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VC declines revoking ban on student elections, roll back of RUSA and fee hike, instead warns protesting students

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SHIMLA- Student chain hunger strike has entered into 13th day, but instead of attending to the students, the administration seems to be more interested in oppressing the protest despite apparent failures of HP University administration in implementation of RUSA and against massive, unjustified fee hikes.

Today, in a meeting held at HP University under the Chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Prof. ADN Bajpai, administration discussed the demands mentioned in the Memorandum. On the demand of rollback of RUSA after the university failed to implement it properly and caused huge inconvenience to students, the VC said the demand cannot be considered. Regarding the delay in result, he threw another assurance saying the issue will be seriously addressed to in future. On massive fee hikes, the students were asked to submit their proposal.

The VC also declined attending the demand regarding revoking ban on students election and revoking of expulsion of seven students. Regarding the vacant positions of teaching and non-teaching employees, again like always, he claimed that the process is already underway. It was also informed that money has already sanctioned for the purchase of new buses for day scholars.

The VC also claimed that money has already been sanctioned for Wi-Fi facility in the campus and gave another assurance provide Wi-Fi facility soon.

Although, the condition of hostels and infrastructure is very poor, the VC claimed the administration is serious about the upkeep and maintenance of hostels, playground and the demand for indoor sports complex. Further, more assurances were made, like the cleanliness work has already been outsourced to Sulabh International, that the condition of University Gym will be improved and equipment will be provided as early as possible, possibility of providing M.I Rooms in girls’ hostels will be explored, sanction of money for smart class rooms for all the departments. The VC claimed that some departments already have library facility and the process will soon be initiated to provide this facility in rest of the departments. As per him, the demand for public toilets has been fulfilled.

Further, he emphasized on the need of oppressing student protest, especially the chain hunger strike by 21st April, 2016 on or before 5:00 PM. The meeting was attended by the Dean of Studies, Registrar, SCA President(HPU Campus), Representatives of ABVP, NSUI and SFI. In brief, none of the major demands were attended and the conclusion was mostly about assurances.

It’s very unfortunate that student community of Himachal had been continuously protesting for very genuine demands for past two years. However, their protests were brutally crushed on multiple occasions using police force. Now, again, the VC is more concerned about sending notices to students sitting on chain strike. Sadly, student activism is also dying in this hunt to discourage student politics, which is certainly not a good news for student community.

Campus Watch

Nauni varsity researcher bags ICSSR Post Doctoral Fellowship

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Dr Nisha Thakur icssr fellowship

Solan-Dr Nisha Thakur, a Senior Research Fellow at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni (UHF) has been awarded Post Doctoral Fellowship by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Ministry of Human Resource and Development, for the year 2018-19.

The national level fellowship awarded by ICSSR will see Dr Nisha work on the topic ‘Organic and Inorganic Farming in HP- a Comparative Study’. Dr KK Raina, Professor and Head of Department of Business Management will be her supervisor for the study.

During the two- year fellowship, Dr Nisha will receive Rs 28,000 per month with contingency of Rs 20,000 per annum.

The main objective of ICSSR Post-Doctoral Fellowship is to encourage and retain young Indian social science scholars who have completed their PhD and who wish to pursue a regular career in teaching and research.

Hailing from village Nandal near Oachghat in District Solan, Dr Nisha has completed her B Sc and M Sc from UHF. She completed her doctorate in Agricultural Economics from the Department of Social Science last year and has since been working as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Fruit Science.

University Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma congratulated Dr Nisha on her achievement and wished her the best for carrying out the study.

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Kiss The Frog – Say English Dons at Theog

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language workshop at theog govt college shimla

Shimla- “Kiss the frog!” prescribed Dr. John Verghese, Principal, St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi and the chief guest while addressing the English language teachers from across the country assembled at Govt. College Theog for the National Workshop “Talking The Talk: The Changing Face of Language” at Govt. College Theog. The frogs as per Dr. Verghese are the weaknesses within us that all of us should identify, acknowledge, embrace and overcome.

The workshop was organized by The English Literary Society, Govt. College Theog in collaboration with The English Language Teachers’ Association of India (Shimla Chapter) on December 15, 2018.

Prof. Girija Sharma, former Dean of Studies, Himachal Pradesh University, and the Guest of Honour on the occasion said,

The practice of translation has done a tremendous service to the evolution and expansion of the English language by adding new words and usages for culture-specific contexts.

In her introductory remarks, Dr. Kamayani Bisht, the organizing secretary and Assistant Professor (English), Govt. College Theog said,

Language change could be seen as an organic evolution of language where the fittest survive and therefore criticism of change could simply be a result of nostalgia.

