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HPU Violence Continues: Stone pelting in presence of police, 15 injured, 13 arrested

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SHIMLA- Bloody student clash at Himachal Pradesh University campus between two student outfits that had begun on October 2 continued on Monday despite deployment of heavy police/QRT force. Even presence of higher police officials including the Additional Director General Police AP Sadiki and Superintendent Shimla Police DW Negi couldn’t prevent fresh clashes.

Unfortunately, the National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) team, which is on inspection of varsity for determination of grade and academic standards, also witnessed the tension between students.

Read/Photos: Bloody clash at HPU campus ahead of crucial NAAC team visit, 18 injured, 6 arrested

On Monday Morning, ABVP workers allegedly dragged two tribal students including the president of HPU Tribal Student Association Arun Rana and his friend out of a car and launched an assault in the presence of police. Two tribal students were going to receive the NAAC team when they were attacked at the Summerhill Chowk. Attackers hurled casteist comments with vulgar abuses and life-threats, injured Rana told Himachal Watcher over phone.

He also alleged that on September 29, 2016, tribal students had lodged a complaint at Summerhill Police Post regarding casteist commenting by ABVP activists.

Stone Pelting

This attack in the morning was followed by protests from both groups that turned into brawl and concluded with stone pelting near the Vice-Chancellor office in afternoon. About 13-15 students sustained injuries and created a bloody scene at the campus.

Four FIRs Lodged Since Saturday

About 13 students associated with SFI were arrested and cases were register under Sections 147, 148, 149, 307, 323 and 506 of IPC.

Meanwhile, SFI alleged that despite FIR registered by the attacked tribal students, no ABVP worker was arrested. Police had already arrested 10-12 SFI activists after initial clashes on Saturday night and Sunday. SFI has alleged one sided police action in the case.

So far, four FIRs including two on Saturday have been lodged. Both SFI and ABVP had lodged FIRs following violence on Saturday night.

Police Attitude Questionable

Considering the fact that NAAC team is on visit from October 3 to 6, Shimla Police officials didn’t seem much concerned with violence. As alleged by both ABVP and SFI, police force watched the brawl and violence like mute spectators . Earlier last year, when the students were protesting against massive fee hikes and poor implementation of RUSA, the SP, DW Negi, had unleashed QRT on students like hungry hounds. For about three months Section 144 was imposed at the campus to prevent further student protests. Now, when the NAAC team is at the varsity, a crucial visit on which future of varsity depends, SP Negi is silent. Armed students were seen flashing sharp-edged weapons since Sunday in the presence of police, which is surprising as well as questionable.

NAAC Team Visit Amid Violent Clashes

It is unfortunate for the varsity that during crucial four-day visit of NAAC team, students presented such an ugly image of campus environment, which is hardly acceptable. The NAAC team that had arrived at varsity on Monday carried out their inspection under heavy security. Entire varsity has been turned into a fortress with deployment of additional police and QRT forces like the varsity is located near LoC. Along with visiting various varsity facilities NAAC team interacted with the teaching and non-teaching staff and students to assess the facilities provided to them. NAAC team members did question the violence between students and expressed concern over its affect on academic environment.

Another considerable aspect of this violence is that it’s not ideological battle; rather it is taking a form of a vicious cycle of vengeance that will only bring more bloodshed. When the institute has become a hub of corruption, youth of Himachal should have united against administration. However, student organizations prefer to remain divided and shed blood of their own people.

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

HP University: Student Agitations Over Vaccination Intensify, Delay in Opening Hostels Adds to Their Woes

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HP University Student Vaccination

Shimla-While the Himachal Pradesh Government has put the vaccination of the 18-44 year age group on hold till July 9, voices demanding vaccination of all students and staff of Himachal Pradesh University are rising. Today a student organization demanded to open the varsity for all, including the hostels and library. In fact, students had been demanding the opening of the varsity library and hostels for some time now.

On Thursday, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had also met the Chief Warden, demanding opening of the hostels as students were compelled to spend on renting rooms or making alternate arrangements for stay to take their exams. It’s adding a financial burden on students, ABVP said.

The student body also highlighted the plight of students hailing from tribal areas where they don’t have Internet connectivity to carry on online learning.  

The National Students Union of India is already on a chain hunger strike for nearly a week over its demand to vaccinate all students and staff before conducting exams. If it is not possible for the state government, then cancel the exams, the student body is demanding. NSUI had also been protesting against offline exams and demanding online exams for the students of the first and second years.

NSUI has taken to social media to mobilize students and had been posting videos/photos of students addressing the government and the people on the problems they are facing due to offline exams.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Nigam Bhandari (@nigambhandari_)

Leaders of the Congress party, including the opposition leader, Mukesh Agnihotri and GS Bali, were seen supporting the student body by visiting their protest sites.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Nigam Bhandari (@nigambhandari_)

“We know the entire world is suffering from COVID-19 and all educational institutions remained closed for more than one and a half year. But now all educational institutions should be opened for all as the situation is under control,” the Student Federation of India said in a memorandum submitted to the Vice-Chancellor today.   

