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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.

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.

abvp-protest-against-fee-hike

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.

Campus Watch

After CBSE, Himachal Postpones Board and UG Exams Till May 1st

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college and board exams in himachal pradesh postponed

Shimla-The ongoing examinations of the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education and under graduate classes have been postponed, a spokesperson of the HP Government informed today. He said that the state government has taken the decision keeping in view the health concerns of the students and parents.

These exams included the ongoing board examinations for Class 10th and 12th and UG examinations starting on 17th April to 17th May, 2021.

The government said that the situation would be reviewed on 1st May, 2021, and further directions would be issued accordingly. In a separate notification, the HPBOSE said that the schools exams for the two board classes were postponed till May 17, 2021. The Board also relieved all the staff engaged in conducting examinations including Superintendents, Deputy Superintendents, Flying Squads, Invigilators and Peons except Chowkidards. 

The decision of the government came after the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) today decided to cancel the examinations for class 10 and postpone exams for Class 12 due to the ongoing surge in daily COVID-19 infections in the country. The Board said that there was a constant demand for postponing the exams from students, parents, and the state governments.

However, the state government in Himachal Pradesh had decided to go on with exams amid the peeking second wave of the pandemic.

“The pandemic situation in the country is seeing a resurgence of COVID 19 positive cases in many states, with a few states having been affected more than others. In this situation, schools have been shut down in 11 states. Unlike State Boards, CBSE has an all-India character, and therefore, it is essential to hold exams simultaneously throughout the country,” the Union Education Ministry today said.

Looking to the present situation of the pandemic and school closures, the Ministry decided that the Board Exams for Class XII to be held from May 4thto June, 14th, 2021 would be postponed. The situation will be reviewed on 1st June 2021 by the Board. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations.

 The Board Exams for Class X to be held from 4thMay to June 14th, 2021 were  cancelled.

“The results of Class Xth Board will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the Board. Any candidate who is not satisfied with the marks allocated to him/her on this basis will be given an opportunity to sit in an exam as and when the conditions are conducive to hold the exams,” the Ministry said.

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Campus Watch

Himachal’s Educational Institutions Closed Till April 4 Amid COVID-19 Case Surge, Pubic Holi Celebrations Prohibited, No Restriction on Tourism

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Himachal PRadesh closes Educationla institutes

Shimla– All the educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh, including Universities, Colleges, Technical Institutes and schools, would remain closed till April 4, 2021, as a precautionary measure keeping in view the spike in COVID-19 cases in the State, the government informed today. But schools would remain open for the classes having their examinations, it was informed.  

The decision was taken in a meeting held today that was presided by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur.

“Last year the spike in cases was gradual, but this year this surge is very rapid. In the last 20-25 days, the number of new cases has spiked from 220 to 2000, which is a matter of great concern for the state,” Chief Minister told media.

On being asked about tourist movement from neighboring Punjab – a state with massive surge in daily cases- the Chief Minister said that for now no restriction would be imposed on tourists given the peak tourist season starting from April.

Also Read: Himachal Reports Over 300 New COVID-19 Cases With 2 Deaths, Second Wave Could Peak in April & Last for 100 Days, says Report  

“Last year, the peak season was completely foiled. Therefore, it would not be favourable for the economy of the state and livelihood of the people to restrict tourist movement,” Jairam Thakur said.

“But if the surge continued and picked up more pace, then the government would review the situation again,” he told media. But the hotels and homestays would have to follow the SOPs while operating, he said. 

Chief Minister said that schools having residential facilities need not close their hostels, however, they would have to comply with all the SOPs to keep these residential areas cut off and appoint Compliance Officer to comply with all the orders. He said that teachers and other school/college staff would continue to attend the institutions.

Jai Ram Thakur said that no social and cultural events would be organized in the State by the Government and gatherings would be restricted to a maximum of 200 for indoor and 50 percent for outdoor events.

He said that nursing and medical institutions would continue to function as usual. He said that congregations and langers inside the temples would also be banned and other darshans would be allowed.

Chief Minister said that 3rd April would also be a holiday for all the offices in the State and there would be no public celebration of Holi.

He urged the people to celebrate Holi at their home with their family members only. He said that all the frontline workers would be sensitized to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest completing their second dose as per schedule.

It was also decided in the meeting that District Administration would take a judicious call on more restrictions keeping in view the positivity and fatality rate in their respective districts.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretaries R.D. Dhiman and J.C. Sharma, Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi, Mission Director NHRM Dr. Nipun Jindal and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

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Campus Watch

UHF Nauni Gets New Labs Equipped with Latest Technologies, Nature Park for Students  

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UHF Nauni Soil and leaf analysis lab

Solan- Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, today dedicated four projects to the students and farmers at the university campus. 

Among the project inaugurated by Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, was a state of the art Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory established with the financial assistance of Rs 4.55 crore (over seven years) from the World Bank-funded HP-Horticulture Development Project.

UHF Nauni Vice Chancellor

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, Inaugurating Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The laboratory is equipped with the latest equipment like Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, CHNS Analyzer, Microwave digestion system, UV-VIS Spectrophotometers. It is well equipped to analyze the different soil properties including different macro and micronutrients and as per the analysis values, the recommendations are also given to the farmers.

NEW UHF nauni lab building

Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The samples received from different HP-HDP clusters of the state are being analyzed in the laboratory and ad-hoc recommendations for High-Density Planting on clonal rootstocks are given. A field laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology constructed for Rs 14.17 lakh met out of the pesticide testing scheme was also inaugurated today.NEW Labs in UHF nauni

Two projects- Nature Park and a Commercial plantation model of wild pomegranate developed under the ICAR National Agricultural Higher Education Project were also unveiled today.

Lab facility uhf nauniv

The nature camp developed by the Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture has been developed as a recreation cum activity area for the students and showcases different landscaping methods. Under NAHEP,a commercial model of wild pomegranate developed by the Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry was also dedicated to the students and farmers. 

UHF nauni nature park

Nature Park

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Parvinder Kaushal congratulated all the team members behind the completion of the projects. He said that both the laboratories will be immensely beneficial for conducting research. Speaking about the development of projects under the ICAR’s NAHEP, Dr. Kaushal said that the university is in process of developing more such plantation models which will not only be beneficial to the students but also help popularize new technologies among farmers. The statutory officers of the university, heads of all departments, coordinator and team members of NAHEP IDP, students and staff were present on the occasion. 

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