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HPU’s Disabled Students Denied Reservation and Basic Facilities Despite Court Orders

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Disabled Students and Youth Association, Himachal Pradesh

Shimla– It is not less than an embarrassment for the Himachal Pradesh Government and the HP University that even disabled students are compelled to fight for their rights. The apathy of the system is such that these students are not getting any relief despite orders of the State High Court to reserve no less than five percent seats for disabled at higher educational institutes.

This indifference toward such students is apparent from the fact that the accessible library for the disabled students of Himachal Pradesh University, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on July 22, 2019, doesn’t even have a washroom and students, especially visually impaired girls, are facing difficulties. It was revealed by the disabled students of HPU in a memorandum submitted to the Governor and Chancellor, Bandaru Dattatreya, on December 13, 2019.

It is not shocking then that the Chief Minister inaugurated a library facility for the disabled students without basic facilities because it was merely a formality performed in response to an order of the State High Court passed in a PIL filed by a disabled student, Banita Rana, in 2014.

Victims of this apathy on part of HPU’s administrative officials, the Disabled Students and Youth Association (DSYA), Himachal Pradesh,  approached the Governor. The Association alleged that the HPU Administration is blatantly violating not only the educational rights of the disabled students but also not following the orders of the State High Court issued in November 2018.

Research Scholars, Mukesh Kumar and Saveena Jahan, Convener and Co-Convener of DSYA respectively, alleged that the Registrar, HPU, Ghanshyam Chand, disregarded orders of the court to reserve five percent seats for the disabled students during admissions. He went on with admissions for the session 2019-20 without implementing the order in any of the courses, they alleged. The disabled students were also not given this reservation while allotting hostel facility.

A visually impaired student, Indu Kumari, native of Chamba, had filed a PIL, while hearing this petition on November 5, 2018, the court had directed all institutions of higher education to reserve five percent seats for the disabled students.

“Therefore, we dispose of this petition by directing that all institutions of higher education and other higher educational institutions receiving aid from the government in the State of Himachal Pradesh, shall not only reserve not less than 5% seats for persons with benchmark disabilities but said reservation to the extent of 5% shall be provided each time when the institution initiates the process of admission to academic courses,”

the court had directed in its judgement.

The Registrar was also a party in the said PIL, despite that, the Association said, the Registrar is not afraid of attracting contempt of court by not implementing the order.

Further, the Association also complained that the said accessible library lacks several basic and necessary facilities.

“This accessible library in its new shape was inaugurated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on July 22, 2019. The disabled students who come to this section of the library are still deprived of the necessary equipment including talking software, Internet (LAN) connection, sufficient compute-chairs, tables, newspapers, e-journals of different subjects, periodicals, good quality heater and curtains on the windows,”

The Association also alleged that a budget to the tune of Rs 5 lakh, which was sanctioned and mandated to purchase talking software for visually impaired students, is about to laps since the Registrar did not make any purchase.

The Association also alleged that out of a total of 17 computers installed in the accessible library, only four computers are in working condition and have the necessary software installed.

The Association also complained that a Junior Office Assistant (JOA), who was appointed in the library to assist the blind and other visually impaired students, was transferred on September 24, 2019. Since the transfer, no replacement was provided and the library is without a JOA for the last three months.

The students alleged that the Registrar is not paying heed to the directions of the Vice-Chancellor as well.

The Association urged the Governor to look into the matter and protect the legal rights of the disabled students.

The Association also requested to provide a recourse room for the visually impaired students in the varsity where they can access reading devices, make recordings and books in Braille.

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Proposed HPBOSE Date-Sheets for 8th, 10th, 12th Exams 2021 Issued, Objections Invited till Feb 10

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HPBOSE Exam Datesheet 2021

Shimla-Date-sheets for Class 10, 12, and 8 yearly examinations for the 2020-21 session have been released by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education yesterday. These schedules would apply to both regular and State Open School (SOS) students. 

These are proposed date-sheets, which have been uploaded on the official HPBOSE website and objections have been invited from teachers, students, and parents. Objections can be mailed on www.hpbose2011@gmail.com till 10 February 2021.

According to the proposed HPBOSE date-sheets, examinations for 10th class would be held from May 5 to May 20, 2021. For 12th class, exams would be held from May 4 to May 29. Exams for 8th class would be held from May 5 to May 19. While timings for class 10th and 8th would be 8:45 to 12 PM, class 12th exams would be conducted from 1:45 PM to 5 PM.

The Board has already decided that yearly examinations of HPBOSE for Class 10th and 12th for the session 2020-21 would not be conducted online. The decision was taken considering the fact that several regions of the state do not have Internet connectivity due to which students face difficulties.

HPBOSE Class 12 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 10 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 8 Date-Sheet 2021

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Class 10th and 12th Yearly Exams Will Not be Conducted Online Due to Lack of Uniform Internet Connectivity in State: HPBOSE

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hp bose board exams 2020-21

Dharamshala-Yearly examinations of Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education (HPBOSE) for Class 10th and 12th for the session 2020-21 will not be conducted online, informed Dr Suresh Kumar Soni, Chairman, HPBOSE. The decision was taken considering the fact that several regions of the state do not have Internet connectivity due to which students face difficulties, he said.

It was decided after the Chairman held a video conference with Deputy Directors and school principals/headmasters to discuss the matter relating to the conduction of examinations.

He also informed that due to the pandemic schools remained closed and the Board could not conduct online practical exams and said that it is considering to allow the schools to conduct them at their level.  Further, to avoid crowding at schools, exams would be conducted in morning and evening sessions and more examination centres would be created. He informed that the Board is also considering to provide question papers for 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th classes to maintain uniformity in examinations across the state.  

Various aspects related to various classes are under consideration and would be forwarded to the Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur, he said. In accordance with Minister’s directions, the Board would try to resume regular examinations, the Chairman added.

Further, he informed that the Board is conducting examinations for 12th class (Science) in March 2020 and has invited applications from candidates. The candidates can apply online through nearest SOS centre between 28th December to 28th January.

HP SOS Examination Eligibility Criteria

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Himachal Shuts Down All Educational Institutes A Week After Re-Opening 

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Himachal Pradesh Educational Institutes closed again

Shimla-A week after re-opening for regular classes, the Himachal Pradesh Government had to shut down all government and private schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, engineering colleges and coaching institutes from 11th to 25th November 2020, for students, teaching and non-teaching staff amid alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting held on November 10, 2020. It’s pertinent to mention that the state government had re-opened the school for the students of 9th to 12th from November 2. However, during the past few days, hundreds of teachers and several students tested positive in various schools, especially in Mandi district.

Meanwhile, the unpreparedness of the state government came to light as the largest medical facility – IGMC Shimla- ran out of space in isolation wards for COVID-19 patients. It’s packed to full capacity. Reportedly, another dedicated COVID-19 hospital – DDU Shimla- was also running out of space. The government has also failed to establish make-shift hospitals, which it had been promising for the past couple of months. However, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had been maintaining in media statements that the government was prepared for all eventualities.

Questions have also been raised over the quality of protective gear provided to health staff as several officials tested positive at a COVID-19 hospital in Mandi district.

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