ABVP attacks AISA NO CBCS Campaign in Delhi University

ABVP members assaulted AISA activists  campaigning against the introduction of CBCS in Delhi University. On 28 May 2015 AISAmembers were campaigning against CBCS in front of the Open Session for Admissions in North Campus. At around 1.30 pm in front of gate number 4, DUSU Jt. Secretary Ashutosh Mathur (from ABVP) and ABVP members Gaurav Choudhury and Amarjit Choudhury attacked AISA activists who were distributing pamphlets to the students and parents present there. Ashutosh Mathur arrived with other ABVP supporters and snatched the pamphlets that were being distributed by AISA members. The pretext of the attack was that AISA was campaigning against the Narendra Modi government.

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ABVP member beating AISA activist with a stick

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Same ABVP member seats at ABVP counter with no fear of action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many AISA activists were brutally beaten up with sticks. Sexually explicit abuses were hurled at them by ABVP members in front of many students and parents. AISA State Vice President Sunny Kumar and AISA members Dhanpal, Mohit Pandey and Harshvardhan were injured. The entire incident took place in front of several policemen and security personnel from the university on duty who remained mute witnesses when the ABVP members were on rampage.

The injuries were serious enough to require a Medico-legal-certificate (MLC). In spite of the seriousness of the injuries and the heinous nature of the assault, the police at the Maurice Nagar police station were reluctant to file a complaint. This reluctance and the seriousness of the unprovoked assault produced a spontaneous protest by the students of DU. It was only after this strong protest that the police at the Maurice Nagar Station registered the complaint and filed an FIR.
AISA member Mohit Pandey said: “It is sheer hypocrisy on the part of ABVP who claim that they are against CBCS but beat up AISA members protesting against CBCS.”
AISA state Vice President Sunny Kumar said “This only shows the double standards of the BJP-led central government. The MHRD on one hand sends order after order to DU to implement CBCS and ABVP-led DUSU says that it opposes CBCS but attacks AISA for campaigning against CBCS. AISA will continue to oppose CBCS even if it is passed by the DU EC, like it fought FYUP.”

Despite the assault and future threats of attacks by the ABVP, AISA activists showed remarkable spirit and resumed campaign against the introduction of CBCS in Delhi University in huge numbers the very next day. The response was so great that teachers from the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) also joined the campaign. Different student organizations, students and teachers organized a protest march at Arts Faculty,Delhi University demanding action against the perpetrators of violence from ABVP.

See Photo Journal of the Campaign:

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Joint Protest march by Students and Teachers against ABVP Violence

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Com. Dhanpal injured during the attack by ABVP campaigning in front of the open session

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Prospective Students Listen to the Arguments of AISA activists on CBCS

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Parents and Students listen to the arguments against CBCS

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AISA activists explaining the ill effects of CBCS

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Women activistsignore threats from ABVPand campaign against CBCS

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Prof. Nandita Narain, join the Campaign against CBCS in front of DU open Session

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No to Violence Argument and Reason

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Students and Parents interested in knowing about CBCS

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Students and Parents interested in knowing about CBCS

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Com. Madhurima, explains the CBCS model to prospective students

 

 

 

 

AISA’s 8th National Conference Calls for Nationwide Movement Against Common Central University Bill, CBCS, RUSA, ‘Binding Commitments’ at WTO, and Attacks on Campus Democracy!

AISA successfully completed its 8th National Conference on 10-11 May 2015 in New Delhi.

11265371_10204741649835232_1852394656108701189_nThe Conference started on the historic day of 10th May. On 10th May, 1857, began India’s First War of Independence against the British colonial ‘Company Raj’. Uniting across religion and caste, the ordinary people of the country fiercely resisted the British Raj serving the East India Company. Fighters of the 1857 Ghadar inspired Bhagat Singh and his comrades later. Bhagat Singh always warned that the fight for freedom was not only against the British (gore angrez), but against the Indian rulers as well (bhure angrez) who would continue the anti-people, repressive and pro-imperialist policies. The relevance of Bhagat Singh’s warnings is becoming clearer every day. Today, the Modi Government in so many ways has become the new Company Raj: with the land grab bill, pro-corporate labour law ‘reforms’, sell-out of India’s sovereignty and people’s security through ‘Indo-US nuke deal’ and rewriting of Patent rules at the behest of US corporates and so on.

