Students, teachers and educationists from several states across India took part in an ‘Education Parliament’, organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday, to condemn the central government’s “attack” on higher education in the form of “centralisation, commercialisation and communalisation”.
Most speakers condemned the government’s alleged attempt towards the saffronisation of education and attacked the “cancer” like Choice Based Credit System (CBCS).
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The CBCS is “spreading like cancer across universities and institutions. We had thought it was benign, but it is extremely virulent,” said Mustafa Zaidi, secretary of the Aligarh Muslim University Teacher’s Association.
“Till the 19th century, the analysis of history was centred around religion. Each period was understood as a clash between two religions. But this understanding was rejected by historians in the 20th century and several other points of focus like caste, class and gender came into being.
Today, the central government wants to go back to the old regressive system of analysing history through religion, which everyone has rejected,” said historian Harbans Mukhia.
Students from various universities spoke about their ordeals. “Student unions have been banned since 2010. When we ask for elections, they tell us to study. But the state government says it doesn’t have enough money to help us. Then how do we study,” said Vikas, a student of Magadh University in Bihar.
A student of Allahabad University spoke about how 523 of the 800 academic posts in the university were lying vacant, including the post of the vice-chancellor.