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Private Schools in Shimla Flout Rules, Hike Fees upto 50% Without Holding General Houses, Alleges Parents Forum

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Shimla-  Hefty fees of private schools in Shimla had already been bothering the public, and during the the last two years the Covid pandemic has worsen the situation for parents. State government’s failure and absence of willingness to regulate fee structures of schools and take action against violations of directions passed in its notifications is also apparent. The parents alleged that the schools are not ready to provide any relief in fees despite the fact that institutions mostly remained closed during two consecutive sessions.  Now, the parents allege that instead of providing relief and complying with the notification issued by the state education department in December 2019, the schools have hiked fees.  

After a lot of hue and cry over payment of full fees despite institutions being remaining closed, last year the state education directorate had issued notifications asking schools to defer charging all other fees except tuition fee. The parents, however, complained that these schools have not only bypassed the notification by including 80% of these fees into the tuition fee, but also ignored notification mandating holding a general house with parents prior to taking any decision over hike in fees.

Also Read: Himachal: Private Schools Only Asked to Defer Fees During Lockdown, Not to Waive Off, Thanks to Helpless Edu Minister

The student-parent forum in Shimla on Friday released a press statement, demanding a roll back in the hiked school fees during the last two years. The forum said that private schools have made hikes between 15 to 50% without conducting a general house with the parents. The forum has deemed this fee-hike amid the Covid pandemic illegal and asked the state government to consolidate it.

“There has been an increase of 50% in school fees in the year 2021 without consulting the parents by organizing a general house. We demand the Directorate of Higher Education to apply its notification issued on December 5, 2019 to all private schools,” the forum said.

Also Read: Is This The Best Himachal’s Education Minister Can do to Regulate Private Schools, Make Them Obey Govt Orders?

According to the aforementioned notification private schools are not permitted to hike fees without conducting a general house 2020 onwards, the forum said.  The parents alleged these notifications are not deterring these schools at all as their repeated violations have attracted no action from the government.   

The forum alleged that there has been an increase of twelve to twenty thousand rupees in school fees during the last two years. About 80-90% of the total fees are charged under the title of tuition fee, which is a cunning attempt to bypass the notification. 

“This is clearly a well organized loot, and the State Government and Directorate of Higher Education’s silence and inaction raises several questions,” the forum said. 

The forum argues that hikes in fees aren’t justified in any way at a time when schools remained closed and the school expanses on electricity, water, sports related facilities, computer labs, annual functions, maintenance, sanitation etc. were almost zero.  

“Instead of an increase, there should have been at least 25 percent reduction in fees,” the forum said.  Further, it alleged that the unwillingness of state government to form a Regulatory Commission to keep private schools in check is suspicious in itself. 

The forum has warned the state government that if the hikes made in fees during 2020 and 2021 are not rolled back, the forum will continue to protest against it. 

Feature mage by keenicon from Pixabay

A 23 year old English graduate intensely passionate for journalism. Literature has taught her the value of latent, varying perspectives, and journalism couples it seamlessly with her inclination to look beyond the surface. She sums up her passion for journalism by quoting Maxine Hong Kingston, “There's something in life that's a curtain, and I keep trying to raise it.”

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HP By-Polls 2021: Silence Period Extended to Three Days

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Shimla-The campaigning period during Himachal Pradesh by-elections has been fixed from 10 am to 7 pm every day. The silence period has been extended from two days to three days before the closing date of voting, which will start after 6 pm on 27th October 2021.

During the no active campaigning by the candidates or political parties is allowed, and television or any digital media cannot carry any election-related matter.

This information was released by Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh, C. Paulrasu. He said that the Election Commission of India has limited the period of campaigning during by-election 2021 in view of the guidelines issued for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has urged all the candidates and political parties participating in the by-elections of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency and Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki Assembly Constituencies to comply with these guidelines related to the election campaign.

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Nauni Varsity Scholar Naincy Bags Scholarship to Pursue PhD in France

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Solan: Naincy Sagar, an alumna of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has bagged a fellowship for pursuing PhD from France. Nancy has reached France and will be pursuing PhD in Forest Genetics from the University of Orléans under INRAE fellowship. INRAE is France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Naincy has completed her BSc Forestry from College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri in 2018 and MSc Forest Biology and Tree Improvement and Genetic Resources from UAS, Dharwad, under ICAR’s National Talent Scheme. Before leaving for France last week, Naincy was working as a Junior Research Fellow in a research project at COH&F, Neri.

She had applied for a PhD with a scholarship in Forest Genetics which was advertised by INRAE. Naincy was successful in the interview and was awarded a fellowship for three years for pursuing PhD at the University of Orléans. During the course of the PhD, she will receive a total scholarship of around Rs 70 lakh along with medical reimbursement. Naincy will be working on forest tree larch species in the Project titled ‘Vigour at what cost? ‘Trade-off’ of hybrid vigour in Larch-Phenological, morphological and physiological determinants of hybrid superiority in Larix X eurolepis’ with a team of 20 scientists of Joint Integrated Biology Research Unit having expertise in genetics, genomics and physiology for the enhancement of tree and forest diversity

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor of the university spoke to Naincy via web conferencing and congratulated her. Dr. Kaushal, who has also done his doctorate from France, shared some tips and suggestions. He asked Naincy to explore this opportunity to learn about new cultures along with doing research that could help to enhance and conserve forest wealth in the future.

Naincy expressed gratitude towards her father Satya Prakash Sagar (Retd. SDO BSNL) and mother Monika Sagar, who is working as SDO in BSNL for their continuous support for higher studies. She also thanked Vice-Chancellor Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Dean Dr. Kamal Sharma and Dr. Dushyant Sharma, Project Investigator and all the university staff for their support and guidance. The university administration, Dean of COH&F Neri congratulated Naincy and wished her success.  

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Bad Weather Warning for Himachal, Tourists and Locals Advised Not to Venture into Higher Hills

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Shimla– The Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted heavy to very heavy rains for middle and lower hills on October 17th and 18th. The Met has also issued orange and yellow alerts for various districts.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall has been predicted in higher hills and advisory has been issued for both locals and tourists to avoid travelling to higher hills.

While a yellow alert with a prediction of thunderstorms and lightning at isolated places has been issued for Una and Hamirpur district on October 17, an orange alert with a prediction of heavy rainfall, thunderstorm, lightning and hailstorm at isolated places has been issued for Bilaspur, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, and Kinnaur.

For October 18, a yellow alert has been issued for Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Chamba, and Kullu districts and an orange alert for the remaining districts.

The Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul-Spiti, warned that in view of the Met Department’s forecast for the next two days, locals and tourists should avoid Manali-Leh National Highway (NH-03) and refrain from venturing into higher hills.

In case, travel is unavoidable due to some compelling circumstances, such candidates have been asked to confirm weather and road conditions on given telephone numbers, which are 9459661355, 01900-202509, 510, 517 and 1077.

The DC also informed that in case of any emergency, people should contact the District Disaster Management Cell, Lahaul-Spiti, on 01900 202509, 510, 517, and Tall Free -1077.

The weather is predicted to be dry on October 19 and 20. 

Feature Photo: Photo by Rodrigo Souza from Pexels

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