Former education minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia on Tuesday extended support to hundreds of Delhi University (DU) students and teachers, as they marched from the Ramlila Ground to Parliament, demanding a rollback of the four-year undergraduate programme.
Sisodia alleged the introduction of the four-year format at DU seemed to have taken place under a policy of the Central government to gradually privatise education in the country. “We have always raised concerns about the four-year course and demanded a rollback of the programme. I challenge the BJP and the Congress to state their stand on the issue. The four-year undergraduate programme is an anti-student measure. It goes against students, who come from economically weaker sections and who cannot afford to spend an additional year, considering how difficult it is to live in Delhi,” Sisodia said.
AAP leader and Lok Sabha candidate from Chandni Chowk Ashutosh said, “Some students had approached us with the issue before the AAP government resigned. If we come to power again, we will definitely take up the issue.”
The AAP leaders shared the dais with CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury and BJP leader O P Kohli. While Kohli questioned the manner in which the university administration had brought about the four-year course, Yechury stressed on the need to fight attempts at commercialising education in the country.
According to Delhi University Teachers’ Association president Nandita Narain, the indifference shown by the Central government on the issue would play a role in the Congress’ performance in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.