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Unknown consequences haunt HPU again as Govt scraps semester system under RUSA in haste

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HP University RUSA semester system scrapped

The biggest concern is that the varsity would now be giving degrees under four different systems 

Shimla: Once again, unknown consequences haunt the students and faculty at the Himachal Pradesh University and affiliated colleges as the Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj on June 7, 2018, announced a roll-back of semester system to restore the previous system of annual examination.

The teachers and majority of academicians are of the opinion that the varsity had almost settled with the semester system and the errors it had been making. Things were getting smoother with the passage of time. There was no need to shift from the semester system to the previous pattern, they believe.

The Minister supported this decision referring to the recommendations of the special committee the State government had formed to review the RUSA. Internal sources at the varsity and media persons suggested that the original report has warned of negative consequences of this decision. However, the Minister denied it at the conference. 

The biggest concern is that the varsity would now be giving degrees under four different systems – according to previous marks based annual examination systems, the first version of RUSA implemented in 2013, the reformed version in agreement with norms of the University Grants Commission implemented in nationwide institutes in 2016, and under newly announced annual examination system.

The Minister was blank when asked how the varsity/faculty would deal with this mess of conducting examinations under four different patterns and then evaluating them.

He said the varsity would take care of it, and they’ll see how to do it.

Now, the varsity will have to prepare new syllabus just a week ahead of the admissions for the session 2018-19 beginning from June 15.

When the Minister was asked whether the date of the admission would be extended considering the new decision, he said it would be sorted out soon.

It implies the Minister did not do any homework prior to taking this decision.

When asked about the decision, some faculty members of the HPU and experienced educationists Himachal Watcher talked to believed there was no need to do so, and it was done in a haste once again. 

Majority of the faculty and administration of HPU said the decision is more politically motivated than being in the interests of the students.

Further, the strongest reason that could be attributed to this decision was the mounting pressure from the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the opposition as the Bhartiya Janta Party had made a promise to do so in its vision document released for the elections to the HP Legislative Assembly in 2017. 

The Minister was heard repeating that it was a poll-promise of the BJP so the government had to fulfil it. However, he seems to be indifferent to the complexities of again shifting to an older version.

An experienced faculty member unofficially said the Minister or the Committee seems to have ignored the fact that situation was different at the time of its implementation in HP University and colleges affiliated to it back in 2013. 

It was the mess created by faulty and haphazard implementation in Himachal in 2013 due to which RUSA had faced fierce protests from students and faculty. The teachers were over-burdened and had a little knowledge regarding the way a Choice Based Credit System works.

The results were late and full of errors as the faculty struggled to understand and assess grades under the new system. In 2016, 90 percent students were declared fail after the result was out. The varsity had to re-do it after the protests. The results were late during first two years and students even faced problem in enrolling at varsities in other states.

Himachal Watcher had also criticized the poor implementation and the inconvenience the students and faculty were facing due to it. However, RUSA system is not faulty in itself. It has the capacity to create higher education institutes at par with the international institutes if implemented wisely and in a transparent manner. 

The State had implemented it haphazardly. The varsity did not possess sufficient infrastructure, facilities, and faculty for such a sudden shift from marks based annual examination system to RUSA’s Choice Based Credit System with semester wise exams.

Further, at a time when the centre decided to boost the budget allocation under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) four times than it was in 2013 considering the visible reforms in the higher education, the Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to tamper with it.

The ambitious Centrally Sponsored Scheme had begun with a modest budget of Rs. 500 in 2013, and by March 2018, the government had increased it to Rs. 13,000 crore.

By March 2016, a total of 115 Universities and 1218 colleges had been approved by RUSA Project Approval Body or infrastructure grants. These approvals were accorded to the proposals included in the respective State Higher Education Plans (SHEPs).

It attended to the discrimination India’s education institutes were facing as the government was more inclined towards spending on premier institutes like Indian Institute of Management and Indian Institutes of Technology. The other varsities were burdened with the responsibility to fetch funds through their own resources.

The RUSA, however, was intended to provide financial support to proposals contained in State Higher Education Plan (SHEP) approved by the State Higher Education Councils (SHECs) in order to achieve the objectives of equity, access and quality.

The fund releases were linked with performance and learning-teaching outcomes.

According to IIT Bombay’s independent performance review (of four years) of the scheme done in 2017, the funding linked to reforms has had a visible impact on higher education. The gross enrolment ratio (GER) was 19.4%, faculty vacancies were at 60%, and the teacher-student ratio was quite poor at 1:24 in 2013 when it was first introduced. In 2018, the GER was reported to be at 25.2%.

The faculty vacancies dropped to 35% as the States lifted the ban on faculty recruitment. The teacher-student ratio is now in better shape at 1:20.

Several universities in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been right-sized, and critical governance reforms such as the formation of the SHEC and merit-based appointments of vice-chancellors in Odisha, Goa, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu are visible,

said the review.

There has been an improvement in the number of institutions accredited and their scores. In 2012, 106 State universities and 4,684 colleges were accredited. By 2017, an additional 145 State universities and 5,445 Colleges were accredited

it further said.

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.

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Include Yoga as Compulsory Subject in Himachal’s Schools, Demands HPYSA

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Yoga as Compulsory Subject in Himachal Schools

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Yogasana Sports Association (HPYSA), Chairman, Prof. GD Sharma, has urged the State Government to include Yoga as a compulsory subject at the school level and to teach it in colleges as well. While addressing a press conference very recently, he said that Yoga has been recognized as a sport by the government of India and sports quota in jobs will now apply to Yoga players.

