SEPTEMBER 27 was the 110th birth anniversary of the hero of the generations of Indian students and Youth, Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh. This year’s anniversary saw the streets of Shimla, capital of the hill state of Himachal Pradesh, reverberating with the slogans, dreams and aspirations of that 23 year old-starry eyed youth.
THE new academic year has begun in Indian universities with signals of authoritarian highhandedness in different forms. The beginning of any academic activity is supposed to be fear free and must be in an atmosphere of freedom. However, the news coming from campuses from EFLU to JNU, situated in diverse locations in the country offer stern warnings regarding what is in store for the new students. These indicate that this academic year for the students is going to be no different from the previous academic year when they were filled with student outrages.
THE formal adoption of the neo-liberal reforms programme by the Government of India (GOI) in 1991 had a far more pervasive impact on the education system and policy than is usually recognised. The commercialisation and marketisation of education put it outside the grasp of the majority of India’s population, 78 percent of whom were living on less than twenty rupees per day (Arjun Sengupta Committee report), and altered the concepts of knowledge, education and its curricular content.
INDIA is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 54 percent of its total population below 25 years of age. An effective education system with proper balance between the three basic parameters of accessibility, equality and quality is essential for utilisation of this young human resource towards the task of nation building.
MODI government had undertaken an exercise of formulating the New National Policy on Education (NPE) immediately after assuming the office. However, the media reports suggest that the finalisation of the policy document may take a few more months. HRD ministry’s reluctance to make the draft report public has led to speculations among various circles that the new NPE will be used to further the Hindutva agenda.
THE confusion surrounding the National Eligibility Entrance Examination (NEET) -- a centralised entrance for the MBBS, BDS and PG medical courses --ended in the last week of May, with President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent to the ordinance brought by the central government following the Supreme Court ruling, which called for holding NEET from this year itself. Now, what does this mean in effective terms?
A DELEGATION comprising Digvijay Singh (INC), Sitaram Yechury (CPI(M)), D Raja (CPI), K C Tyagi and Pawan Kumar Verma (JD-U), KTS Tulsi (nominated), Majid Memon (NCP) and Baishnab Parida (BJD) met the president on May 6, 2016 and handed over a letter, seeking his intervention to resolve the current crisis in the Jawaharlal Nehru University and to restore normalcy.
The following is the statement issued by emeritus professors of the JNU, on May 9, 2016.
As emeritus professors of the JNU we are disturbed by the turn of events at the JNU. The university has always been a space where we allowed free discussion of issues raised by students and faculty. In the course of such discussion whether in seminars or at other informal gatherings, speakers from both within the university and from outside were invited to participate.
EVEN as the police resorted to repressive measures on students and others who participated in the ‘Chalo HCU’ programme on April 6, demanding resignation of vice chancellor P Appa Rao, the latter had to face heat in the meeting of academic council where several members protested against his chairing the meeting and his continuation as VC of the University of Hyderabad. On the call of the Joint Action Committee of the students’ unions, leaders of different students’ unions, mass organisations and JAC of Osmania University and students coming from different parts of the state turned out on a