Now, SFI has also included vaccination of university employees and students in its list of demands. 

SFI demanded that a permanent vaccination centre should be set up on the university campus.

“The only hope against the pandemic is vaccination. We demand setting up a permanent vaccination centre on the HP university campus so all students in summer could get vaccinated,” the student body said.

Other demands of SFI included issuing schedule for the pending recruitment exams  for the posts of non-teaching staff and Panchayat Sahayak, forms for which were invited in March 2020.

The student body said the varsity must conduct entrance exams for the admissions to postgraduate courses this year.

“Last year, we saw the university authority didn’t conduct entrance exams, which was against the varsity admission norms. The HP High Court had also declared it arbitrary and unethical. We demand that for the sake of quality of education, the varsity must conduct entrance exams for admission in postgraduate courses,” the student body said in its memorandum.

Further, the student body gave some suggestions to the varsity authority, which included strengthening the online mode of education, buy online web services/apps, like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet etc., and preparing for the third wave. 

It also suggested undertaking online assessments of the performance of students and teachers. The student body said that the varsity will have to prepare a proper pattern for the assessment of the students and offer an objective type alternate mode of examination.

Other suggestions included inviting the students for the practical examinations batch-wise and setting up face shields in the library to increase the capacity.

The student body also demanded extending library membership to all researchers and students till the completion of their courses.

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Campus Watch

HPU Exams Without Vaccinating Students Opposed, If Online Classes Are Possible, Why Not Online Exams, Asks Student Body

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Cancel HPU Exams

Shimla-Amidst the ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to hold exams for various Under Graduate classes.

The HPU has released the date sheet for B.Ed 1ST and 3rd-semester exams. The date sheet for M.Ed exams has also been released by the university. Final examination schedule for B.A., B.Sc., B.Com, Hons. and Shastri courses were also released on the University website on Monday.

However, ahead of the warming for the third wave, which is predicted to hit within the next 7-8 weeks, an HPU student body has opposed the decision citing the risk posed to students by offline examination in the middle of a pandemic.

Students have also taken to social media and have been demanding the cancellation of exams. Students had been Tweeting this demand with the hashtag #cancelhpuexams.

They also questioned why the government was not considering the safety of the college students while exams of school students were cancelled.

The NSUI state unit on Monday submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Director of Higher Education demanding a statewide vaccination drive for students aged above 18 years before conducting the university exams. The student body also raised a demand for a reasonable reduction in the syllabus.

In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the student body raised three demands. The body has asked the Chief Minister to ensure vaccination of all students before conducting exams. It proposed conducting online examinations if the government can’t vaccinate all students in such a short span.

“If online classes are possible, then exams should also be conducted online,” said Chattar Singh, the NSUI state president.

The student body also asked the state government to find an alternative medium for conducting exams so that students are not put at risk. The student body urged the state government to not use the students as “experimental kits.”

ABVP, SFI Demand Re-Opening of University Library

The state unit of SFI (HPU) and ABVP(HPU) on Monday raised the demand to re-open the university library which remained closed for the students due to the pandemic induced restrictions. In separate memorandums submitted to the University Library in-charge, both the student bodies have said the state government had allowed the re-opening of libraries with a capacity of 50% students on June 19. Despite the notification, the University has not released any notice regarding the same.

Research scholars are unable to pursue and complete their research without access to libraries. Students preparing for various exams are suffering a loss, ABVP said.  

SFI also raised concern over keeping students deprived of the 24×7 library section.

“The university takes pride in mentioning that it has a 24×7 section in its library. But the same section remains closed for the last one year and seven months. Last year, when the library was re-opened, the 24×7 section was kept closed,” SFI said. The student body has demanded that this students shouldn’t be kept deprived of this essential facility. 

SFI expressed disappointment over the lackadaisical attitude of the varsity authorities towards the demands for basic facilities. It said that while the students had been demanding the replacement of furniture in the libraries which is in a very poor state, the university administration is “busy installing sculptures.”  Despite demands, the varsity authority hasn’t moved a muscle, it said.

The student union has demanded the replacement of broken furniture, maintenance of the library washrooms and frequent sanitization of the library.

The student bodies have warned of protests if the varsity authority still doesn’t pay attention to their demands.

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Campus Watch

Video: How HPBOSE Will Calculate and Allot Marks to Class 10 Students

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hp board marks calculation formula for promotion

Shimla-The second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has washed out another academic session and disrupted the academic calendars of institutes. A

The HPBOSE recently notified its detailed criteria for compilation of result and promotion of students to the next higher class while focusing on, what it called, “Continuous Comprehensive Assessment (CCA)” and “Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)”.

The notification came following the cancellation of the Annual Examination of Matriculation and Senior Secondary (Plus Two) classes of HP Board of School Education in wake of the pandemic.

The formula is based on class 9 result of the student, Class 10 first and second term exams, pre-board result, paper of one subject held on April 13, internal assessment and practical marks.

Himachal Watcher has prepared this video to help you understand the process.

Subject wise weightage will be allotted to students depending on the distribution of subjects by HPBOSE. Visit this link to check the weightage of marks per exams

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