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

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abvp-sfi-nsui-hpu-fee-hike-summerhill-shimla

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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.

hamirpur college

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 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

Nauni varsity student to represent India in International Kickboxing championship in Argentina

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Himachali Kickboxer Lokesh Bhanot

Solan: While the youth of Himachal Pradesh is becoming infamous for the sudden surge in drug addiction it is witnessing currently, there are those who are bringing laurels to the State.

Lokesh Bhanot, a local from Solan district and a student of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is all set to represent the country in the World Kickboxing Championship to be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina from November 5-10, 2018. The World Kickboxing Federation is organizing the championship, it was informed by the Public Relation Officer of the varsity Suchet Attri.

A fourth-year student of B Sc Forestry at the University’s College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri, Bhanot had bagged a bronze medal in the senior category (90-100 kg) in the National Kickboxing Championship held at Patna in 2016 and a Gold Medal in the 65-75 kg category at the National Championship held at Ghaziabad in 2012-13.

In addition, Bhanot has won several medals at the state and district level championships in different weight categories, said the PRO.

Hailing from Solan, Bhanot had previously represented India in Italy in 2013 where he became a black belt in the sport. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the World Kickboxing Championship in Sudan and Brazil, but could not participate due to his exams.

Not only has Bhanot excelled as a player, but in 2017 also became a World Kickboxing Federation accredited International referee in the sport by clearing the official exam. He is also an accredited national referee.

Bhanot credits his parents, coach and college teachers, and friends for their constant support for his success. The university has also recognized his achievements and awarded him with Outstanding Student and Sportsperson award at the University and College level.

While congratulating Bhanot for bringing laurels to the university and the College, Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that the University has been encouraging sporting activities along with academics.

He added that this achievement will also motivate other students of the university. Dr PC Sharma, Dean of COH&F and faculty also congratulated Bhanot for his sporting achievements.

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Campus Watch

A pack of lies behind Viral Video of Sanjauli College

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Sanjauli college viral video

Shimla: Politics is a science but not for Indian ideological groups. The political parties lay more emphasis on cheap sentimental tricks or false propaganda, especially through the social media. However, the right wing has taken the concept of opportunistic manipulations of facts to a new level.

They have sensed the weakness of the media to fall easily and quickly to sensational news. The media publish hurriedly and it creates a noise in which facts struggle to be seen or heard.

The most recent and quite an ugly example was presented at the Centre of Excellence, Government Degree College Sanjauli.

A video of a quarrel between students appeared on the social media claiming it took place between two student organizations, Student Federation of India (SFI) and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at the Sanjauli College. Within no time, it was on news websites. Some national Hindi dailies also covered it with the same claim.

By Thursday, ABVP claimed that some hostel students were allegedly attacked by students of left-wing ideology. By this statement, ABVP suggested that it was not involved in the clash directly but fought for the suspended students.

As a contrast to this statement, in the video, one student is seen being attacked by a group of about 20-25 students.

The video was not fake, and the brawl did take place inside the campus of the college.

Himachal Watcher had too published a report based on initial reports received from our sources including some media person. They also repeated more or less the same story. One of the dailies said the violence had broken out over the banner of a student organization, which was baseless.

ABVP even held a protest on Thursday to revoke the suspension of the students involved in the brawl. It alleged that some faculty members abused, slapped, kicked, and pushed them out of the office when they tried to reach the Principal to submit a memorandum against the one-sided action.

The ABVP, in its press statement issued on Thursday, called it an ‘aggressive protest’ that compelled the college administration to yield to its demand of revoking the suspension.

About 27 students took part in this ‘aggressive protest’, as shown in the picture below:

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About 27 students staging ABVP’s (aggressive) protest

ABVP repeated the same allegations when HW reached its leaders. It said the college took one-sided action against some specific students while the left-wing supporters were spared.

The college revoked the suspension, which the ABVP termed as their victory.

After receiving critical comments from the readers and students, HW today talked to all concerned parties including the Principal, CB Mehta, Shimla Police, the injured student (red shirt), ABVP and SFI leaders.

Except for the ABVP, no one, not even the victim or eyewitnesses, told HW that it was a clash between ABVP and SFI or an assault by SFI on hostelers. The victim himself told HW that the incident had no relation to student politics or student organizations.
It turned out that this victim student who was attacked is a national level volleyball player, who has represented Himachal several times.

