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,
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.
Nauni Varsity Scholar Naincy Bags Scholarship to Pursue PhD in France
Solan: Naincy Sagar, an alumna of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has bagged a fellowship for pursuing PhD from France. Nancy has reached France and will be pursuing PhD in Forest Genetics from the University of Orléans under INRAE fellowship. INRAE is France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment.
Naincy has completed her BSc Forestry from College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri in 2018 and MSc Forest Biology and Tree Improvement and Genetic Resources from UAS, Dharwad, under ICAR’s National Talent Scheme. Before leaving for France last week, Naincy was working as a Junior Research Fellow in a research project at COH&F, Neri.
She had applied for a PhD with a scholarship in Forest Genetics which was advertised by INRAE. Naincy was successful in the interview and was awarded a fellowship for three years for pursuing PhD at the University of Orléans. During the course of the PhD, she will receive a total scholarship of around Rs 70 lakh along with medical reimbursement. Naincy will be working on forest tree larch species in the Project titled ‘Vigour at what cost? ‘Trade-off’ of hybrid vigour in Larch-Phenological, morphological and physiological determinants of hybrid superiority in Larix X eurolepis’ with a team of 20 scientists of Joint Integrated Biology Research Unit having expertise in genetics, genomics and physiology for the enhancement of tree and forest diversity
Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor of the university spoke to Naincy via web conferencing and congratulated her. Dr. Kaushal, who has also done his doctorate from France, shared some tips and suggestions. He asked Naincy to explore this opportunity to learn about new cultures along with doing research that could help to enhance and conserve forest wealth in the future.
Naincy expressed gratitude towards her father Satya Prakash Sagar (Retd. SDO BSNL) and mother Monika Sagar, who is working as SDO in BSNL for their continuous support for higher studies. She also thanked Vice-Chancellor Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Dean Dr. Kamal Sharma and Dr. Dushyant Sharma, Project Investigator and all the university staff for their support and guidance. The university administration, Dean of COH&F Neri congratulated Naincy and wished her success.
HP University Extends College Admission Date for 2021-22 Session Till Oct 25
Shimla-Dates for admissions to undergraduate courses for the session 2021-22 in colleges affiliated to Himachal Pradesh University has been extended, which has come as a relief to not only those students who were seeking fresh enrollments in the first year but also to the students of the second and third year.
The varsity informed that the decision was taken after considering requests received from various students regarding the same.
Now, willing students can apply for enrollment in both government and private colleges till 5 PM, October 25, 2021.
This extension of date would benefit students who recently passed supplementary exams or those students of the second and third-year who had missed admission due to delay in declaration of their previous results.
UHF Nauni Extends Admission Dates for UG, PG, PhD Till Oct 18
Solan– Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, has extended the last date for applying to various Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Doctoral programmes in Horticulture, Forestry, Biotechnology, Agribusiness and Business Management. Applicants can submit their complete online application on the university’s admission portal till 18th October.
The normal seats of BSc (Hons) Horticulture, BSc (Hons) Forestry and B Tech Biotechnology will be filled on the basis of scorecard of ICAR-AIEEA (UG) 2021.
Admissions to MSc, MBA (Agribusiness) and PhD (for normal and self-financing seats) will also be conducted on the scorecard of ICAR AIEEA (PG) and AICE-JRF/SRF respectively. Students who have appeared in the ICAR-AIEEA 2021 for UG and PG, or AICE-JRF/SRF examination and are interested in seeking admission, such students must fill the university online application form before 18th October. Undergraduate aspirants who have not appeared in the ICAR test can however apply for the self-financing seats for B Sc and B Tech Biotechnology programmes run by the university by filling the online application on the university website.
The university has also advised the registered candidates to submit complete online application forms along with online payment acknowledgement slip before the due date. The schedule for online counselling will be announced by the University on the website after the declaration of the ICAR examination result. Application forms other than online mode will not be accepted.