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TCP official shot dead in Himachal’s Kasauli by hotelier during demolition drive

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kasauli shooting kills tcp officer

Solan: As a shocking incident, a guest house owner in Kasauli area of Solan district today shot dead an Assistant Planner of the State Town and Country Planning Department.

As per the initial reports, the killed official was identified as Shail Bala who had reached the Naryani Guest House to conduct demolition of the illegally constructed building as directed by the Supreme  Court of India on April 17, 2018.

She was a part of the four teams constituted by the district administration to initiate demolition process of unauthorized constructions done by as many as 13 hotels today.

The court had given the hoteliers and guest house owners a time of 15 days to demolish their illegal structures. The deadline was to expire on May 2.

As per reports, the owner Vijay Singh had raised a 6-storey building against the approval given for only three stories.

He shot about two to three rounds following an argument with the TCP official. While the official died on the spot, an HP PWD worker was also injured. A few other officials had a narrow escape.

The accused ran into the nearby forest after the shooting.  The police has launched a search operation to nab the owner.  More details are awaited.

The four teams had to face a protest from the hoteliers initially, however, several structures were either taken down by the teams and, in some case, the owners did it themselves. 

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Campus Watch

Shimla Law University Student Protest: Support Pours in From Other Varsities, Students Organizations After Authority Orders Vacating Hostels & Withdraws Basic Facilities

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HPNLU Student Protest in Shimla

Shimla– The student protest at the Himachal Pradesh National Law University at Ghandal, Shimla, which had begun four days ago, has been now fuelled by a harsh step taken by the varsity authority as a means to force the students to surrender. The varsity on September 18, 2019, issued a notification in which it was stated that the University would remain closed till 25 September. The students alleged that they were ordered to vacate the hostels, the mess was closed, washrooms were locked, and drinking water facilities were withdrawn in a bid to force the students to end their protest.

Through the notice, the students were threatened that action would be taken against them if they did not vacate the hostel by September 20. Prior to it, on September 17, the varsity had threatened the students that any students participating in protest would be dealt with strictness.

HP National Law University Shimla Protest

Students After They Were Forced to Vacate Hostels

Now, the students were at the campus under the open sky with all their belongings stacked up in open. However, the students are not ready to surrender. Meanwhile, support is pouring in for the protesting HPNLU students from other National Law Universities as well as students organizations including the Student Federation of India and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Both organizations have come in support of the students and condemned the dictatorial and undemocratic attitude adopted by the varsity authority to suppress the student protest. A warning was issued by both organizations that they will join the students in protest if the varsity continued with the same attitude.

ABVP today met the Education Minsiter Suresh Bhardwaj asking him to take note of the situation the HPNLU and to attend to the grievance of the students. 

HP National Law University Shimla Protest 2

It’s pertinent to mention that the students of HPNLU have been protesting over the lack of basic amenities including drinking water, hygienic and healthy food, electricity, library facility, lack of adequate transport facility etc. There is only one institutional bus for 400 students that operates in an overloaded condition. The students said the hostel rooms lack sufficient lighting and toilets and bathrooms are in dire need of repair. The contract of the mess was given to the same contractor despite the fact that varsity had promised to change the contractor. Balanced died is not provided as there is no provision of fruits, juices, milk, eggs etc., the students said.

The students also released pictures showing insects and pieces of scrubber found in the food they were being served in the mess. They also alleged that students were falling ill due to unhygienic food.

HP National Law University Shimla Protest 8

The students said they are being charged a hefty fee of Rs. 2.50 lakh per annum, which is about Rs 5 lakh for the NRI students. Despite charging fees for various facilities, minimal facilities are being delivered.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Hygiene? After paying a hefty amount of ₹30k in a state run institution. This is how cutlery and hygiene is taken care of. Hats off to the immunity of the students. #insaafhpnlu2

A post shared by INSAAF HPNLU 2 (@insaafhpnlu2) on

Students further highlighted that despite UGC guidelines that states that there should be on campus 24×7 medical facility at higher educational institutes, there is no medical facility such as a Medical Centre for the students at the HPNLU. Even in case of emergencies, the students rely on external transport to reach the Community Health Centre, Dhami. A Bolero vehicle is being used as an ambulance, but it lacks equipment and facilities of an emergency vehicle. The vehicle doesn’t even have a stretcher or first aid kit, the students said. 

