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HPU Vice Chancellor, ADN Bajpai, on HW cam

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SHIMLA- Finally, HW members received a chance to talk to the HP University VC, ADN Bajapi regarding recent events and ongoing scenario of continuous student protest against unreasonable fee hikes and ban imposed on Students Central Association elections (SCA).

We would bring you the complete interview later, but first of all, we wish to highlight VC’s comments regarding the girl, Khushboo, who was manhandled and abused by the police. and the reply which she gave in response to his statement. Here is a video that contains the statements from both, Khusaboo and the VC. It’s a matter of great concern for us. The dignity and rights of a citizen were publicly crushed by HP Police. Most of us have already seen the evidences of how policemen behaved like drunk baboons with HPU students including research scholars.

Click To Read Related Story: Police brutally beats, humiliates students, over 300 arrested

If you don’t remember this girl, then do take a look at the videos and the pictures. She has handed over a written complaint to the Governor of Himachal, and also knocked the doors of ‘Mahila Ayog’. However, she haven’t received anything except assurances. Of course, she can’t go to the police officers, because this time the police is culprit itself. A lathicharge order does not empower any policemen to abuse, insult, and drag people from hair.

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The Vice Chancellor clearly denied to take any responsibility for the abuse and assault on this student of HPU. He puts all blame on the Govt. and HP Police. To remind you again, the police trashed and abused students after the VC gave a statement about feeling unsafe at the campus.

Four students are still in jail, denied bail by the court. All they dared to do was to protest against the anti-student policies including massive fee hike. The festival season for them is being spent behind the bars for taking a stand and speak of the unrest of the student community. Anger is erupting everywhere in Himachal. All colleges in Himachal witnessed student protests, hunger strikes, and arrests of protestors. The meritorious students, elected to form the SCA by the VC himself, slammed their resignation letter, clearly saying that they support the student protest and supported direct SCA elections.

Anyway, we appreciate the spirit of this girl. She did not try to conceal what happened with her. Rather, she raised her voice against her abusers- the HP Police itself. Try to consider the words, social support, fraternity, unity and justice instead of being just an onlooker and audience to the times when democracy is mocked at by Govt. and its machinery. It’s a great myth, an illusion that these students are political nuisance. They are grown up, educated, and free citizens of the state, thus, they are capable enough to make decisions and fight against the corrupt practices in the very institution they are enrolled. They aren’t school kids who must be dragged to classrooms to ensure they receive good grades. Student activism has brought revolution in many regions of the world. Drop all ready-made perceptions served to you by the traditional media and the Govt., take some time to sit and contemplate over the statements like India is a democratic state, that we are free citizens, we have right to speech or expressions or that public is the real ruler here.

Video/Interview Credits:Tarun Sharm/Kritika Sehgal

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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Nauni Varsity COH&F to Prepare ‘Peoples Biodiversity Registers’

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HP Peoples diversity registers

Hamirpur-The College of Horticulture & Forestry (COH&F), Neri, Hamirpur, a constituent College of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is preparing Peoples Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) of Hamirpur, Una, Bilaspur and Chamba districts and 15 blocks. The project has been funded by the HP State Biodiversity Board, Shimla for which the university has been sanctioned a budget of Rs 27.50 lakh, informed the Public Relation Officer of the varsity Suchet Attri.

He informed that these PBRs contain comprehensive information on biodiversity components such as plants, animals, microbes, insects and their possible use by the local communities in the BMC areas. Further, PBRs also include information on topographic and socio-economic parameters including human population, climate, topography, natural ecosystems, livestock resources, livelihood patterns, etc.

He said that in addition, these 32 types of formats including agricultural, fodder crops, fruits, medicinal, ornamental, timber plants, weeds, pests and insects of crops, microbial diversity, domesticated animals, fish diversity, the market for domesticated animals, market/fairs for domesticated animals, and other products, people-scape, landscape, waterscape, soil type, trees, shrubs, herbs, tubers, grasses, climbers, wild plant species of importance, wild plants of medicinal importance, wild relatives of crops, wild ornamental plants, wild fumigate/chewing plants, timber plants, other plants in the wild, wild animal species, wild aquatic biodiversity and wild aquatic species of importance are covered under the PBR.  

UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr Parvinder Kaushal said,

 “Once these PBRs are prepared, the University, the Biodiversity Board and the concerned BMCs will have all information about the biological resources, their sustainable use, threatened species, etc. found in different blocks of these districts. This information will be helpful for any type of future planning and research on conservation and sustainable harnessing and judicious use of biological resources found in these districts”.  

Attri informed further informed that these PBRs are being prepared as per the Biological Diversity Act 2002, and in accordance with the standardized formats of the National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai. Dr Dushyant Sharma, Assistant Professor, COH&F Neri has been designated by the University as a Nodal Officer for the preparation of these PBRs. Dr Sanjeev Banyal, Dr Deepa Sharma, Dr Ravi Bhardwaj and Dr Richa Salwan will also be a part of the project. 