In the sphere of education, a slew of disastrous moves have been initiated like the Central University Act, CBCS, RUSA, rampant saffronisation in syllabus and appointments and curtailment of academic freedom and campus democracy.

All avenues of stable, dignified employment are being dismantled. In the name of ‘Make in India,’ there is an all-out attempt to unmake country’s plural, democratic fabric and our collective future.

In such a backdrop, the call of the 1857 fighters resonates again for Indian citizens today. This is why AISA held its 8th National Conference on 10th May 2015 with the call – ‘10th May Calls Us to the Fore – Company Raj No More’ and the resolve to build nationwide movement to fight the Modi govt.’s policy offensives, particularly in the field of education and employment.

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Comrade Abhyuday

The Conference resolved to build nation-wide movement against CBCS, Central University Bill, RUSA, binding commitments to WTO, Lyngdoh Committee recommendations and attacks on campus democracy.

Around 300 delegates from 15 states and UTs participated in the national conference. The inaugural session was addressed by Com. Dipankar Bhattachrya, Gen Sec, CPI-ML; Prashant Bhushan, Activist and Supreme Court Lawyer; Nandita Narain, President, DUTA and FEDCUTA; Com. Kavita Krishnan, Sec, AIPWA; Com. Ashok Mishra, Gen Sec, AIDSO, Com. Vishwajeet, Gen Sec, AISF; Com. Sunand, Delhi State Sec, SFI and Com. Ishan, Gen Sec, DSF.

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DUTA President Nandita Narain Addressing the conference

DUTA President Nandita Narain said that the proposed CBCS was just FYUP in another form, and should be opposed by another movement on the scale of the anti-FYUP movement. She underlined the fact that the blueprint of privatisation of education was put in place by the previous UPA government,
and is now being aggressively pursued by the Modi government. Pointing out that various Indian governments are following WTO diktats to declare education as a ‘tradeable commodity’, she added that the script of selling out education is being written globally.

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Prashant Bhushan, Noted Human Right Lawyer addressing the Conference

Human rights advocate Prashant Bhushan also addressed the conference and said that sycophants and ideologues of the RSS are being placed at the head of all the institutions of our country. All dissent is being curbed and activists are being hounded. Prof Saibaba who is 80% disabled is denied bail, while Salman Khan who has been clearly convicted is granted bail immediately, he added.

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CPIML General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharyya

CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, addressing the conference, noted that the conference was being held on the anniversary of the historic 1857 war of independence against the colonial British rule. He said that the significance and relevance of 1857 is all the more relevant now, when the ruling government is hell-bent on instituting a new form of ‘Company Raj’ and carrying forward the British legacy of divide and rule. Kavita Krishnan welcomed the conference on behalf of AIPWA as well as the All India Peoples’ Forum (AIPF), and said that students have a historic role to play in challenging the ideological assaults of the ruling powers. “Today, the likes of Dinanath Batra try to tell us that it is ‘anti-national’ to blow candles and cut a cake on one’s birthday, while it is perfectly patriotic to deny Indian students the right to a decent, quality and affordable education! They try to tell us that it is ‘women’s empowerment’ to prevent women from marrying men of their choice – the entire patriarchal and communal Love Jihad campaign is being run in the name of protecting women’s rights. In such a situation, it is students and youth who can play a very crucial role in redefining the meaning of ‘nationalism’, and women’s rights”, she said.

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Comrade Kavita Krishnan

Throughout the two days’ long deliberation, the delegates emphasised the need to build up a strong movement against the recent policy offensive on education by the central government. Along with 23% budget cut in school education and 8% budget cut in higher education, the Modi government is up in arms to sell out academic autonomy, quality and accessibility to corporate interest. Far from ensuring free and universal KG to PG education, the central government’s recent policies on education will only ensure destruction of quality of education, compromise academic autonomy and roll out red carpet for corporate interests.

The conference resolved to build up movement along with other like-minded forces to ensure universal quality education and resist the recent policy offensives.

