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.
As major achievement, Nauni varsity scientists bag International project on oilseed research
Solan: Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, was in news last week after Jagriti Thakur, a research scholar at the varsity, won US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar Award for the year 2018.
This week, in a major achievement, the scientists of Department of Plant Pathology at the UHF, have bagged an International collaborative project on developing cutting-edge technology for inducing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability.
The University will work with nine leading research organisations of the country besides seven renowned research institutes of United Kingdom in the project. The three-year project has a total budget outlay of more than Rs 7.27 crore as Indian component, which will be distributed to the 10 Indian institutes, which are part of the project. Each Indian institute will work on a different aspect of the project with a researcher working on the same area in the UK.
The project has been sanctioned under the prestigious NEWTON BHABHA Fund UK- India Pulses and Oilseed Research Initiative (PORI). The fund has been created by BBSRC of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoI.
BBSRC which is a part of UK Research and Innovation, a body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations and government for promoting research and innovation is also making upto £3.5 million available to support the UK components of this research.
Dr HR Gautam, Professor and Head of Department of Plant Pathology informed that Dr Anil Handa, Professor of Plant Pathology will be the Principal Investigator and coordinator of this project while Dr Rajnish Sharma working in the Department of Biotechnology will act as the Co-Investigator.
He added that this achievement is one of the cherished moments in 55 years history of the department. Dr JN Sharma, UHF Director of Research, said that the University is making continuous efforts to get projects from various funding agencies and engage in collaborative work to strengthen the research capabilities and infrastructure.
India is one of the major producers and consumers of oilseeds crops in the world. The university scientists will work on ‘Genomics-led improvement of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability’ by utilizing state-of-art advanced molecular approaches like CRISPER/Cas9 for mapping the genes conferring resistance to turnip mosaic virus (TuMV).
The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology is an internationally acclaimed laboratory and has facilities for conducting molecular level research for determining the genetic diversity of TuMV in Northern India and developing a panel of Indian TuMV isolates for evaluating European and Indian sources of resistance.
Besides Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, the University of Delhi, South Campus; NIPGR, New Delhi; NBPGR, New Delhi; NRCPB, New Delhi; IARI, New Delhi; PAU, Ludhiana; CAZRI, Jodhpur; DRMR, Bharatpur and IIT Kharagpur will be a part of the project. The University of York, University of Hertfordshire, University of Warwick, University of Essex, Earlham Institute and Rothamsted Research will be the investigators from the United Kingdom.
While congratulating the scientists, UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma said that the project will go a long way in using the latest techniques in biotechnology for disease management to increase the productivity of oilseed crops. This project will also help train our students in using molecular markers for crop improvement.
Through this collaborative project, efforts are being made to encourage multi-institutional collaborations between UK and Indian researchers to undertake high-quality research aimed at increasing crop productivity, resilience, sustainability and quality of pulses and oilseeds grown for food or feed in India. Pulses and oilseeds are important crops in India.
Pulses are relatively under-used crops in the UK but are a major source of dietary protein in India. Oilseeds are grown in both countries and are a valuable source of oil for a variety of uses, as well as animal feed. This collaborative project aims to develop exploit genomic and bioinformatic resources to aid the development of improved varieties for sustainable crop production.
Nauni varsity’s Jagriti among world’s 30 research scholars who bagged International Scholar Award
Solan: Jagriti Thakur, a research scholar at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, has been conferred with the US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar Award for the year 2018. She is among the 30 research scholars from across the globe, who have been conferred with this prestigious award. Jagriti is a doctoral student at UHF’s Department of Soil Science and Water Management.
The IPNI award has been conferred on Jagriti for her PhD thesis research synopsis. The regional committees of IPNI scientific staff select the recipients for this award. The award carries a cash prize of 2,000 US dollars and a recognition certificate, which will be presented to Jagriti during a ceremony at the University by IPNI.
Hailing from Bhuntar in Kullu district, Jagriti has completed her BSc and MSc degrees from UHF and is presently pursuing her doctoral research on the topic, ‘Standardization of irrigation and fertigation schedules for apple under high-density plantation’. For the past one year, she has been conducting research at the university’s high-density apple plantations, raised under the Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project (HP HDP).
Dr JC Sharma, her research guide at the university said,
Apple is a major cash crop in Himachal and therefore a lot of importance has been given to its high-density plantations under the HP HDP. The award recognizes our efforts and gives greater impetus to our research, which will help us to determine the water and nutrient requirement for apple under high-density plantation and ensure proper utilization of these resources.
Thanking her parents and University Professors for their guidance and support, Jagriti said that she will now work even harder to develop the irrigation and fertigation schedule for apple under high-density plantation which will be helpful for better utilization of resources and raising farm incomes. She is hopeful of developing the schedules within the next two to three years.
While congratulating the student and the research guide, Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said,
It is a proud moment for the university, as only 30 scholars were selected across the world for this honour. The award is a testimonial to the quality research being carried out at the university.
International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award
The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Board of Directors offers two awards of interest to graduate students and scientists working in plant nutrition and management of crop nutrients. Priority is given to the relevance of the proposed research in support of IPNI’s mission. Students in the disciplines of soil and plant sciences including agronomy, horticulture, ecology, soil fertility, soil chemistry, crop physiology, and other areas related to plant nutrition can apply for the award.
390 students attend St. Bede’s National Seminar ‘Celebrating Indian Science’
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.
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.’
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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