The students also said that the library timings are not adequate to meet the rigorous demand of a law institute. The number of books on each subject is very limited, which makes them unavailable for the majority of the students.

HP National Law University Shimla Protest 7

The students also alleged that the varsity has made it mandatory for students to submit various projects and assignments on fixed dates, however, failed to provide the means to accomplish these  tasks as there is no proper computer lab and no qualified IT professional.

The campus lacks Wi-Fi facility while the students were charged fees for the same.

There are several other facilities that the students alleged are lacking like organizations of moot courts, guest lectures by eminent jurists, lawyers, workshops for debates, student exchange program, internships, seminars and conferences etc.

Further, the students are demanding that subjects should be allocated to teachers based on their specialization.

Moreover, the students said there is no transparency in the working of the administration and the varsity was also not allowing students to elect a student body that could represent them.

“It all started with the students at HPNLU, Shimla, trying to have a peaceful and productive interaction with the VC, Prof. Nishtha Jaswal, to lend an ear to their grievances. But the VC didn’t even consider paying heed to the grievances of students,”

said a representative of the protesting students

“When a student put forth the issue of the fee hike, the VC responded by saying that students with unsound financial background must refrain from taking admissions in expensive universities like HPNLU, Shimla, and should opt for a traditional law university instead,”

the representative further added.

“There were no steady solutions for the grievances and all the humble requests went in vain. With the adamant attitude of administration and with this response from the VC, the students were left with no choice but to launch a peaceful protest against the administration, which began the next day on September 17, 2019,”

the representative further said.

“The students submitted a draft to the VC stating their grievances. After several hours of protest the VC finally showed up but instead of addressing the grievances the VC asked students to call off the protest,”

the representative said.

“While leaving the VC stated, “keep sitting; the university will be closed.” The students stayed at the university the whole night in cold weather,”

the representative said.

Further, the students said that when the next day representatives met the Chancellor, the request of the students was bluntly declined. When students put forth a request for transparency in the fees, the respected Chancellor dodged the question by saying that fee bifurcation will empower the students to move to consumer courts leading to “added problems” for the administration, the students said.

The Vice-Chancellor, on the other hand, washed her hands off blaming the government of providing insufficient funds. She clearly said that no facilities can be provided unless the government does not release more funds. The VC denied the allegations of the students that they were not receiving good food and other facilities. As per the VC, everything was fine at the campus. Rather, she said, the situation was better than before. She denied allegations regarding unhygienic and unbalanced diets saying that same food is served to the staff too.

She also said that the administration had talked to the students and the students were satisfied. However, the students alleged that they never received any satisfactory response from the varsity administration, which compelled them to launch this protest.

Contradicting, its own notification issued on September 18, by Friday evening, the varsity issued a clarification in which it refuted the all allegations regarding withdrawing of facilities like toilets and orders to vaccate hostels. The varsity said the mess is also running and hostels were also open. 

Clarification Issued by HPNLU on September 20, 2019

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Environment

HP Electric Vehicle Policy 2019 – Govt Proposes 100 percent Transition to EVs by 2030

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HP Electric Vehicle Policy - 2019

Shimla- Himachal Pradesh Electric Vehicle Policy- 2019 is to establish in the state, informed Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi during a meeting held on September 18, 2019, regarding the framing of the draft for the policy.

Electric Vehicle policy is targeted at achieving 100 percent transition to Electric Vehicles by 2030 in Himachal in alignment with United Nation’s sustainable development goals and vision of Government of India, Baldi said. It’s intended to save the environment, accelerate demand for EV’s, promote sustainable transport system and to create public-private charging infrastructure for EV’s.

The policy also aims to make Himachal Pradesh a model state for Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption and to provide sustainable, safe, eco-friendly, inclusive and integrated mobility, Baldi informed.

