachers further complained that the university amended the provision without consulting all stakeholders and considering the negative implications of this decision.

The Association is of the opinion that the university is playing with the future of the students and the quality of education for the sake of improving results. The teachers also termed the decision contrary to the claims of the government to introduce quality in education.

Because now the students are required to obtain only 10 to 14 percent marks in the End Semester Exams instead of 35 percent, the teachers said, they would be under pressure to grant students 28 to 30 marks in CCA, which was decided based on three aspects: attendance, mid-term test, and overall assessment through assignment, tests, class seminars, and assignments.

On the other hand, student organization Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has welcomed this decision.

“ABVP welcomes this decision. Prior to the introduction of RUSA, the passing percentage used to be 35 percent, and the number of subjects was also lesser. But now, under RUSA, the passing percentage was 45 percent, and the number of subjects was also higher. Moreover, there was a mandatory condition of securing passing marks in theory and CCA separately,”

Yograj Dogra, the Campus President of ABVP told Himachal Watcher.

“Moreover, it was ABVP that had raised this demand of lower passing percentage and scrap mandatory condition of securing 35 percent in CCA,”

he further added.

The Student Federation of India has not released any statement regarding this decision so far. However, SFI has also been advocating lowering of pass percentage to improve the results.

In May, the students had approached the Vice-Chancellor with a plea to reduce the pass percentage arguing that 70 percent of students who had appeared in the examination of the fifth semester were flunked. About 2600 students had scored below 10 marks and 900 had scored zero. The students had complained that there is no provision of re-evaluation under RUSA. For re-checking, students were made to pay a hefty Rs. 400 fee per subject, which was termed as financial exploitation of the students.

On June 14, 2019, the University issued a notification stating that the Vice-Chancellor has approved changes in these conditions.

“The pass percentage for the students of Under-Graduate Classes under RUSA(CBCS) system for the academic session 2016 and 2017 onwards be reduced to 40 percent instead of 45 percent to maintain the uniformity with the Annual system. However, the rewards of Practical examinations shall be kept apart, and it will only be calculated after the candidate secures 40 percent marks in CCA and ESE,”

it said.

The notification further said,

“The criteria of qualifying marks (i.e. 35%) for CCA and End Semester Examinations separately shall be considered withdrawn.”

The Teachers’ Association is of the view that the university has taken this decision to benefit a handful of politically backed students. The long-term results would be fatal for the academic standards and the future of the students, the Association believes.

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Nauni Varsity Ranked Highest in NIRF Rankings for Past 3 Years as it Leads in Academics, Extension and Research

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UHF Nauni Varsity in Last Three Years

Solan-The past three years have been highly successful for Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, and the university has made rapid strides on all the three fronts- academics, extension and research, informed the Public Relation Officer, Suchet Attri.

He said that Dr HC Sharma, who will be completing a successful term as university Vice-Chancellor on June 14, credits the whole university for this unprecedented success. Dr Sharma has thanked the government for its support in improving the financial situation of the university in the past three years. He informed that the sanctioned budget of the university has increased from Rs 64.25 cr to 90.5 crores and the domestic income rose from Rs. 19.79 crore in 2016-17 to Rs. 29.27 crores in 2018-19. This figure is expected to touch Rs. 32.6 crores in the current financial year. Owing to the improvement in the financial health, the university has been able to clear long pending dues (since 2011) of the employees and pensioners worth over Rs. 41.27 crores, he said.

He further informed that the university has been the highest ranked in the NIRF rankings in Himachal Pradesh for the past three years. The university achieved 80th position in the top 100 universities in the country and is the only one from the state to make it into the list. This year only nine agricultural horticulture universities from the country were in the top 100 list. In the ICAR State agriculture Universities ranking, UHF improved its ranking from 51 in 2016 to 38 in 2017. In the past three years, 44 positions of scientists and several posts of the non-teaching staff were filled by the university and 80 additional positions of scientists/assistant professors have also been approved by the Government, which will be filled up very soon. The student intake of the university also increased from 1250 in 2016 to 2250 in 2018/19.

The University has taken a great leap forward and a new College of Horticulture is being established at Thunag with a budget outlay of over Rs. 70 crores, he added. It is expected to give a major boost to horticulture and forestry activities in the area. The process of ICAR accreditation of the College of Horticulture and Forestry, Neri has also been completed and the college is expected to accredited soon.

The university has made significant progress in research and infrastructure development. During the past three years, the grant from ICAR and other central resources has increased significantly and the university received more than 10 crores assistance from ICAR over the past two years.  Several works like the Pavilion block and stadium (Rs. 1.20 Crores), gymnasium (Rs 25 lakh), Lab. for Soil Testing: (Rs. 45 lakh), Examination Halls (Rs. 2.00 Crores) Boys Hostel-(Rs. 2.50 Crores), Girls Hostel-VII – (Rs. 2.50 Crores) and other works worth several crores of rupees were commissioned and completed. On 1st December 2018, the Hon’ble Governor and Chancellor of the University inaugurated the newly constructed girls’ hostel at Nauni Campus, and one girls’ hostel and UG block constructed at Neri, were inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur in October 2018.

The crowning glory for the university, the PRO said, was the 9th Convocation of the university held on 21st May 2018, which was presided over by the Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind. The Governor of Himachal Pradesh Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur also graced the event. On the research front, scientists developed several varieties and technologies.

Varieties like Solan Giriganga in ginger, Solan Srijan in cucumber, Epicotyl grafting technique in walnut, high-density orchards of apple, guava, litchi, and mango were developed by the university. The university was successful in getting projects worth over Rs. 18.37 crores from various funding agencies in the past three years. Several technologies that were developed by the scientists were transferred to the entrepreneurs and the industry. The Botanical Survey of India signed an MoU with the University for opening up a Western Himalayan High Altitude Regional Circle at the university with a budget outlay of Rs 15 crore. The university has also been shortlisted for the Rs 30 crore project of the ICAR, which aims at strengthening undergraduate education in the university.

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Sanjauli College Himachal’s First to Offer Paperless and Cashless Facilities: Edu Minister

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Sanjauli College Website

Shimla-With the launch of its new website (www.gcsanjauli.com), the Centre of Excellence Government College Sanjauli has become the first college in Himachal Pradesh to provide paperless and cashless facility to its students. The website, however, redirects to sub-domain (https://gcsanjauli.highalteducation.in/) when students click on the button given for online admission portal.

The Education Minister, who launched the website, said that with this launch the college students will get an online registration facility. They will be able to fill up more than one form and will have the facility to update their forms online.

The students can also deposit their fees on this website by using HDFC payment gateway. The students can pay by various online payment methods including payment through debit and credit cards, e-wallets, Paytm etc.

The Principal Dr. C.B Mehta further informed that there are total 600 seats in Arts category, 20 in English Honors, 80 in Commerce, 140 in Medical, 140 in Non-Medical, 40 in BCA, 90 in Vocational Course (45 in Retail Management and 45 in Hospitality and Tourism). Other than these courses, the College is also offering a course in Journalism and Mass Communication from this session.

He also informed that several online application were received soon after the launch of the website.

The website was developed by a Shimla-based company.

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