The Biological Diversity Act 2002 has been enacted by the Parliament of India for conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of the biological resources. Under this Act, committees named as Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) have been formed at all 3371 local body levels in the State.

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Jio TV Launches Three new Channels in Himachal for Elementary, Higher and Vocational Education

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Shimla– Jio TV has launched three new Elementary, Higher and vocational channels in Himachal Pradesh. The Government of Himachal Pradesh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jio TV on 20th August, 2020 so that Education Department could reach the students. The government said that soon two more channels would also be started for students.

E-content of every subject for students of 1st to 12th classes would be made available on Jio TV. If any student is unable to view this e-content as per the subject schedule due to any reason, then the missed e-content will be available in catch up throughout the week. On converting this facility to video on demand, the overall education is going to be made available through Himachal Pradesh Jio TV soon, the government said.

In the view of COVID-19 pandemic, currently, the state government is running WhatsApp groups for pre-nursery to 12th standard. Other than that, Gyanshala programme is being run for class 10th and 12th through Doordarshan Shimla.

According to the state government, online content is being prepared by 200 teachers (State Resource Group) of the state.

It’s pertinent to mention that students of government schools have been facing a huge loss in terms of studies as WhatsApp groups haven’t proved effective enough to be termed as online education. As most children in government schools come from economically weak background and rural areas, procuring smartphones and Internet service is no less than a challenge for them. While private schools are using web applications like zoom and google hangout to conduct online classes, according to several teachers, government school students and their parents are not taking study through WhatsApp groups seriously.

The state government has yesterday decided to open schools for regular classes for students of 9th to 12th standard. The syllabus has been cut short but still teachers are likely to face tough time covering it.

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UHF Nauni Bags Rs.25 Crore Funding, Set for Major Overhaul

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UHF Nauni gets IDI funds

Solan: The learning and teaching environment at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is set for a major overhaul under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) National Agricultural Higher Education Plan (NAHEP) funded by the World Bank, informed the Public Relation Officer, Suchet Attri. He said that under NAHEP, UHF has been awarded the prestigious Institutional Development Project  (IDP). The total outlay of the three-year project is Rs 25 crore with ICAR share of Rs 20 crore and Rs 5 crore funded by the state.

He said that this is one of the biggest projects in UHF’s history and a major achievement for the university. It will help to provide a holistic learning and teaching environment to the students and faculty as scientists and students will be exposed to foreign universities to learn and exchange researchable ideas and issues. The University Vice-Chancellor is the project leader while Dr KK Raina, Professor and Head, Department of Business Management is the coordinator and Principal Investigator of the overall project, he informed.  

The main objective of the project entitled ‘Quality Education in Horticulture and Forestry to generate Human Resource’ is to revamp the university’s UG education through innovative and modern pedagogy, skill development, improving placement opportunities and catalyzing entrepreneurship through global thinking and input. He further said that under IDP, the university will look to strengthen collaborations with leading academia and industry for student exchange and faculty development programmes. 

He informed that around 150 UG students and 50 faculty members will be selected through a competition, to visit top-flight foreign universities for a period of 3-6 months. Organization of webinars and seminars, workshops and capacity building, and engaging industry experts as adjunct faculty is also included in the project. In addition to the creation of several student amenities, the university will establish UG and language labs for improving soft skills, eight smart and two virtual classrooms. He said that the project will also push green initiatives like the use of solar energy for cooking, lighting, use of battery-operated vehicles, solid waste management and recycling, campus landscaping and development of nature parks.

He said that one of the highlights will be the development of Short-Term International Certificate course on temperate horticulture and forestry crops and the strengthening of Student Development and Career Development Cell by developing a proactive industrial interface to create job and internship opportunities. Remedial courses, special attention towards weak students, agri-incubation centres on hi-tech plant nursery, processed food and forest products for entrepreneurial and agribusiness skills will also be taken up during the course of the project.

He further informed that several works have already begun under the project, and initiatives like raising new plantations have been undertaken. The students are eagerly looking forward to this project and have been actively taking part in all activities. A review meeting of the core project team and the statutory officers under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor was held on Saturday. Director Extension Education Dr PK Mahajan, Deans Dr Bhupinder Gupta and Dr ML Bhardwaj also took part in the meeting. 

“This is a very proud moment for the university as we are among the national group that has got grants under this project. It will help us to improve the work culture and change the outlook of the students by providing a holistic learning environment. Besides, it will also help to enhance the quality of study and potential of the faculty will be fully utilized,”

said Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor.

He said that only a select few agricultural universities have managed to bag the project through nation-wide competition.

The university will further focus on skill enhancement of students through study programmes with international collaborations and provide an inclusive and equitable quality education for the students through the faculty development programme. Dr Kaushal added that under the project, the university will ensure the sustainability of quality education and system effectiveness through the strengthening of the University Alumni network and industry interface. 

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