THE central executive committee of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) in a statement issued on December 8 has noted that the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has shamelessly directed all higher educational institutions to launch campaigns in the name of ‘Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyaan’ using students and faculty members to campaign in favour of demonetisation from December 12- January 12. This is being done at a time when the drastic economic effects of demonetisation are being felt across the country, with the poor sections feeling the brunt of the attack.
UGC through a circular dated December 5, has asked all higher educational institutions to make the campuses ‘cashless’ and use the ‘NSS and NCC unit to campaign in a nearby mandi or market’. Further, ‘every student has been asked to campaign in at least 10 households’.
There are news reports that students participating in these campaigns will be given extra credits. This is not only a clear misuse of the government machinery for the cheap propaganda of the ruling party, but also something which is antithetical to the academics.
The very idea of making ‘all campuses cashless’ lacks any knowledge of the ground realities. Students in the mofussil towns and rural/semi-rural areas are in no position of paying their fees etc through electronic means at the current juncture. Majority of students in central universities had to face extreme difficulties having been forced to stand in bank and ATM queues at the time of approaching exams and submissions.
The CEC of SFI has called upon all its units to launch campaigns in the university centres and the higher educational institutions in this very period against the disastrous impact of demonetisation.