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While Students burn CM’s Effigy, Police try to conceal protest scene from public

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protest against virbhadra singh

shimla sp office protest

SHIMLA-Today was the day when students would burn CM’s effigy as a protest, but unlike other days, this time police was seen putting more efforts to follow the orders. They did not allow passersby and onlookers to see what was happening amidst loud slogan shouting and the smoke which rose from the burning effigy. Media persons were also a subject to indirect warnings and press card checking.

HP Police had warned the students that if the effigy was burnt, cases will be registered against the violators. They tried hard to get hold of the effigy, but student dodged them and did successfully stage their symbolic protest. There was no drop in the level of aggression in student voices.

himachal pradesh university fee hiike protest

The student protest against jolting fee hikes in Himachal Pradesh University and in all affiliated colleges still continues. It’s gaining momentum right after the extremity of suppression and misuse of our police, but the HP Govt. and the HPU administration are pretending to not have noticed it.

After the HPU VC’s effigy was set on fire a couple of days ago, today, the students burnt that of the CM, Virbhadra Singh’s, in front of the Shimla DC Office.

shimla police

While, HW waited for the protest to begin, policemen, who were barricading the upper fences in front of the DC Office, said, “Yanha khade hona aur photo kichana manna hai”. When we asked the reason, the policemen repeated the usual answer, “ Humne nahi pata, Sahab wanha khade hain, unhi se baat kijiye”.


police barricate at shimla mall
So, today, the police made sure that no one from the common public or any other passerby could inquire what was going on there. Of course, the CM won’t like people to watch his burning effigy. When did this ordinance approved to ban photography on the Shimla Mall? Was there something which must not be photographed and shown to the public? What does a protest gathering and effigy burning mean if it were not to attract the attention of other citizens, who deserve to know why a section of their own people is in so much unrest?

HP Police at DC Office

Many people tried to get a glance of gathering and the source of rising smoke, but the dedicate policemen did not let it happen at any cost. A senior citizen was attracted by the slogan shouting and tried to move towards the source of this noise. When he was denied to go near, he said, “Mujhe sirf dekhna hai kya ho raha hai”, but wasn’t allowed. The police would say the spot was prone to a violent incident and it was for the safety of the public.

One of the policemen, a sub-inspector, approached us and asked to show media card, also warned us in the following words, “Check karna padta hai, aap yanha openly camera leke ghum rahe hain” and added, “wanha bheed ke pass mat jana, apko bhi chot lag sakti hai”

virbhadra singh effigy burnt

Well done HP Police. Unidentified faces with cameras are dangerous, especially those DSLR and Semi-DSLR types. We do not question the discretionary powers that the police is given to inquire a suspicious person, but we do wonder what harm or threat a person with camera would do. Of course, the acquainted faces of local reporters from dailies need not to be directed. It doesn’t matter what they capture, but what matters is the consent to publish it.

protest against virbhadra singh

To those who still think that these protests are mere political nuisance, which are spoiling academic environment of the college and that of HPU campus, we would like to request, again, that dive deeper into the pool of these events and you’ll notice many relevant issues related to our fundamental rights like those related to staging protests.

Lathicharge, arresting protestors, stop protestors and their buses as to stop them from reaching the spot of the rallies, not allowing cameras, and deny common public to hear and see the protests, these aren’t the thing our Govt. should focus on. There must be a reason that these student, whom the police trashed brutally, returned to protest again, and the reason is apparent; they are against putting the education and degrees on sale, so that each one of us could utilize the equality of the opportunity to access the education.

The student protest is likely to continue if the Govt. kept ignoring the student unrest. The Joint Action Committee of HPU students had already announced the dates for various protests throughout Himachal including ‘Chakkajam’ and ‘Mass arrest campaigns’. Rest, wait and watch how much the Govt. cares for the grievance of these students and their parents, who will have to bear the heavily hiked fees.

Photo/Video Credit: Tarun Sharma/Madan

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

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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Want to Participate in Sports Tournament? Pay Rs 3700: Shimla’s Private School to Students

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Auckland School Shimla making student to pay for sports tournament

Shimla-The Auckland House School, Shimla, had charged Rs. 4200 per student for a three-day picnic tour to Sadhupul organized about 10 days ago. Now, for a sports tournament in Palampur of Kangra district, the school is asking the students representing it to pay Rs 3700. It sounds absolutely absurd that instead of taking responsibility for the expenditure of the students representing it in the sports tournament, the school is asking students to pay a heavy fee for it. The school is already charging hefty annual fees from the students, but still asking for more. This is nothing more than a new way to extort money from parents. All of these allegations were labelled by the Student-Parent Association on Wednesday.

The school, however, defended itself by saying that participation in these events is not mandatory and parents are not forced in any way. Only those students who opt to participate would have to pay the said fees.

As per the parents, a sports tournament of missionary schools is being organized under the banner of Diocese of Amritsar from June 13 to 16 in Palampur. However, instead of incurring the expenditure for sending students to participate in it, the school is charging Rs 3700 from the students.

The parents alleged that to pressurize the parents, the school sends consent letters to parents just a couple of days before these events. The students are exposed to mental pressure and parents are compelled to sign these consent letters at the last moment. The other private institutions are also following the same pattern.

The parents alleged that the school is not refraining from looting students despite notifications and guidelines issued by the Directorate of Higher Education respectively on March 18, April 8, and May 4. The Association has demanded that the Director of Higher Education should take appropriate action to check this unjustified action of charging hefty amounts on the names of various events.

It’s pertinent to mention that the Association has been staging protests for the last four months against hefty, unjustified fees. They have been alleging that these schools have taken a form of mafia and has turned education into a purely profit-making business. Their protests had compelled the Directorate to issue guidelines to private schools to cut unjustified charges from fees. The Directorate had also ordered an inspection of all private schools running in all districts of the state. It was assured that necessary action would be taken after the completion of the inspection. However, no action was taken following the inspections. The Association had even alleged that schools didn’t even cooperate in inspection and did not provide details they were asked to submit by the Directorate. Moreover, the Directorate did not make findings of the inspection report public.

Some parents had also alleged that their children were made to go through mental harassment by school teachers. The children of those parents who were participating or supporting the protest were targeted individually, made to stand in class, and embarrassed.

However, the government did not intervene in any manner and let the schools enjoy all the liberties they wanted to.

The parents have again demanded that the government should form a regulatory body to check the financial exploitation of the parents by private schools. The Association has warned the government of more fierce protests in case it fails to meet the demands.

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