Dr. Anupma Garg, Principal Govt. College Theog while felicitating the guests expressed a hope that such events at such mofussil educational institutions would help in bringing about a sensitization for a deliberate and a qualitatively aware use of language amongst the students.
Kiss the frog

During the panel discussion moderated by Prof. Meenakshi F. Paul, Principal, Center for Evening Studies Himachal Pradesh University, Dr. Praveen Kumar, Principal, Govt. College, Sarahan (Distt Sirmour) impressed upon how the evolution of the English language has followed many culture-specific trajectories resulting in many Englishes and several nuanced ways of using these Englishes.

Another resource person, Dr. Vikas Dogra, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Himachal Pradesh University, delved on the importance of context and its effects in the use of language.

While the language purists may always not agree with the use of language in the media, the evolutionary push and pulls of the ever-changing technology brings its own sets of changes. While the practices, including the use of language, in the print media took a long time to evolve and settle, the same will in the new media as well, once the initial rush has settled,

he said.

Mr. Anuja Sharma, Associate Professor (English), St. Bede’s College, Shimla, one of the panelists, highlighted the need for a change in attitude towards students of language within the classroom setting.

In her concluding remarks, Prof. Paul said,

While we cannot resist language change we must not, especially as users of language, the basic etiquette, and aesthetics of any language use should not be abandoned in blind favour of change.

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As major achievement, Nauni varsity scientists bag International project on oilseed research

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Nauni varsity scientists bags international project

Solan: Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, was in news last week after Jagriti Thakur, a research scholar at the varsity, won US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar Award for the year 2018.

This week, in a major achievement, the scientists of Department of Plant Pathology at the UHF, have bagged an International collaborative project on developing cutting-edge technology for inducing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability.

The University will work with nine leading research organisations of the country besides seven renowned research institutes of United Kingdom in the project. The three-year project has a total budget outlay of more than Rs 7.27 crore as Indian component, which will be distributed to the 10 Indian institutes, which are part of the project. Each Indian institute will work on a different aspect of the project with a researcher working on the same area in the UK.

The project has been sanctioned under the prestigious NEWTON BHABHA Fund UK- India Pulses and Oilseed Research Initiative (PORI). The fund has been created by BBSRC of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoI.

BBSRC which is a part of UK Research and Innovation, a body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations and government for promoting research and innovation is also making upto £3.5 million available to support the UK components of this research.

Dr HR Gautam, Professor and Head of Department of Plant Pathology informed that Dr Anil Handa, Professor of Plant Pathology will be the Principal Investigator and coordinator of this project while Dr Rajnish Sharma working in the Department of Biotechnology will act as the Co-Investigator.

He added that this achievement is one of the cherished moments in 55 years history of the department. Dr JN Sharma, UHF Director of Research, said that the University is making continuous efforts to get projects from various funding agencies and engage in collaborative work to strengthen the research capabilities and infrastructure.

India is one of the major producers and consumers of oilseeds crops in the world. The university scientists will work on ‘Genomics-led improvement of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability’ by utilizing state-of-art advanced molecular approaches like CRISPER/Cas9 for mapping the genes conferring resistance to turnip mosaic virus (TuMV).

UHF Nauni Lab

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology is an internationally acclaimed laboratory and has facilities for conducting molecular level research for determining the genetic diversity of TuMV in Northern India and developing a panel of Indian TuMV isolates for evaluating European and Indian sources of resistance.

Besides Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, the University of Delhi, South Campus; NIPGR, New Delhi; NBPGR, New Delhi; NRCPB, New Delhi; IARI, New Delhi; PAU, Ludhiana; CAZRI, Jodhpur; DRMR, Bharatpur and IIT Kharagpur will be a part of the project. The University of York, University of Hertfordshire, University of Warwick, University of Essex, Earlham Institute and Rothamsted Research will be the investigators from the United Kingdom.

While congratulating the scientists, UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma said that the project will go a long way in using the latest techniques in biotechnology for disease management to increase the productivity of oilseed crops. This project will also help train our students in using molecular markers for crop improvement.

Through this collaborative project, efforts are being made to encourage multi-institutional collaborations between UK and Indian researchers to undertake high-quality research aimed at increasing crop productivity, resilience, sustainability and quality of pulses and oilseeds grown for food or feed in India. Pulses and oilseeds are important crops in India.

Pulses are relatively under-used crops in the UK but are a major source of dietary protein in India. Oilseeds are grown in both countries and are a valuable source of oil for a variety of uses, as well as animal feed. This collaborative project aims to develop exploit genomic and bioinformatic resources to aid the development of improved varieties for sustainable crop production.

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