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VC Doesn’t Understand JNU’s Intellectual Culture, Say HPU SCA’s former Office Bearers, Seek His Removal

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For HPU SCA Officer Bearers seek removal of jnu vc

Shimla-A delegation of Himachal Pradesh University’s former student leaders and elected office bearers of the Students Central Association (SCA) on January 18, 2020, submitted a memorandum to the President through Governor Bandaru Dattatraya at Raj Bhavan, Shimla to show their solidarity with the students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) amidst the current turmoil. The signatories alleged that the student agitation for fee rollback has been met with aggressive counter, wherein students and teachers of the University have been brutally assaulted, under the implicit support of the Professor M. Jagdish Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Delhi police and political forces whose masked goons unleashed violence on January 5, 2020.

Among dozens of students and teachers attacked with rods and bricks, Professor Sucharita Sen, Dr. Ameet Parameswaran, and Ms. Aishe Ghosh, President JNUSU, were seriously injured in the brutal organized attack. And, till date, no arrests have been made and to the contrary criminal cases have been filed against the JNUSU office bearers and other students, they said.           

They also said that JNU has been the second best ranked University in India, first being IISc Bangalore, by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), MHRD, for its knowledge generation, academic outputs, briefly, owing to five parameters viz. (i) teaching, learning and resources; (ii) research, productivity, impact and IPR (RPII), (iii) graduation outcome, (iv) outreach and inclusivity and (v) perception.

Apart from the contribution of JNU to the overall human resource development and contribution to the national development as is evident from these criteria, the last stated criterion, ‘perception’, is the most important in the present scenario wherein 24×7 propaganda machinery is working hard to defame this esteemed centre of learning, they said.  Its academic preeminence has again been affirmed recently as out of 32 candidates selected as IES Officers, 18 are alumni of JNU. Thereafter, the Union HRD Minister also had to state ‘JNU is Our Top University’, they added.

The memorandum said that along with this, it is not out of place to put here that JNU also has earlier been considered a prestigious University world around. It has kept alive the very spirit of the debate in Indian Parliament when the bill for its establishment was placed for discussion as in the Rajya Sabha on 1 September 1965 by the then minister of education, M.C. Chagla. During the discussion on the bill, Bhushan Gupta, MP, voiced the opinion that ‘….this should not be yet another university…and one thing that this University should ensure was to keep noble ideas in mind and provide accessibility to students from weaker sections of society.’ And since the JNU Act came into force on 22 April 1969, the students and the faculty of this University did not let the Indian Parliament down and hugely contributed to take this University to the top by way of a work culture unique in India.

Today, JNU is also known for its alumni who occupy important bureaucratic and ministerial positions in India including in the present central government, the memorandum said. In this backdrop, the functioning of Professor M. Jagdish Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, during his four years tenure and with focus on January 05, 2020, violent attack, on students and faculty, needs a serious look. He was selected as Vice-Chancellor by the then President of India by ignoring the HRD Ministry’s note on the appointment of a new V.C. for JNU that had a veiled warning that Kumar could be a misfit to run JNU. His functioning as VC has been detrimental to the growth of this University as comes out of his four years tenure and the recent incidents have made it obligatory that he should be sacked immediately being complicit in the mob attack on students and teachers on January 05, 2020, it said.

The signatories have given the following five reasons behind their demand to remove the JNU VC:

  1. For the past four years of his tenure, the Vice-Chancellor has been working to “change the character of the University” without weighing the outcome of his measures. He has an ideological framework and is trying to plant a pre-drawn action plan, which is leading to a confrontation with students and faculty members and is the basis of the recent unrest in JNU where he is not paying attention to the elected bodies, JNUSU and JNUTA. For him, a decision means ‘no discussion’. JNU has an intellectual culture and has always been anti-establishment, and he is not fit to understand that due to his ‘robotic approach’. He could not understand the inherent strengths of JNU which has a culture of open debate between peers, teachers and students, and dissent.
  2. Till date, he did not even bother to meet and see the injured students showing his biased behaviour to a particular group of students and JNUSU, while facilitating the other group of students. It is in the public domain now that Professor Kumar did not allow police entry into the campus while the masked goons were attacking the innocent students despite administration receiving panic calls of the students being attacked. Even a political party accused him of being the “mastermind” of the attacks and demanded his immediate dismissal and a criminal investigation against him and some faculty members who conspired with the attackers and the security company on the campus. Even, BJP stalwart Professor Murli Manohar Joshi, Ex-HRD Minister, has sought dismissal of Professor Kumar conveying to the powers that be that the rule of law and institutional credibility are supreme in a democratic country.
  3. The Vice-Chancellor should have learnt a lesson from the Wardens of hostels, where students were attacked, who quit their posts on moral grounds taking responsibility for failure to protect students, and resigned on moral grounds on the night of January 5th itself. During the last four years of his tenure as the Vice-Chancellor of JNU, he has caused more harm than good to the University mainly sticking to his style of functioning and his ideological leaning.
  4. He has been obstinate not to listen to the grievances and demands raised by the JNUSU. Despite the fact that students proposed “first step” towards resolving the deadlock that they were ready to register for the new semester by only paying the tuition fees and not the hiked hostel fees, Professor Kumar did not respond to their move. It is too inhuman for him not to see the injured students after the brutal attack.
  5. He did not take any pre-emptive steps to prevent the mob attack on the students and the faculty members knowing well before the incident that something serious is going to happen on the campus between January 4 and 5. Now, after all, that has happened, he did not take any post-incident steps to assuage the feelings of the aggrieved party. That firmly confirms his complicity in this whole incident, hence he should be sacked.

 

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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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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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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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