Shimla: Politics is a science but not for Indian ideological groups. The political parties lay more emphasis on cheap sentimental tricks or false propaganda, especially through the social media. However, the right wing has taken the concept of opportunistic manipulations of facts to a new level.
They have sensed the weakness of the media to fall easily and quickly to sensational news. The media publish hurriedly and it creates a noise in which facts struggle to be seen or heard.
The most recent and quite an ugly example was presented at the Centre of Excellence, Government Degree College Sanjauli.
A video of a quarrel between students appeared on the social media claiming it took place between two student organizations, Student Federation of India (SFI) and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at the Sanjauli College. Within no time, it was on news websites. Some national Hindi dailies also covered it with the same claim.
By Thursday, ABVP claimed that some hostel students were allegedly attacked by students of left-wing ideology. By this statement, ABVP suggested that it was not involved in the clash directly but fought for the suspended students.
As a contrast to this statement, in the video, one student is seen being attacked by a group of about 20-25 students.
The video was not fake, and the brawl did take place inside the campus of the college.
Himachal Watcher had too published a report based on initial reports received from our sources including some media person. They also repeated more or less the same story. One of the dailies said the violence had broken out over the banner of a student organization, which was baseless.
ABVP even held a protest on Thursday to revoke the suspension of the students involved in the brawl. It alleged that some faculty members abused, slapped, kicked, and pushed them out of the office when they tried to reach the Principal to submit a memorandum against the one-sided action.
The ABVP, in its press statement issued on Thursday, called it an ‘aggressive protest’ that compelled the college administration to yield to its demand of revoking the suspension.
About 27 students took part in this ‘aggressive protest’, as shown in the picture below:
ABVP repeated the same allegations when HW reached its leaders. It said the college took one-sided action against some specific students while the left-wing supporters were spared.
The college revoked the suspension, which the ABVP termed as their victory.
After receiving critical comments from the readers and students, HW today talked to all concerned parties including the Principal, CB Mehta, Shimla Police, the injured student (red shirt), ABVP and SFI leaders.
Except for the ABVP, no one, not even the victim or eyewitnesses, told HW that it was a clash between ABVP and SFI or an assault by SFI on hostelers. The victim himself told HW that the incident had no relation to student politics or student organizations.
It turned out that this victim student who was attacked is a national level volleyball player, who has represented Himachal several times.
On July 31, I was sitting with my friends inside the campus when a group of students tried to assault one of the friends. I was not aware of the pre-existing grudges between these students but I intervened peacefully and tried to protect my friend,
the victim said.
However, I became the fresh target of the group, who thrashed me badly. I was punched and kicked repeatedly until I got back on my feet and retaliated,
I was left alone as my friends disappeared from the scene,
he said adding,
I am neither a goon nor do I belong to any student organization. I am mostly occupied by my daily basketball practice. But the video has casted a negetive impression not only on my senior players but anyone who saw it. The media too circulated the video with the pack of lies told to them.
The Principal, when asked about the matter, said,
The brawl was not associated with any of the organizations. Moreover, as the Principle, all of them were only students for me. However, some of the suspended students might have included those associated with ABVP. The protest and the allegations of the ABVP against the faculty members were most likely an effort to revoke the suspension of the students.
When asked about revoking the suspension of the students, he replied,
We did not revoke the suspension of the students due to a pressure from the organization or the protest but after speaking to their parents and receiving written apology regarding the violence,
As per the Police Station, Lakkar Bazaar, where the students were taken for questioning following the brawl, refuted the claim that the two parties decided to compromise. A complaint has been filed against the involved students, the police said.
HW also talked to SFI leaders, who termed it a false propaganda to defame student politics.
SFI has recently begun its protest over the demand of reviving direct elections to the Students Central Association, which were banned in 2014. Prior to the ban, the students always supported and elected SFI as their representative and ABVP had been facing defeat in the elections,
said an SFI leader adding,
It is a deliberate manipulation to defame the student politics, thus, give a reason to prevent the revival of the direct elections to the SCA.
SFI also shared screenshots of a post shared by ABVP on its Facebook page with alleged false information blaming the violence as hooliganism created by SFI.
The worst hit of the alleged false propaganda is the victim student, and the media owes him an apology. As per the account given by him, he had just tried to protect his friend and was dragged into this brawl, which was given a political colour.
He was worried that his mother would be in great distress if she came across this video. This is why HW has refrained from mentioning the name of the victim.
51 UHF Nauni Students to Work With Farmers to Learn Nuances of Hill Farming
Solan-With an aim to familiarize students with the socio-economic conditions of farmers and their farming techniques, 51 final year B Sc (Hons) Horticulture students of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni will be attached to villages.
This will be a part of the four-week Rural Awareness Work Experience (RAWE) programme. RAWE is a compulsory part of the degree as per Indian Council of Agricultural Research norms and the students are paid a stipend during the programme.
The students, who have been divided into two groups, will be visiting all the four-agro climatic zones of the state. The Regional Research Stations/ Krishi Vigyan Kendras at Kullu, Jachh, Chamba and Kandaghat will be hosting each group for one week each. After a period of one week, the students will shift to a new climatic zone thereby covering all the zones in the stipulated period.
