Taking forward the protest against the closing down of seats in government and grant-in-aid engineering colleges, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student organisation affiliated to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), gave a call for bandh at these government colleges on Tuesday.
The colleges affected by the call include Government Polytechnic Kutch, Government Polytechnic Rajkot, Government Polytechnic Porbandar, Government Polytechnic GEC Gandhinagar, Government Polytechnic Godhra, Government Polytechnic Himmatnagar, Government Polytechnic Aravalli, Government Polytechnic Palanpur and a few government engineering colleges affiliated to Gujarat Technological University.
The student organisation claimed that local police at Porbandar, Rajkot and Valsad colleges had attempted to convince the students to give up the bandh call. ABVP state Secretary Himalayasinh Zala said, “This agitation is to secure the future of students from tribal and rural areas. On one side, the state government is spending crores on ‘Study in Gujarat’ campaign inviting foreign students. On the other side, it is closing down seats. This decision is not in favour of higher education. If the state government does not withdraw this decision, this agitation would be continued.”
On Monday, there was a signature campaign in 11 engineering and 23 polytechnic colleges where the state government has cut down over 9,550 seats.
Representations condemning the state government’s move and accusing it of promoting privatisation of education, were submitted to Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, district collectors of 19 affecting districts and MLAs last week.
The Indian Express, on February 10, had reported how in its Government Resolution (GR) issued on February 7, the state government decided to cut down nearly 7,000 seats in 69 branches in 23 government polytechnic colleges and over 2,550 seats of 29 branches in 11 engineering colleges, for improved ‘academic and administration’ of government and grant-in-aid technical institutes, effective from academic session 2020-’21.
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