The conference also recognised that the student movement at this juncture has twin responsibility of student-youth’s right for universal, equitable, inclusive and quality education, dignified employment as well as defending country’s sovereignty and secular fabric against the steady sell-out to corporate and imperialists interests and communalisation of India’s body polity.

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Newly Elected National EC

The new National Team: The conference elected a National Council of 115 members, a National Executive of 57 members and a 10 member National Office-Bearer team. Com. Ajit, Com. Saikat, Com. Abhilasha and Com. Sunil have been elected as the National Joint Secretaries of AISA. Com. Farhan, Com. Rinki, Com. Ranjeet and Com. Ranajoy have been elected as the National Vice-Presidents of AISA. Com. Sucheta has been elected as the National President and Com. Sandeep Saurav has been elected as the National General Secretary of AISA.

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Newly Elected Office Beares

Resist Assaults on Avenues of Equitable, Quality Education and Dignified Employment

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India’s rulers boast of the period of ‘9% growth rate’ in the decade of the 2000s. But the facts show that this phenomenal ‘growth’ was jobless growth!

One out of every three graduates in the age group 15-29 years were unemployed (source: Report on ‘Youth employment- unemployment scenario,2012-132 , by Labour Bureau of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Govt of India.

Of the 15 lakh engineering graduates India produces every year, 20-30% of them do not find jobs and many other get jobs well below their technical qualification. The share of agriculture in total employment shrank from 57% to 53% over this period, 1.5 crore workers were forced to migrate to cities for work. But what ‘work’ did these workers find? The manufacturing sector shed 50 lakh jobs, while the services sector employed just 35 lakh workers during this period. So, the only ‘work’ available was casual, informal work!

Today the unorganised or the informal sector account for more than 90 per cent of the workforce in the country and almost 50 per cent of the national income evolves from this sector (Report of the Committee on Unorganised Sector Statistics, National Statistical Commission, Feb., 2012). As per the NSSO data, in 2011-12, unorganised sector accounted for 83% of the employment, with organised sector accounting for the rest 17%. However, even within this small proportion of employment in the organised sector, 55% was of informal nature! In fact, formal employment in the organised sector decreased from 52% in 2004-05 decreased to 45 % 2011-12. On the whole, in 2011-12, of the total employment (in organised and unorganised sector), 92% was informal employment.

In short, the entire phase of neo-liberal policies not only saw rising unemployment, it was also a phase of informalisation of employment that is associated with no job-security, violations of wages and rights, poverty and inequity.

In May 2014, Modi was swept to power on the wave of youth anger against growing unemployment. The BJP promised to ‘revive’ and ‘reform’ the economy and create ‘skills’ and jobs. But instead, the Modi Government has begun its innings with an all-out offensive on the availability of stable, dignified employment.

Let us take stock of the Modi government’s specific policies over the past one year:

  • CSAT in UPSC: One of the first things the Modi government did on assuming power was to brutally crackdown on students and youth who were protesting against the discriminatory CSAT pattern in the UPSC exam. The CSAT is clearly discriminatory to candidates from the social sciences and the humanities; it tilts the balance in favour of candidates from engineering, management, and urban English-speaking backgrounds. Despite huge protests, the Modi government has refused to roll-back CSAT.

The real agenda behind this move needs to be underlined. Today, the govt no longer wants to even pretend to promote public welfare, rather it has openly refashioned itself as an aggressive promoter of corporate interests. To fulfil this task in an unhindered manner, the govt. wants to change the composition and attitude of the bureaucracy as well. The calculation is to bar students from underprivileged sections and social science-humanities training from entering bureaucracy, so that bureaucracy is ‘cleansed’ of any semblance of social concerns and social sensitivity. The govt. wants to restructure bureaucracy in a manner so that there are only technocrats, who by background and training, will be instinctually prone to act as pliant, obedient arms of corporate lobbies and anti-people govt policies, without raising any critical concerns, without any ‘aberrant prick of conscience’ for poor and common people.

  • Cutting down jobs in the banking sector: A 10% cap was introduced in the waiting list of the IBPS exam, thus reducing employment options in the banking sector.

