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Defying the odds, this visually-impaired HPU student became Himachal’s Youth Icon for upcoming assembly polls

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Himachal youth icon muskan thakur

Shimla: The Election Commission has elected a visually impaired girl as the ‘youth Icon’ for the upcoming Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly polls. Muskan Thakur, 22, is a singer and a student of music at the HP University. Muskan will be encouraging the youth of Himachal to participate in the polls and cast their precious vote.

The Chief Election Commissioner of India, A.K. Joti, awarded the Youth Icons Muskan along with the noted Pahari singer Vicky Chauhan at a function organized by Election Department at the Gaiety Theatre on September 26.

It is for the first time a special person is given such a responsibility, said Ajai Shrivastava, the HPU Nodal Officer for matters related to disabled students. He confirmed receiving an official letter regarding the selections of Muskan and termed the occasion as a historical event for the state.

Muskan hails from Chirgaon of Rohru region in Shimla district. After a legal battle over the right to education, the varsity has enrolled four visually impaired girls for the first time. Muskan is one of these four girls. Earlier, she had obtained her B.A. Degree in first division from the Rajkiya Kanya Maha Vidyalaya (RKMV) in Shimla.

It is pertinent to mention that she was also among those special students, who were hardly receiving any attention of the government until a Public Interest Litigation was filed by Ajai Shrivastava in the court to highlight apathy of the government. She made the best of this opportunity and defied odds to make her parents and state proud.

While Muskan remained the center of attraction at the festival, volunteers of Gian-Vigyan Smiti also presented drama show to highlight the importance of aware elector in the election for a stronger democracy. A film produced by election department for awareness of elector was also shown on this occasion.

The winners of various other competitions organized by election department include Pritam Kharka (Kullu) Jiwan Ram (Mandi), Alisha Rai (Kangra), Shalu Thakur and Manjula Verma (Shimla), Saijal (Hamirpur) and Jagmohan (Una) received prizes from the Chief Commissioner.

Campus Watch

390 students attend St. Bede’s National Seminar ‘Celebrating Indian Science’

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St. Bede's National Seminar

Shimla: On Thursday, the Science Faculty of St. Bede’s College Shimla, in collaboration with Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), Shimla Chapter, hosted a one day National Seminar entitled ‘Celebrating Indian Science: From Past to Future’.

Around 350 Science students of the college along with 140 students from various colleges and schools of Shimla attended it.

These institutes included Centre of Excellence, Govt. Degree College, Sanjauli, R.K.M.V, Rajiv Gandhi Govt. Degree College, Chaura Maidan, Convent of Jesus and Mary, D.A.V School, Lakkar Bazaar, St. Edward’s School, Loreto Convent, Tara Hall, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jakhu, Govt. School, Sanjauli, Monal Public School, Model School Summerhill and Chapslee school.

St. Bede's National Seminar 2

During the seminar, the students were shown a movie on ‘The Quantum Indians’ in the first technical session of the seminar, and it was followed by On the Spot Quiz.

In the second session, Prof. P.K. Ahluwalia delivered a lecture on the topic ‘Impact of Innovation on Human Development through Science and Technology: From Past to Future.’

St. Bede's National Seminar 3

In the second half, Prof. Subhash Gupta delivered a lecture on the topic ‘Our Journey of Science – Future Ahead.’

In the third session, Prof. Jaspreet Sambi from Panjab University Chandigarh delivered a talk on ‘Indian Science Looking Back and into Future.’

To stimulate the idea of controlling pollution and protecting the environment and to share and discuss issues relating to it, a Panel discussion on the topic ‘Can Scientific Interventions Help Overcome the Curse of Pollution’ was also organized.

Towards the end of the seminar, students asked questions related to their queries which were answered convincingly. It was followed by a live demonstration of experiments by Physics, Microbiology, Biotechnology departments. The Department of Botany and Zoology put up an exhibition on medicinal plants and insects.

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Training for farmers held at UHF Nauni under short term skill development programme

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Short term skill development program atUHF Nauni

Shimla: A short-term skill development training programme and demonstration to young aspiring entrepreneurs and farmers was organized at the Directorate of Extension Education of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni.

Twenty-five participants from Shimla and Mandi districts of the state took part in the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) sponsored training. Training coordinator and UHF’s Joint Director (Training) Dr Rajkumar Thakur said that the training focused on integrated production technology of horticulture crops.

Dr Rajkumar Thakur addressing the farmers

Dr Rajkumar Thakur addressing the farmers

The participants were apprised about the subtropical and temperate fruits like apple and citrus. Various aspects of beekeeping and mushroom cultivation were also discussed during the programmes due to the interest shown by the trainees. Besides lectures on insect-pest and disease management of pomegranate, apple, citrus and vegetables, practical demonstrations at kiwi, stone fruit and high-density apple plantation, apiary and canning unit of the university were also undertaken.

Short term skill development program atUHF Nauni 2

The training curriculum was designed to address the agricultural training requirements of the participants and training kits, ‘Package of Practice’ of various crops along with other university literature on spices and floriculture were also distributed to them. On the last day, Dr Thakur gave away training certificates to the participants besides a training stipend of Rs 1400 each.

In July this year, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for one year for Rs 55 lakh was signed between UHF and SJVN. Under the agreement, the University will organize 32 trainings for farmers at its main campus and different research and training stations.

Over 800 farmers and orchardists will be trained under this initiative in one year. The SJVN Foundation will bear the total cost of these trainings.

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Nauni varsity student to represent India in International Kickboxing championship in Argentina

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Himachali Kickboxer Lokesh Bhanot

Solan: While the youth of Himachal Pradesh is becoming infamous for the sudden surge in drug addiction it is witnessing currently, there are those who are bringing laurels to the State.

Lokesh Bhanot, a local from Solan district and a student of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is all set to represent the country in the World Kickboxing Championship to be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina from November 5-10, 2018. The World Kickboxing Federation is organizing the championship, it was informed by the Public Relation Officer of the varsity Suchet Attri.

A fourth-year student of B Sc Forestry at the University’s College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri, Bhanot had bagged a bronze medal in the senior category (90-100 kg) in the National Kickboxing Championship held at Patna in 2016 and a Gold Medal in the 65-75 kg category at the National Championship held at Ghaziabad in 2012-13.

In addition, Bhanot has won several medals at the state and district level championships in different weight categories, said the PRO.

Hailing from Solan, Bhanot had previously represented India in Italy in 2013 where he became a black belt in the sport. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the World Kickboxing Championship in Sudan and Brazil, but could not participate due to his exams.

Not only has Bhanot excelled as a player, but in 2017 also became a World Kickboxing Federation accredited International referee in the sport by clearing the official exam. He is also an accredited national referee.

Bhanot credits his parents, coach and college teachers, and friends for their constant support for his success. The university has also recognized his achievements and awarded him with Outstanding Student and Sportsperson award at the University and College level.

While congratulating Bhanot for bringing laurels to the university and the College, Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that the University has been encouraging sporting activities along with academics.

He added that this achievement will also motivate other students of the university. Dr PC Sharma, Dean of COH&F and faculty also congratulated Bhanot for his sporting achievements.

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