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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they were ordered to vacate the hostels, the mess was closed, washrooms were locked, and drinking water facilities were withdrawn in a bid to force the students to end their protest.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 Technical University Hamirpur Turned into Political Arena, Deprived of Its Autonomy: ABVP

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HPTU Hamirpur ABVP Conference

Hamirpur- The Himachal Pradesh Technical University, Hamirpur, (HPTU) has been turned into a political arena by the Himachal Pradesh Government. The Minister for Technical Education, Bikram Singh, has forgotten that this college also comes under his jurisdiction and that he is responsible for its development, said Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad unit of HPTU in a press conference organized on October 16, 2019.

The conference was addressed by President of ABVP’s HPTU unit, Suraj Jariyal, Secretary Ankita Sharma, and Robin.

The situation has worsened to such an extent that ABVP has now opened a front against its own government. Suraj termed the neglection of the college by the Minister of Technical Education as most unfortunate. He alleged the University is awaiting development for the past 10 years, however, this issue was never raised in the Legislative Assembly. The classes are being conducted in the building of a boys school. An additional fee is being charged for facilities such as computer lab, internet, and library. However, in reality, the varsity doesn’t even have its own building and campus.

The government made no provision of a budget for the university, which shameful in itself. The state government keep forming new rules for the university very frequently. These rules are of pure political interest, he said. ABVP alleged that the government is trying to fulfil its political interests through the only technical university of the state, which is why it keeps forcing new rules on the varsity.

Recently, the state government and the Department of Technical Education issued a Tughlaqi order prohibiting the university from starting new courses and making any recruitment. ABVP criticised this decision terming it a mockery of the autonomy of the university. 

Unit secretary Ankita advised the Minister for Technical Education to read the constitution of the varsity, which empowers the university to make new recruitments and start new courses anytime it wants. The university does not need to seek permission from either the government or the Minister to do so, Ankita said.

ABVP has demanded that the government should stop depriving the varsity of its autonomy, provision of a budget is made, vacant posts of regular teaching and non-teaching staff are filled up, and new courses are started at the earliest at the new campus.

The university is lacking behind in education and development due to apathetic attitude of the state government, Suraj said. ABVP warned the government that if it did not roll back its decision, then more aggressive protests would be launched. If needed, a ‘Jail Bharo’ campaign would be initiated by ABVP, he said. 

 

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1000 Himachal Students to be Part of Largest Robotics Training, Will Set Up a World Record

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World Record in Robotic Training Himachal Pradesh

Dharamshala-All India Council for Robotics & Automation (AICRA) is looking to set up a World Record in Largest Robotics Training on 19th October (Saturday), 2019 where 40,000 students will be trained Pan-India on same date and time in different cities. 

The World Record on Largest Robotics Training will be registered with Guinness World Record, Limca Book of Records and World Record India.

In Himachal Pradesh, students from various schools will become part of this international event. Approximately 1000 students will participate to set up the world record at Aadhunik Public School, Dharamshala.

Ashish Bhagoria, Managing Director, Ashnet Consulting Private Limited (Himachal Pradesh State Office – AICRA), explained that this training program will be very beneficial for the students. Through this training, students will learn about Robotics and Artificial intelligence and will get hands-on exposure in assembling and running Obstacle Avoider Robot.

The Head Office of All India Council for Robotics & Automation (AICRA) is based in New Delhi and has now started its operations in Himachal Pradesh to create an ecosystem for the growth of robotics and automation. The council works with Government, Industry and Institutions to ensure that students work in robotics labs in schools and colleges to get exposure and training on future technology, they get the latest training through experts and they get a platform to showcase their talent in championships, competitions, leagues and such events.

AICRA has also taken an initiative of supporting and incubating the technology start-up ideas of students.

The Robots and the Trainers will be provided by AICRA Head Office for conducting practical training. The program will start at 9 am and will conclude at 5 pm on 19th October 2019.

AICRA is a not-for-profit organization that works in the field of Robotics & Automation and education industry.

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Campus Watch

St.Bede’s College Shimla Participates in HPSDMA Ralley Ahead of International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction 2019

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St Bede's College Shimla DRR Ralley

Shimla-St.Bede’s College, Shimla, on October 11, 2019, ahead of the International Disaster Risk Reduction 2019, participated in a rally organised by Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (HPSDMA).

A statewide awareness campaign on disaster reduction was inaugurated today at Gaiety Theatre by HPSDMA. The program began with the traditional Himachali folk dance ‘Nati’, followed by a Nukkad Natak. During the campaign, a variety of events aimed at creating a resilient Himachal would be organized, informed HPSDMA.

From the Disaster Management Cell of the College, a total of 32 students and 14 teachers participated. The rally was organised to create awarness among people about natural and man-made disasters. The students of St. Bede’s had prepared posters and slogans for the rally.

The rally started at 10: 00 am from the C.T.O. , Mall Road Shimla, after its inauguration by D.C Rana, Special Secretary, Government Of Himachal Pradesh. The rally covered the entire lower bazar, the Mall Road, Scandal Point and concluded at the Gaiety Theatre.
St Bede's College Shimla DRR Ralley 2

Later, Rana enlightened students about various disasters like earthquake, flood, fire etc., and preventive measures that one should take in case of any disaster.

A quiz competition was also organized, in which students of different schools participated. The main aim of the quiz was to make students aware of various disasters and preventive measures.

After the quiz competition, videos on awareness were shown on disaster preparedness. The students and teachers also went to see the exhibition in which the medical staff threw light on the techniques used in medical emergencies like a heart attack or cardiac Arrest – CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation).

Every year, disasters caused by natural hazards affect millions of people around the world. Therefore, every year, on October 13, International Day for Disaster Reduction is celebrated to promote a global culture of risk awareness and disaster reduction by celebrating how people around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters.

This year’s theme is based on one Target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: ‘Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of services through developing resilience by 2030’.

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