  • Attempts to close down ESIC hospitals: The government tried to close down publicly funded 13 ESIC-hospitals; this would have rendered a huge number of employees and doctors jobless. This move was stalled only after the spirited protests of students and youth from across the country.

  • Cutting jobs in CSIR: In CSIR too, the government reneged on its own promises, cutting jobs and leaving several qualified research scientists in the lurch. 250 CSIR Trainee Scientists were shunted out and denied appointment as Scientists despite the fact that they fulfilled the eligibility criteria specified by CSIR for appointments.

  • Massive retrenchments in the IT sector: In the private sector too, retrenchments are rampant. An estimated 30,000 people were laid off by the software company TCS in 2014-15. Earlier in 2014, IBM had started the spate of retrenchments. Now, Wipro is following suit and has announced that it could reduce its workforce by a whopping 47,000 over the next three years.

  • Amendments to the Apprentice Act: One of the first legislations of the Modi government was to amend the Apprentice Act, to create exploitative conditions for young people who are apprentices in industrial units. The amendments in this Act will now allow the corporate employers TO DECIDE AT THEIR WILL the hours of work, overtime, leave and holidays for the apprentices! Earlier, employers had to adhere to certain laws and regulations on hours of work – they have now been given a free hand to exploit apprentices as they wish. The employers have also been provided with the right to deny employment to the trainees after their training is complete! Moreover, the amendments also REMOVES the provision wherein employers can be imprisoned for committing offences. These amendments basically allow the employers to under-pay and over-work young apprentices denied of any provision of recourse.

  • Self-Certification’ for Employers – Removing Safeguards against Labour Rights Violations: We have noted above that 92% of employment today is of informal nature with unorganised sector dominating the scene. It is a common experience, how in this vast privatised, informal job market, contract workers are routinely denied of minimum wages, PF/ESI dues, overtime allowances, mandated leaves and workplace safety. Far from stopping this rampant theft and violations by the employers, the Modi govt. is changing the law to them legal impunity for all these violations. Modi has announced that labour departments will no longer ‘inspect’ whether the employers are complying with labour laws. Instead, the employers will just be asked to ‘self-certify’ themselves – i.e. to declare that ‘they are following laws’! Can there be anything more brazen and outrageous than this? In a single stroke, Modi govt. is snatching away whatever little legal safeguards the workers had and thus assuring the corrupt and exploitative employers to go ahead with their violations with full impunity.

Thus on the front of employment, the govt. game-plan is all too clear: systematic dismantling of all existing avenues of dignified stable employment and giving the corporates a free hand to exploit labour cheap and make massive profits through greater casualisation, contractualisation and removal of whatever little legal safeguards existed for protecting workers’ rights and security.

In the field of education too, the same formula is being followed. Various governments have been washing their hands off their primary responsibility to provide quality and equitable education to all.

  • Massive fund cut in education: Compared to 2014-15, in the 2015-16 budget, allocations for school education and higher education have been cut by 23% and 8% respectively. The Government claims to have no funds for education – but clearly, it has lakhs of crores to subsidise Adanis and the Ambanis!

  • A slew of shoddy policies like FYUP, CBCS, Central Univ Act, RUSA etc. are being imposed to downgrade public funded education and promote crass commercialisation.

  • WTO diktats-Signing away people’s right to universal quality education: In the upcoming 10th WTO Ministerial Meet of Dec 2015, the Modi govt is all set to make ‘binding commitment’ to make education a ‘tradeable ‘ commodity, which will further bolster the global and local ‘traders’ in education and spell doom for equitable, quality education for all.

  • Burgeoning Private Higher Education Institutes-Shocking State of Lawlessness, Quality and Repression of Democracy: Private coaching centres, colleges and universities, medical, engineering and management institutes are mushrooming all over, without any accountability or regulation for infrastructure and quality, fees and student enrolment, faculty recruitment and their salary. Effectively reserved for only those who can pay exorbitant fees, none of these institutions adhere to any reservations policy for students and teachers from deprived backgrounds. And most shockingly, both the students and the teachers in these private institutes are subjected to all forms of undemocratic rules and restrictions with no democratic space, no right to form associations or unions, to air their views or defend their rights.

