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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they were ordered to vacate the hostels, the mess was closed, washrooms were locked, and drinking water facilities were withdrawn in a bid to force the students to end their protest.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

Campus Watch

Himachal’s Educational Institutions Closed Till April 4 Amid COVID-19 Case Surge, Pubic Holi Celebrations Prohibited, No Restriction on Tourism

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Himachal PRadesh closes Educationla institutes

Shimla– All the educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh, including Universities, Colleges, Technical Institutes and schools, would remain closed till April 4, 2021, as a precautionary measure keeping in view the spike in COVID-19 cases in the State, the government informed today. But schools would remain open for the classes having their examinations, it was informed.  

The decision was taken in a meeting held today that was presided by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur.

“Last year the spike in cases was gradual, but this year this surge is very rapid. In the last 20-25 days, the number of new cases has spiked from 220 to 2000, which is a matter of great concern for the state,” Chief Minister told media.

On being asked about tourist movement from neighboring Punjab – a state with massive surge in daily cases- the Chief Minister said that for now no restriction would be imposed on tourists given the peak tourist season starting from April.

Also Read: Himachal Reports Over 300 New COVID-19 Cases With 2 Deaths, Second Wave Could Peak in April & Last for 100 Days, says Report  

“Last year, the peak season was completely foiled. Therefore, it would not be favourable for the economy of the state and livelihood of the people to restrict tourist movement,” Jairam Thakur said.

“But if the surge continued and picked up more pace, then the government would review the situation again,” he told media. But the hotels and homestays would have to follow the SOPs while operating, he said. 

Chief Minister said that schools having residential facilities need not close their hostels, however, they would have to comply with all the SOPs to keep these residential areas cut off and appoint Compliance Officer to comply with all the orders. He said that teachers and other school/college staff would continue to attend the institutions.

Jai Ram Thakur said that no social and cultural events would be organized in the State by the Government and gatherings would be restricted to a maximum of 200 for indoor and 50 percent for outdoor events.

He said that nursing and medical institutions would continue to function as usual. He said that congregations and langers inside the temples would also be banned and other darshans would be allowed.

Chief Minister said that 3rd April would also be a holiday for all the offices in the State and there would be no public celebration of Holi.

He urged the people to celebrate Holi at their home with their family members only. He said that all the frontline workers would be sensitized to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest completing their second dose as per schedule.

It was also decided in the meeting that District Administration would take a judicious call on more restrictions keeping in view the positivity and fatality rate in their respective districts.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretaries R.D. Dhiman and J.C. Sharma, Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi, Mission Director NHRM Dr. Nipun Jindal and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

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Campus Watch

UHF Nauni Gets New Labs Equipped with Latest Technologies, Nature Park for Students  

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UHF Nauni Soil and leaf analysis lab

Solan- Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, today dedicated four projects to the students and farmers at the university campus. 

Among the project inaugurated by Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, was a state of the art Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory established with the financial assistance of Rs 4.55 crore (over seven years) from the World Bank-funded HP-Horticulture Development Project.

UHF Nauni Vice Chancellor

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, Inaugurating Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The laboratory is equipped with the latest equipment like Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, CHNS Analyzer, Microwave digestion system, UV-VIS Spectrophotometers. It is well equipped to analyze the different soil properties including different macro and micronutrients and as per the analysis values, the recommendations are also given to the farmers.

NEW UHF nauni lab building

Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The samples received from different HP-HDP clusters of the state are being analyzed in the laboratory and ad-hoc recommendations for High-Density Planting on clonal rootstocks are given. A field laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology constructed for Rs 14.17 lakh met out of the pesticide testing scheme was also inaugurated today.NEW Labs in UHF nauni

Two projects- Nature Park and a Commercial plantation model of wild pomegranate developed under the ICAR National Agricultural Higher Education Project were also unveiled today.

Lab facility uhf nauniv

The nature camp developed by the Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture has been developed as a recreation cum activity area for the students and showcases different landscaping methods. Under NAHEP,a commercial model of wild pomegranate developed by the Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry was also dedicated to the students and farmers. 

UHF nauni nature park

Nature Park

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Parvinder Kaushal congratulated all the team members behind the completion of the projects. He said that both the laboratories will be immensely beneficial for conducting research. Speaking about the development of projects under the ICAR’s NAHEP, Dr. Kaushal said that the university is in process of developing more such plantation models which will not only be beneficial to the students but also help popularize new technologies among farmers. The statutory officers of the university, heads of all departments, coordinator and team members of NAHEP IDP, students and staff were present on the occasion. 

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Campus Watch

Schools in Himachal to Open for Non-Board Classes from Next Month, Admissions for 2021-22 Session from April 1: Education Department

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HP Govt School admissions 2021-22 session

Shimla-The Directorate of Higher Education, Himachal Pradesh, has issued a notification announcing the opening of schools for non-board classes from April for session 2021-22. All educational activities would be resumed in all school across Himachal and students would begin receiving education from April 11, 2021, the notification said.

The decision came amid a sudden surge in new COVID-19 cases in the state and restrictions announced by the state government in wake of it.

Yesterday, the state reported 200 cases in various districts and three COVID-19 deaths. Today, the state reported 157 new cases and four fatalities till 7 pm. Also, expressing concerns over this surge, the state government had recently issued SOPs asking the district administrations and police chiefs to ensure strict compliance with preventive guidelines. Organization of fairs was prohibited and restrictions were imposed on number of persons in any indoor and outdoor social gatherings. 

Pertinent to mention that the Centre government had recently expressed fear of the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak as several states including Himachal’s neighboring state Punjab are reporting a massive spike in daily cases. Six States- Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu- are reporting a surge in daily new cases. They together account for 80.90% of the new cases (40,715) reported in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 24,645 (60.53%). It is followed by Punjab with 2,299 while Gujarat reported 1,640 new cases.

The schools would have to follow previously issued guidelines of the Centre Government. Students and teaching and non-teaching staff would have to ensure wearing masks, using sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing (2 meters).

The notification asked the school Principals/Headmasters to conclude yearly examinations of non-board classes by March 27, 2021, and declare the results by March 31. The admissions for the next session would be open from April 1.

For summer closing schools in Himachal Pradesh, the admissions would be open from April 5 and the these schools would remain shut from 1-4 April.  

Students who are taking board examinations of class 10, would be given provisional admissions to Class 11.

However, the notification mentioned “all students” and it’s not still clear whether these directions would also apply to primary classes or not.

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