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Kalpa Valley in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

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Exploring the Himalayan wonder landscapes.

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Campus Watch

Nauni varsity researcher bags ICSSR Post Doctoral Fellowship

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Dr Nisha Thakur icssr fellowship

Solan-Dr Nisha Thakur, a Senior Research Fellow at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni (UHF) has been awarded Post Doctoral Fellowship by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Ministry of Human Resource and Development, for the year 2018-19.

The national level fellowship awarded by ICSSR will see Dr Nisha work on the topic ‘Organic and Inorganic Farming in HP- a Comparative Study’. Dr KK Raina, Professor and Head of Department of Business Management will be her supervisor for the study.

During the two- year fellowship, Dr Nisha will receive Rs 28,000 per month with contingency of Rs 20,000 per annum.

The main objective of ICSSR Post-Doctoral Fellowship is to encourage and retain young Indian social science scholars who have completed their PhD and who wish to pursue a regular career in teaching and research.

Hailing from village Nandal near Oachghat in District Solan, Dr Nisha has completed her B Sc and M Sc from UHF. She completed her doctorate in Agricultural Economics from the Department of Social Science last year and has since been working as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Fruit Science.

University Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma congratulated Dr Nisha on her achievement and wished her the best for carrying out the study.

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Campus Watch

Kiss The Frog – Say English Dons at Theog

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language workshop at theog govt college shimla

Shimla- “Kiss the frog!” prescribed Dr. John Verghese, Principal, St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi and the chief guest while addressing the English language teachers from across the country assembled at Govt. College Theog for the National Workshop “Talking The Talk: The Changing Face of Language” at Govt. College Theog. The frogs as per Dr. Verghese are the weaknesses within us that all of us should identify, acknowledge, embrace and overcome.

The workshop was organized by The English Literary Society, Govt. College Theog in collaboration with The English Language Teachers’ Association of India (Shimla Chapter) on December 15, 2018.

Prof. Girija Sharma, former Dean of Studies, Himachal Pradesh University, and the Guest of Honour on the occasion said,

The practice of translation has done a tremendous service to the evolution and expansion of the English language by adding new words and usages for culture-specific contexts.

In her introductory remarks, Dr. Kamayani Bisht, the organizing secretary and Assistant Professor (English), Govt. College Theog said,

Language change could be seen as an organic evolution of language where the fittest survive and therefore criticism of change could simply be a result of nostalgia.

Dr. Anupma Garg, Principal Govt. College Theog while felicitating the guests expressed a hope that such events at such mofussil educational institutions would help in bringing about a sensitization for a deliberate and a qualitatively aware use of language amongst the students.
Kiss the frog

During the panel discussion moderated by Prof. Meenakshi F. Paul, Principal, Center for Evening Studies Himachal Pradesh University, Dr. Praveen Kumar, Principal, Govt. College, Sarahan (Distt Sirmour) impressed upon how the evolution of the English language has followed many culture-specific trajectories resulting in many Englishes and several nuanced ways of using these Englishes.

Another resource person, Dr. Vikas Dogra, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Himachal Pradesh University, delved on the importance of context and its effects in the use of language.

While the language purists may always not agree with the use of language in the media, the evolutionary push and pulls of the ever-changing technology brings its own sets of changes. While the practices, including the use of language, in the print media took a long time to evolve and settle, the same will in the new media as well, once the initial rush has settled,

he said.

Mr. Anuja Sharma, Associate Professor (English), St. Bede’s College, Shimla, one of the panelists, highlighted the need for a change in attitude towards students of language within the classroom setting.

In her concluding remarks, Prof. Paul said,

While we cannot resist language change we must not, especially as users of language, the basic etiquette, and aesthetics of any language use should not be abandoned in blind favour of change.

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Report bursts myth about ‘big encroachers’ in Himachal’s tribal areas

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Big encroachers in tribal himachal

Shimla-Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective in collaboration with Zila Van AdhikarSamiti, Kinnaur, released its report titled, ‘Who Gains from the Forest Rights Act, 2006?’. The study conducted in the tribal district of Kinnaur, assessed 1351 Individual Forest Right (IFR) claims of 22 Forest Rights Committees (FRC) in the district where 132 FRCs have been formed.

The study found that 96.5% of these IFR claims were for less than 10 bighas of land and only 6 claims out of 1351 claims being of more than 20 bighas.

Jiyalal Negi, president of Zila Van AdhikaarSamiti, Kinnaur said,

The data shows that people are making genuine claims of land under their occupation mainly for their survival and not for grabbing land as is the notion that the administration holds.

The study looked at the landholding data of 417 claimants of the total 1351 showing that 67% of these have existing private land holdings under 10 bighas.

Negi further added that close to 26% of the claimants are in the category of Scheduled Castes, whereas they form only 17.53% of the total population.

The report also revealed that the average size of land claimed under FRA by the SC community is slightly more than the average land claimed by ST community. Prakash Bhandari from Himdhara Environment Collective emphasized,

If the IFR claims of 417 SC claimants studied are recognized, then the average land holding size would increase from 8.86 bigha to 11.47 bigha,

showing that a fair and just implementation of this Act could play a critical role in reducing land ownership inequities in the region.

The Forest Rights Act, 2006 was legislated to support the survival of tribal and other communities living in areas where dependence on ‘forest lands’ is high. The act recognizes the individual as well as community uses of forestland dependent communities.

The study by Himdhara Collective was carried out to challenge certain arguments posed by the administration in Kinnaur as well as some other areas, questioning the individual claimants on the grounds that they belong to already landed communities and would be grabbing more land.

With such arguments dominating political and bureaucratic discussions, the implementation of the Act has remained poor, where only 129 individual claims have been approved across the state

, said SonamTargay and Rigzin, representatives from Lahaul-Spiti.

The representatives from both districts recommended that it is high time that the pending files with State and District level Committees be expedited. They also emphasized on the urgent need of training that should be conducted for both the administration and political representatives to remove misconceptions about this very important act.

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