A group of villages under each zone has been selected and small sub groups from main groups will be attached to each village. The objective is to learn about rural social-cultural settings, rural development, topographical variations, climate change, animal husbandry, fruits, vegetables and cooperatives working along with understanding the culture. Scientist farmer’s interactions will also be a part of the programme.
Dr. Parvinder Kaushal interacted with the students after their departure for the one-month village attachment. He urged the students to make the most of this practical exposure.
“Go with an open mind, as this is a fantastic opportunity to learn from the people who are working on the fields. This will not only help to broaden your horizons as you will get to interact with the end users and the biggest stakeholders of the know-how and novel technologies developed in institutions like ours. Being ambassadors of the university, you must cherish this opportunity to interact with farmers, analyze their problems and look to provide easily applicable scientific solutions to them with consultation with experts,” said Dr Kaushal.
Dr. Kaushal added that the programme provides a unique opportunity to understand the rural setting in relation to horticulture and allied activities in different agro-climatic climatic zones. He asked the students to strictly follow all the COVID protocols in order to ensure the safety of the group and the villagers hosting them.
Programme Coordinator Dr. KK Raina said, “The programme aims at understanding rural situations, status of horticulture technologies adopted by the farmers along with prioritizing farmer’s problems, develop skills and attitude of working with the farm families for all-round development in rural areas.”
Dr. Anju Dhiman, Dean College of Horticulture said that due to COVID restriction, the practical aspect of the study was hampered but this present opportunity must be utilized to gain significant knowledge which will help to implement the knowledge gained in the classes into real world situations. She said that the knowledge gained during the programme will help the students to grow professionally.
Dr. Harish Sharma, Dr. MK Brahmi, Dr. Rasmi Chaudhary, Dr. Pramod Verma and Dr Aditika Sharma also addressed the students and shared tips with them.
In addition to familiarizing students with socio-economic conditions of the farmers and their problems with reference to horticulture development, RAWE would also help in imparting diagnostic and remedial knowledge relevant to real field situations through practical training.
Development of communication skills in students using extension teaching methods in transfer of technology and acquaint them with the ongoing extension and rural development programmes is another important aspect of RAWE. The students have already undergone a two-week orientation. After returning from village attachment, the students will also undergo industry attachment for 2 months after which each group will have to submit a report of the work undertaken.
Nauni Varsity to Start Fish Farming, Introduces 3,000 Fingerlings of Four Strains
Solan-To increase the income of farmers from agri-horticulture and allied activities, Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry has started fish farming in the farm ponds at the university. Recently, the university introduced 3,000 fingerlings of four improved strains and varieties of fish at the university.
University Vice-Chancellor Dr. Parvinder Kaushal released these fingerlings into the water storage ponds located in the Model Farm at its main campus in Nauni in the presence of Dr. MK Brahmi, OSD, Dr. KS Pant, Joint Director, Dr. Rohit Bishist, Dr. KL Sharma, Dr. Deepak Sumbria, technical and field staff who will be working on the project.
These fingerlings were procured from the HP State Fishery Department Breeding Farm, Nalagarh. The introduced stock includes Hungarian Carp, Mrigal, Jayanti Rohu and Catla. While Hungarian Carp and Mrigal are bottom feeders, Jayanti Rohu and Catla are column and surface feeders, respectively. The fingerlings have been introduced to promote poly-fish culture.
To study the scope of fish farming in the university, Dr. Hamir Chand, Assistant Director Fisheries visited the main campus farms. Before starting fish culture, Dr. Som Nath, Sr Fisheries Officer, imparted two campus training sessions to scientific and managerial personnel of the university to acquaint them with different aspects of scientific fish rearing. Exposure visits to fish breeding farms at Nalagarh and Deoli were also undertaken.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Parvinder Kaushal said that the university has taken this initiative to supplement agri-horticulture, forestry and dairy activities. He said that fisheries combined with agriculture, horticulture and dairy activities can lead to a substantial increase in farm incomes. He said that the main objective is to establish a commercial fish culture and production demonstration units on scientific lines and undertake research work on the refinement of existing fish rearing and breeding technology to fill up research gaps through new technological interventions.
Dr. Kaushal added that we are looking to establish a fish culture-based integrated farming system model by including backyard poultry and duck culture in the future.
This will help to broaden the fish genetic base with the university and to impart training to the farmers especially the unemployed youth of the state, which will, in turn, go a long way to increase fish culture area and enhance fish production and productivity and uplift the socio-economic status of farmers. Besides, the university will be well equipped to provide training to farmers and also impart practical training to the students.
The university has also formulated a project proposal on scientific interventions and capacity building to promote fishery in Himachal Pradesh worth Rs.3.00 crore which will be submitted to the Govt. of India through the state government for financial assistance under Pradhan Mantri Matasya Sampada Yojna.
HP University: Student Agitations Over Vaccination Intensify, Delay in Opening Hostels Adds to Their Woes
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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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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“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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