He further added that the policy is being framed to create a conducive atmosphere for a shift from Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) to EV’s, and to encourage the use of hybrid EV’s by the Government entities during the transition period and to create newer employment opportunities.

Under this policy, the promotion of adoption of EV technology would be done by the way of providing fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. It would promote the creation of dedicated infrastructure for charging of EV’s through various incentives as per standards notified for Public Charging Infrastructure by Ministry of Power, Government of India guidelines.

He informed that a viable business model will be developed for private players to set up EV charging stations and infrastructure/. Provision for charging spots in commercial buildings such as hotels and shopping malls have also been included in the policy. Across the state, domestic rate of electrical power will be charged if an electric vehicle is charged at domestic user facility.

In public charging facility and commercial charging stations “Non-Domestic, Non-Commercial” rate of electric power would be applicable. However, the Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission shall be the final authority to determine the rate of electrical power to EV charging stations from time to time.

Himachal Pradesh Electricity Board Limited has been designated as State Nodal Agency for setting up charging infrastructure for EV in the State by the department of Multi-Purpose Projects Power. The State nodal agency shall fix the ceiling of the service charges to be charged by the public or commercial charging stations.

The policy also aims to support local manufacturing for which the State Government would provide incentives to EV batteries and related components manufacturing and disposal in the State. The incentives would be provided to eligible enterprises as per Himachal Pradesh Industrial Policy as applicable from time to time.

A State-level High Power Committee was also constituted for monitoring the implementation of this policy and for development of procedures and modalities where required.

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Campus Watch

HP University’s Grave Carelessness: Failed UG Students Unable to Get Re-Admission as Varsity Forgot to Make Provision

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HPU UG First Year Re-admissions

Shimla- The mismanagement and carelessness in Himachal Pradesh University have reached an alarming level. The academic environment is deteriorating day by day owing to irregularities in the working of the varsity.

HPU recently declared the results of the first year of UG classes after a prolonged delay. The admissions were given in the first year of UG classes in colleges for the session 2019-20 without declaring the results. After repeated protest from the students, the university declared the result on September 11, 2019, haphazardly.

Apart from a very poor result, which was only 53 percent for BA, 37 percent for B.SC, and 49 percent for B. Com, the university created another grave problem for the students of the first year who were declared fail in the result.

The students are alleging that the varsity forgot to make a provision for their re-admission in the first year, and now these students are not being given admissions in their respective colleges. The new batch of first year students was already given admissions for 2019-2020 session and they occupied the seats available in colleges. Now, the students, who failed in the first-year examination of session 2018-19 are being denied admissions as there are no seats left.

The students said that earlier, when the session started for 2019-20, all students of the first year, who were awaiting results, were attending classes of the second year. Now, after a delayed result, the failed students are shocked as they were denied admissions in the first year saying that the university has not made any policy regarding it.

Today, the HPU Unit of the Student Federation of India (SFI) raised this crucial matter. About 400 students from Shimla district had gathered at the varsity and met the Controller of Examination seeking a solution. However, they were told that only the Vice-Chancellor, who was not present at the varsity, is competent to take any decision regarding this issue. SFI said if proper action is not taken immediately to rectify the situation, a massive student protest would become inevitable. 

The students and student organization including ABVP and NSUI in various districts have begun to protest over this mismanagement and joke with the future of the students. The students are also alleging that the cause behind a poor result in which a large number of students were declared failed is the haphazard manner in which results were prepared.

Today, students at Government College, Nurpur, Kangra, staged a protest and forwarded a memorandum to the Education Minister through Sub-Divisional Officer demanding action against varsity administration for such grave carelessness. The students asked as to why the varsity took so long to declare results and how the students were allowed to sit in the second year classes without declaring the results.

Further, the students in Nurpur college alleged that even some of the brilliant students were declared fail in the results. The students are demanding that these students should be allowed to attend classes in the first year. They also demanded that the students who have failed by one or two marks should be given free of cost re-evaluation chance.  

Similarly, a couple of days ago, students at the Degree College, Kullu, had staged a protest over delayed results and lack of provision for re-admission of failed students.

The students are now facing mental harassment while the varsity administration remains in deep slumber, deeply indulged in political activities.

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