On July 31, I was sitting with my friends inside the campus when a group of students tried to assault one of the friends. I was not aware of the pre-existing grudges between these students but I intervened peacefully and tried to protect my friend,

the victim said.

However, I became the fresh target of the group, who thrashed me badly. I was punched and kicked repeatedly until I got back on my feet and retaliated,

he explained.

I was left alone as my friends disappeared from the scene,

he said adding,

I am neither a goon nor do I belong to any student organization. I am mostly occupied by my daily basketball practice. But the video has casted a negetive impression not only on my senior players but anyone who saw it. The media too circulated the video with the pack of lies told to them.

The Principal, when asked about the matter, said,

The brawl was not associated with any of the organizations. Moreover, as the Principle, all of them were only students for me. However, some of the suspended students might have included those associated with ABVP. The protest and the allegations of the ABVP against the faculty members were most likely an effort to revoke the suspension of the students.

When asked about revoking the suspension of the students, he replied,

We did not revoke the suspension of the students due to a pressure from the organization or the protest but after speaking to their parents and receiving written apology regarding the violence,

As per the Police Station, Lakkar Bazaar, where the students were taken for questioning following the brawl, refuted the claim that the two parties decided to compromise. A complaint has been filed against the involved students, the police said.

HW also talked to SFI leaders, who termed it a false propaganda to defame student politics.

SFI has recently begun its protest over the demand of reviving direct elections to the Students Central Association, which were banned in 2014. Prior to the ban, the students always supported and elected SFI as their representative and ABVP had been facing defeat in the elections,

said an SFI leader adding,

It is a deliberate manipulation to defame the student politics, thus, give a reason to prevent the revival of the direct elections to the SCA.

SFI also shared screenshots of a post shared by ABVP on its Facebook page with alleged false information blaming the violence as hooliganism created by SFI. 

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Post shared by ABVP on Facebook

The worst hit of the alleged false propaganda is the victim student, and the media owes him an apology. As per the account given by him, he had just tried to protect his friend and was dragged into this brawl, which was given a political colour.

He was worried that his mother would be in great distress if she came across this video. This is why HW has refrained from mentioning the name of the victim. 

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Shimla based startup to manufacture Nauni varsity’s spinach pasta

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Naun varsity past sold to shimla-based start-up

Solan: Soon people of the country will be able to cherish Pasta, which will not only satisfy their taste buds but also helps to keep them healthy. As part of its technology transfer initiative, the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has sold its two nutrient-rich pasta variants to ‘La Himalayan’ – a Shimla based startup.

It was informed today by Suchet Attri, the Public Relation Officer, UHF, Nauni. 

He further informed that the two variants- Plain Pasta and Spinach Pasta, score high on the nutrient value as compared to normal pasta. These pasta variants are based on Semolina (Suji), which is easy to digest as compared to pasta based on refined flour (Maida). The spinach variant is rich in Iron and Zinc and will be nutritionally rich besides improving the ability to fight diseases.

The University’s Food Science and Technology Department has developed the two variants of this nutrient-rich pasta under the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Post Harvest Engineering and Technology. Initially, the University carried out a survey where it was found that youngsters were more attracted towards instant foods, which at times lead to digestion-related ailments, Attri said. 

For over six years, the University scientists conducted various research trials, which led to the development of these pasta variants. The department also conducted pilot testing of the products, he said. 

A Shimla based startup, which had approached the university’s Incubator Center for expertise regarding cold storage, showed a keen interest in the two pasta variants.
Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that the University has tied up with a company to manufacture the pasta variants.

The company has already deposited a sum of Rs 1 lakh with the university. For the next one year, the university will supply 20 quintals of pasta while the cost of raw materials will be borne by the company. In addition, it will also pay Rs 10 kg as making charges and Rs 2,000 as machine depreciation charges per month to the university. Thereafter the product will be manufactured by the company.

The company will also undertake the task of packaging and labelling along with nutritional profiling of the products. The university’s name will feature in the product details.

This is a part of the technology transfer initiative through which the technologies developed by the university is made available to the industry for commercial exploitation,

said Dr Sharma.
He added that efforts will be made to transfer more such technologies developed by the university to the people and the industry.

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