Addressing the so-called ‘investors’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the Vibrant Gujarat summit in January 2015: Ease of doing business in India is a prime concern for you and us.  Why make in India?… India offers you low cost, high quality labour.”

Mr Modi, why should ‘high quality’ labour be ‘low cost’? In order to ensure that MNCs can make profits in India, why are you diluting labour laws to ensure that Indian workers can be ill-paid and exploited?

Why expensive, unaffordable education for India’s students, but cheap labour for corporates and MNCs? Why should Indian youth be condemned to spend their lives between joblessness and ill-paid, exploitative jobs?

The need of the hour is to build a resistance to these assaults, and to demand our inalienable rights to equitable, quality education and employment with dignity for all.

See Also: Uphold Academic Autonomy, Reject Commercialisation of Education

Uphold Academic Autonomy, Reject Commercialisation of Education

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Education in India, particularly higher education, has several major problems. The three main problems facing higher education in India are inequitable access, falling standards and scarcity of public resources. Several legislations and far-reaching policy changes which the Modi government is proposing cannot solve these problems of higher education; in fact they will exacerbate the existing problems. Two years back, the disastrous FYUP (four-year undergraduate programme) was introduced. It was finally rolled back after a massive student movement in Delhi in which AISA played a crucial role. But, after the disastrous FYUP, we are now being faced with several other equally problematic proposals in the education sector. The ‘Choice-based Credit System’ (CBCS) is being forcibly introduced, as well as a common ‘Central University Act’; there are ongoing attempts to replace the UGC and the entire central funding mechanism with the so-called ‘RUSA’ (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan).

All these policy changes being mooted, need to be understood in the larger context of the concerted attempts to convert education into a tradable commodity, rather than as a tool for social and economic transformation of society.

Binding Commitments’ in WTO to make Education a Tradable Commodity:

In India, various governments in power – whether run by the UPA or the NDA – have been trying their level best to implement this crucial and dangerous paradigm shift in the education sector. The previous UPA government had voluntarily ‘offered’ to bring education under the WTO/GATS regime. However, it is yet to become a binding ‘commitment’. Right now, frantic moves are on to make it a ‘binding commitment’ in the coming 10th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held at Nairobi, Kenya during 15-18 December this very year. Once the Govt of India makes the global ‘commitment’ for market access in education, the foreign and domestic corporate houses who ‘trade’ in education will acquire a virtual free hand, spelling doom for the interests of the students and teachers of the country. All pressure must be built, right now, to ensure that the Govt of India withdraws its ‘offers’ given to WTO for Higher Education.

Today, in the name of ‘reforming’ education, the concerns of expansion, inclusion, affordability, quality and access are being completely swept away. Let us understand the content and intent of some of the recent policy assaults in the education sector:

Central University Act: The Dangerous Agenda ‘Uniformity’

Bhasha Anek, Bhav Ek. .. Boli Anek, Svar Ek. .. Rivaj Anek, Sanskar Ek. Karya Anek, Sankalp Ek… Rah Anek, Manzil Ek… Chehre Anek, Muskaan Ek” ­ – thus spake Narendra Modi

In an India bursting with diverse cultures and peoples, the RSS, BJP and their man Modi wants to impose one ‘emotion’, one ‘voice’, one ‘culture’, one ‘goal’, even one ‘smile’!! No surprise then when the same group tries to also argue for ‘one University Act’ that has ‘one syllabus’, one ‘entrance system’, and one ‘recruitment pattern’. Here is how this ‘Central University Act’ looks like:

  • Common Syllabus: According to the proposal, all Central Universities will have a common syllabus, across the country. Forcing such a common syllabus will kill the possibility of universities creatively fashioning courses and assessments that makes for the unique profile of each university!!

  • Common Entrance Test: Such a proposal, which is based on a single, tailor-made entrance exam across the country, does not allow institutions to design their admission process keeping in mind the divergent nature, requirements and specificities of their research and academics, responding to diverse social needs and priorities.

  • Centralised Recruitments: This will mean that the Central Government will have a free hand to dictate faculty appointments of its ideological/ political choice.