GD Sharma said the inclusion of Yoga at schools and college would open new avenues for the youth as a career. He said that HPYSA has launched a statewide drive to connect youth in the Hill state with Yoga. It’s all set to organize the first online State level Yogasana Contest in March and winners, thereof, will participate in the national championship to be held from March 24 to 26.

HPYSA is affiliated with the National Yogasana Sports Association, a body recognized by the central ministry of youth affairs and sports, he added.

Sharma, a former professor of HP University, has been instrumental in promoting Yoga across the globe when he was posted in Indonesia by the government of India with a diplomat status from 1992 to 1997 

He said HPYSA will make all efforts to create job opportunities for youth through Yoga.

About Recognition of Yogasana as a Competitive Sport.

On December 17, 2020, the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had announced the formal recognition of Yogasana as a competitive sport.

The Government of India had said that Yogasana is an integral and important component of Yoga, which is psycho-physical in nature and popular across the globe for its efficacy in fitness and general wellness.

It had further added , “Yogasana becoming a sport will also ensure new technologies and new strategies being inducted into the disciplines, to benefit our athletes and officials towards building fruitful and fulfilling careers in this field”.

The government had also said that it was planning to include Yogasana as a Sport discipline in Khelo India and in the University Games and we will also pitch it at the National Games and in Olympics.

The AYUSH ministry had said that the sports discipline of Yogasana is likely to have 51 medals in 4 events & 7 categories. The proposed events for both men and women include Traditional Yogasana, Artistic Yogasana (Single), Artistic Yogasana (Pair), Rhythmic Yogasana (Pair), Free Flow/Group Yogasana, Individual All Round – Championship and Team Championship.

According to the AYUSH, following steps or activities will form part of the road map and the future development of Yogasana Sport:

  1. A pilot Yogasana Competition named as “National Individual Yogasana Sports Championship (Virtual Mode) to be held in early 2021.
  2. Launching of an Annual Calendar of competitions, events and programs of Yogasana sport.
  3. Development of Automated Scoring System for the Yogasana Championship.
  4. Courses for Coaches, Referees, Judges and Directors of competitions.
  5. Coaching camps for players.
  6. Launch of a League of Yogasana, to ensure a career and social status for performers, experts and practitioners, to create Sports Stars among Yogasana athletes.
  7. To introduce Yogasana as a Sport discipline in National Games, Khelo India and international sports events.
  8. Steps to create job opportunities for Yogasana athletes.

 

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HPBOSE Exam 2021: Schedule for Class 10th and 12th Exams Changed

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HP Board Exams 2021

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education (HPBOSE) would soon issue new date-sheets for yearly exams of Classes 10th and 12th as the state Department of Higher Education has asked it to re-schedule the exams. Instead of May, now, the examinations would be held from April 20, 2020, informed the Director of Higher Education, Amarjeet Kumar Sharma today.

He said the process of making changes in the schedule has been initiated. However, the Board had not released any official statement regarding the change till the time of writing.

The pre-board examinations for the board classes would be held from March 8 to March 20 in the morning session. Practical exams would be conducted from April 8 to April 17. Results of pre-board exams would be declared by March 25, and low-scoring students would be given extra classes till April 15.

The recommendations were made based on the opinion and suggestions received from parents and various teacher associations, the Director informed. As per these suggestions, conducting the board exams in May would cause a delay in starting the 2021-22 session.

The HPBOSE is expected to release new date-sheets during the next couple of days.

The Chairman, HPBOSE, Suresh Kumar Soni, today informed that the exams for Class 9th and 11th would be held from March 8 to March 20 in the evening session, and results would be declared by March 31. The new session is likely to begin from April 1, 2021.

Like every year, HPBOSE would provide questions papers to all government and private schools affiliated with the Board.  Principals/headmasters of these schools have been asked to submit the requirement for questions papers based on the number of students. The last date for submitting the required details is February 7, he informed. The Board has also asked the school heads to deposit Rs. 100 fee per student for question papers online.

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Proposed HPBOSE Date-Sheets for 8th, 10th, 12th Exams 2021 Issued, Objections Invited till Feb 10

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HPBOSE Exam Datesheet 2021

Shimla-Date-sheets for Class 10, 12, and 8 yearly examinations for the 2020-21 session have been released by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education yesterday. These schedules would apply to both regular and State Open School (SOS) students. 

These are proposed date-sheets, which have been uploaded on the official HPBOSE website and objections have been invited from teachers, students, and parents. Objections can be mailed on www.hpbose2011@gmail.com till 10 February 2021.

According to the proposed HPBOSE date-sheets, examinations for 10th class would be held from May 5 to May 20, 2021. For 12th class, exams would be held from May 4 to May 29. Exams for 8th class would be held from May 5 to May 19. While timings for class 10th and 8th would be 8:45 to 12 PM, class 12th exams would be conducted from 1:45 PM to 5 PM.

The Board has already decided that yearly examinations of HPBOSE for Class 10th and 12th for the session 2020-21 would not be conducted online. The decision was taken considering the fact that several regions of the state do not have Internet connectivity due to which students face difficulties.

HPBOSE Class 12 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 10 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 8 Date-Sheet 2021

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