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were ordered to vacate the hostels, the mess was closed, washrooms were locked, and drinking water facilities were withdrawn in a bid to force the students to end their protest.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

HP University: Student Agitations Over Vaccination Intensify, Delay in Opening Hostels Adds to Their Woes

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HP University Student Vaccination

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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A post shared by Nigam Bhandari (@nigambhandari_)

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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A post shared by Nigam Bhandari (@nigambhandari_)

“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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Campus Watch

HPU Exams Without Vaccinating Students Opposed, If Online Classes Are Possible, Why Not Online Exams, Asks Student Body

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Cancel HPU Exams

Shimla-Amidst the ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to hold exams for various Under Graduate classes.

The HPU has released the date sheet for B.Ed 1ST and 3rd-semester exams. The date sheet for M.Ed exams has also been released by the university. Final examination schedule for B.A., B.Sc., B.Com, Hons. and Shastri courses were also released on the University website on Monday.

However, ahead of the warming for the third wave, which is predicted to hit within the next 7-8 weeks, an HPU student body has opposed the decision citing the risk posed to students by offline examination in the middle of a pandemic.

Students have also taken to social media and have been demanding the cancellation of exams. Students had been Tweeting this demand with the hashtag #cancelhpuexams.

They also questioned why the government was not considering the safety of the college students while exams of school students were cancelled.

The NSUI state unit on Monday submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Director of Higher Education demanding a statewide vaccination drive for students aged above 18 years before conducting the university exams. The student body also raised a demand for a reasonable reduction in the syllabus.

In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the student body raised three demands. The body has asked the Chief Minister to ensure vaccination of all students before conducting exams. It proposed conducting online examinations if the government can’t vaccinate all students in such a short span.

“If online classes are possible, then exams should also be conducted online,” said Chattar Singh, the NSUI state president.

The student body also asked the state government to find an alternative medium for conducting exams so that students are not put at risk. The student body urged the state government to not use the students as “experimental kits.”

ABVP, SFI Demand Re-Opening of University Library

The state unit of SFI (HPU) and ABVP(HPU) on Monday raised the demand to re-open the university library which remained closed for the students due to the pandemic induced restrictions. In separate memorandums submitted to the University Library in-charge, both the student bodies have said the state government had allowed the re-opening of libraries with a capacity of 50% students on June 19. Despite the notification, the University has not released any notice regarding the same.

Research scholars are unable to pursue and complete their research without access to libraries. Students preparing for various exams are suffering a loss, ABVP said.  

SFI also raised concern over keeping students deprived of the 24×7 library section.

“The university takes pride in mentioning that it has a 24×7 section in its library. But the same section remains closed for the last one year and seven months. Last year, when the library was re-opened, the 24×7 section was kept closed,” SFI said. The student body has demanded that this students shouldn’t be kept deprived of this essential facility. 

SFI expressed disappointment over the lackadaisical attitude of the varsity authorities towards the demands for basic facilities. It said that while the students had been demanding the replacement of furniture in the libraries which is in a very poor state, the university administration is “busy installing sculptures.”  Despite demands, the varsity authority hasn’t moved a muscle, it said.

The student union has demanded the replacement of broken furniture, maintenance of the library washrooms and frequent sanitization of the library.

The student bodies have warned of protests if the varsity authority still doesn’t pay attention to their demands.

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Campus Watch

Video: How HPBOSE Will Calculate and Allot Marks to Class 10 Students

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hp board marks calculation formula for promotion

Shimla-The second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has washed out another academic session and disrupted the academic calendars of institutes. A

The HPBOSE recently notified its detailed criteria for compilation of result and promotion of students to the next higher class while focusing on, what it called, “Continuous Comprehensive Assessment (CCA)” and “Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)”.

The notification came following the cancellation of the Annual Examination of Matriculation and Senior Secondary (Plus Two) classes of HP Board of School Education in wake of the pandemic.

The formula is based on class 9 result of the student, Class 10 first and second term exams, pre-board result, paper of one subject held on April 13, internal assessment and practical marks.

Himachal Watcher has prepared this video to help you understand the process.

Subject wise weightage will be allotted to students depending on the distribution of subjects by HPBOSE. Visit this link to check the weightage of marks per exams

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