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Obedient HPU administration on ‘National Unity Day’

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HPU Pledge

SHIMLA- Today, for the first time, 31 October was celebrated as the birth anniversary of less known accomplice of Mahatma Gandhi – Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel- the ‘Iron Man of India’. Earlier, for 29 years, it was Indira Gandhi who was remembered on this day. Also, the date goes back to anti-sikh riots of 1984 in which over 3,000 people were killed (mostly sikhs). The families of the victims are still wandering for justice.

As directed by the PM, like every institute or office, Himachal Pradesh University employees and students, who appeared to have been dragged to the VC office, read a text on a paper written under the title, “Rashtriya Ekta diwas Pledge’ (National Unity Oath). Not more than 100 people gathered including teaching, non-teaching staff and students.

HPU 31 October

It’s almost two months that HPU students are suffocating due to the strict police vigilance under section 144. The democratic values and principles were torn apart by the Govt. by misusing the state police. Even the dignity of female students was literally abused by Shimla Police under the command of Shimla Police SP DW Negi. What kind of unity pledge going to change the things when the Govt. is turning our own police against us?

However, as BJP leaders claimed, the purpose was to remind of the need to revive, reaffirm the strength and resilience of India. Although, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was a less known INC leader, but still the congress leaders aren’t happy with the ignorance towards the day when the first and only female PM of India was assassinated.

Pledge HPU

Media, as always, lingered to the one in power and obeyed the directions. They pushed Indira Gandhi to back- pages. With plane faces, devoid of any intrinsic desire to do so, almost everywhere the day was projected to have been dedicated to the Iron Man of India. Narendra Modi is desperate to replace the predators feeding on Gandhian name with his own. He had announced a budget of 2 billion rupees to build a colossal statute of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. We would consider it a waste in a nation where one-third of children and their mothers are victims of malnutrition. Statues always tempted politicians more than the suffering of the people.

Hypocrisy is the irony of our nation. It’s a political legacy. For example, the new Govt. is claiming to cut down the wastage of money on Govt. officials, political leaders, and their lavishness using public money, and on the same time, today, 100-crore were spent on the oath ceremony of Maharashtra’s new CM, Devendra Fadnavis, at Wankhede Stadium. The PM himself attended the ceremony with other 30,000 present at the stadium. When the opposition criticized this step, BJP justified it by mocking at how Congress looted the state of decades, like it’s their turn now.

Remembrance of the dead with a holiday is commonplace in India. One is reverence of ancestors long after they are dead, but there are some names which are highlighted for their contribution to the struggle against British colonial rule. Some of them are being exploited, squeezed to extreme to juice up political carriers.

However, this year, the trend is set in motion for a change. More than respect and honoring the idols, it’s more a psychological game of association of these idols with specific group of people.

No doubt, the freedom fighters must be remembered for what they gave us – freedom from slavery to the British, but we must not let politicians exploit them for their party or personal interests.

The comprehension of the concept behind celebrating the days after great names has always and is still missing among Indian folks. We are quite sure that no political party, especially the one in power, would actually ever mean to inspire people to unite, because if it happens, then it’ll be a great trouble for corrupt politicians. So, the ‘Nation Unity Day’ or National Unity Run, or the pledge isn’t going to change anything unless and until we wake up from the illusionary world of political dramas.

More than following ceremonies, we need to peep deep into the abyss and try to figure out how to best use the life -experiences of these great leaders.

Photo Credits: Tarun Sharma

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

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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Nauni Varsity UG Admission Process Revised, No Entrance Exam, Seats to be Allotted on 10+2 Merit

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Solan-uhf nauni ug admissions 2020-21 session

Solan-Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has revised the admission process for its undergraduate programmes for the academic session 2020-21 in view of the COVID 19 pandemic. This year, the university will not be conducting an entrance test to fill the normal seats of UG programmes. The decision in this regard was taken during a special meeting of the Academic Council meeting held recently.

The basis of admission for normal seats would be merit drawn on basis of marks obtained at 10+2 level examination in four subjects-English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology/ Mathematics plus weightage of participation in sports/ NCC, NSS, scouting, co-curricular activities (if any). The university offers three undergraduate programmes B Sc (Hons) Horticulture, B Sc (Hons) Forestry while B Tech Biotechnology is offered only at the COH&F Neri. 

The candidates have been advised to download the counselling proforma from the university website and fill it as per the instructions mentioned on it. Those students who want to be considered for both normal as well as self-financing seats need to fill two separate proformas. A single page pdf file must be created, containing scanned filled counselling proforma along with legible documents mentioned in the checklist as provided in the counselling proforma. No column must be left blank. The counselling proforma for normal seats and self-financing seats will be uploaded on the university website on 3rd August (afternoon) and 5th August (afternoon) respectively.

For normal seats: The scanned pdf file must be sent through email to [email protected] on or before 18th August, 2020.

For self-financing seats: The scanned pdf file must be sent by email to [email protected] on or before 20th August, 2020. Every candidate must submit the duly filled counselling proforma in order to be considered for the admission. The detailed notification can be downloaded from the university website.

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HPBOSE Syllabus to be Reduced by 30% for 2020-21 Session Following CBSE’s Lead

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HPBose Syllabus 2020-21

Dharamshala: The syllabus of Himachal Pradesh School of Board Education from 9th to 12th classes would be reduced by 30 percent following the lead of CBSE.  The Board today constituted a five-member committee for this purpose, informed Chairman of HPBOSE, Dr Suresh Kumar Soni. The step is being taken considering the disruption to regular classroom study of students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The committee comprises of Deputy Secretaries Anjali Saini and Sudarshan Kumar, and Anil Naag – the principal, Senior secondary School, Sulah, Kangra district-and Vijay Sharam- the principal, GSSS Daroh, Kangra. The fifth member would be Dimple Kanwar.

The Board also held a workshop in which experts in Hindi, Political Science, History, Geography, and Psychology subjects gave their opinion regarding the syllabus.

Further, the Chairman said that emphasis would be laid on reducing the syllabus for the board classes. Exclusion of topics from syllabus would be done in accordance with suggestions received from subject experts, he said.

The teachers should keep in mind that the students do not remain deprived of knowledge but at the same time keep the stress of syllabus off them, he said. He asked the teachers to not include any questions in exams from the topics which would be excluded from the syllabus. A proposal regarding it would be submitted to the state government for its approval, he informed.

Earlier this month, CBSE had announced a reduction in its syllabus for students of class 9 to 12. For class 11, CBSE had excluded chapters on federalism in the Constitution, political theory sections on citizenship, secularism and nationalism. For class 12, India’s relations with its neighbours, sections on social movement, regional aspirations, the changing nature of India’s economic development, and the Planning Commission were excluded.

For class 10, CBSE had excluded the chapter on forest and wildlife in contemporary India from social science. Besides it, chapters on democracy and diversity; gender religion and caste, popular struggles and movements, and challenges to democracy have also be removed. For science classes, the students would not have to study the human eye functioning, a section on concepts of evolution, several practical experiments, like tests on acetic acid, mounting a leaf peel, and studying the comparative cleaning capacity of soap in hard and soft, water were also removed from the syllabus.

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