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LED Grow lights, Laser Land Levelling, NDVI Sensor, Micro-Irrigation etc. can Revolutionize Agriculture: Scientists at International UHF Nauni Conference  

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UHF Nauni International Conference 2019

Solan-The focus on the development and adoption of emerging agricultural technology will go a long way in the success of agricultural activities in the country and contribute towards increasing farmers income. With these recommendations, the 2nd International Conference on ‘Recent Advances in Agricultural, Environmental and Applied Sciences for Global Development’ concluded on Sunday at Nauni.

The conference was organized by the Agro-Environmental Development Society (AEDS) in association with Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, Cairo University’s Plant Pathology Research Institute and Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Speaking at the valedictory session of the conference, Dr HR Gautam, co-chairman of the local committee said that interactions in this international conference helped to exchange innovative ideas among the participants. As more than 60 per cent of participants were young researchers, this conference will have great bearings in future research programmes of different research institutes of the country.

Eminent and young scientists from different State Agriculture Universities and ICAR institutes took part in the event and presented their research. Several topics under the major themes like recent advances in agriculture and allied fields, natural resource management and sustainable hill farming for livelihood security, emerging issues in environmental management, recent advances in biological and allied sciences, and recent trends in pharmaceutical and applied sciences for sustainable development were covered during the conference.

2nd International Conference on ‘Recent Advances in Agricultural, Environmental and Applied Sciences for Global Development

In his presentation, Dr DB Parekh, Former Principal Scientist, ICAR NBPGR, New Delhi shed light on the vast scope of LED grow lights, which he said can usher in a new revolution in plant sciences in the country. This food production technology consumes 40 per cent less power, 80 per cent less food wastage, 99 per cent less water usage than outdoor fields and leads to the reduction of carbon footprint. This technology, with a negligible infestation of diseases and pests, does not require any chemical pesticides and thereby helps to produce healthy foodstuff. As more and more people are shifting to urban areas and the cultivable land is shrinking, this technology through its implementation in vertical farming will reduce the pressure on land.

Dr RK Sharma, eminent scientist and Head, Resource Management programme, ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal gave a comprehensive account of emerging crop cultivation technologies for doubling farmers’ income. He said for achieving sustainable higher productivity as well as profitability, efforts must be focused on reversing the trend in natural resource degradation by adopting efficient resource conservation and input management technologies. Laser land levelling, use of NDVI sensor for need-based nitrogen application saves 15-20% nitrogen without any reduction in productivity of wheat as well as rice crops. Leaving crop residues at soil surface i.e. conservation agriculture can help save one irrigation which would be more than 15% water saving. The micro-irrigation practices (sprinkler and drip) can save more than 25-30% water compared to conventional flood irrigation practice.

Dr Rinku Sharma, Senior Scientist IVRI Regional Station Palampur, highlighted the increasing problem of Enzootic bovine haematuria (EBH), a disease in cattle, caused due to chronic ingestion of ferns. The disease is prevalent in some pockets of districts Kullu, Chamba, Mandi and Shimla at an altitude of 1800 meters above mean sea level. She shared that, experimental studies have shown that Dryopteris nigropalaceae fern, produced pre-neoplastic lesions on long-term feeding in animals in high hills. Dr Sharma suggested that farmers in EBH-endemic areas should not use ferns as a fodder or bedding material for the livestock and try not to send empty-stomach cattle for grazing.

Dr Rajinder Chaudhary, a research scholar from NDRI Karnal shared his engaging research on the development of an encapsulates of Omega 3, which has been derived from vegetarian sources. Because of the modern lifestyle, the lack of Omega 3 in foodstuff causes rheumatic arthritis, psoriasis, cardiovascular diseases. The encapsulate can be directly added to other foodstuffs.

The three-day event saw over 500 participants from 15 states of India and five countries take part. Dr JN Sharma, Director Research, Dr SK Sharma, Dr Anil Handa and other scientists of the university were also present on the occasion.

 

 

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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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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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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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