  • Faculty Transfer: The provision to ‘faculty-transfer’ will act as a weapon to keep the upright faculty members who ‘do not fall in line’ under permanent threat. Moreover, especially for a research institution, the provision of faculty transfer makes no academic sense. In case of a transfer, what will happen to the students and researchers working with the faculty concerned?

Instead of these proposals which go against academic freedom and autonomy, plural and critical quest for knowledge, the need of the hour is to put in place more inclusive and diverse classrooms, systems of accountability and student feedback. These desperate attempts to ‘saffronise’ and ‘Modi-fy’ education must be resolutely defeated!!

Cafeteria-Ization’ of Higher Education: Choice Based Credit System: An illusion of choices’

In yet another move aimed at turning students into guinea pigs of ill informed educational experiments, a choice based credit system has been imposed on university students. As per the UGC guidelines, “The CBCS provides choice for students to select from the prescribed courses (core, elective or minor or soft skill courses)”. Additionally, “the choice based credit system provides a ‘cafeteria’ type approach in which the students can take courses of their choice, learn at their own pace, undergo additional courses and acquire more than the required credits, and adopt an interdisciplinary approach to learning”. However, a close examination of the programme reveals a near absence of ‘actual choices’.

  • If indeed CBCS is about opting for ‘additional courses and acquiring more than required credits’, then the first level of choice should be the choice ‘to opt’ or ‘not’! A student who wants to study more than is required for the completion of degree should not disallowed to study more, whereas a student who does not feel the need to study more should not be forced to study more. The very fact that it is compulsory for a student to opt for a course under the CBCS, shows that there exists no real ‘choice’.

  • Regarding choice of courses, as the UGC itself suggests, in CBCS, the students would be able to choose the course they like in a cafeteria like way! However, does this choice really exist for the students? The choice would exist if there was no “first come first serve basis” or “merit-basis” norm to it and if each and every student could opt for the preferred subject, irrespective of the number of students opting for a given subject and there would be enough space and teachers for the purpose. At a time when the universities are already being forced to fall back on contractual and ad hoc teachers to meet the teaching requirements of existing courses, where is the actual faculty and infrastructure for ‘choice based courses’? It almost appears similar to granting someone a blank cheque when one has very little or no money in the account. Before embarking on any such path, should not the first step be expansion and enrichment of the infrastructure required for it!

  • CBCS guidelines also make a reference to “learning at their own pace”, however it is anybody’s guess, that in a semester system where there are barely 3-4 teaching months in a semester, how much of a ‘choice’ exists for a student to learn at their pace!!?

The CBCS thus offers neither ‘choice’ nor ‘quality’ to the students, who are forced to opt for it.

Let us also understand, that this assault of CBCS is NOT only on Central Universities; it is also going to be on State Universities too – so students of every college and university in this country need to resist the assault of CBCS and its implications for quality education.

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA): Alongside the Central Universities Act and the CBCS, moves are also afoot to dismantle the funding duty of UGC and push through the so-called Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA). Imposition of the RUSA will have a huge impact on the funding of educational institutions, and this proposal will clearly pave the way for reduced funding and autonomy for non-Central Universities.

An Ongoing Onslaught on Campus Democracy-Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations :

As one ill intentioned programme is imposed one after another, the onslaught on students’ democratic spaces continues abated. The Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations (LCR) continue to be used as a strategic tool to crack down students’ movements even as the use of money and muscle power in most campuses continues! In some colleges and Universities such as in the Presidency college in Kolakata, LCR like restrictions on student union elections are campus democracy are being imposed by University administrations even though LCR is not ‘officially’ imposed.

The Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations (LCR) were imposed in 2006 with the two-fold claims of (a) ‘regularising’ student union elections in all campuses and (b) ‘freeing student politics from the ills of money-muscle power’.

The restrictive and undemocratic LCR code include: age restrictions, restrictions on the number of times candidates can contest, restrictions of so called ‘criminal charges’ and even ‘disciplinary actions’ on students from participating, and involvement of the university administrations in the conduct of elections.

But our experience of past eight years have shown that LCR has failed in both its stated claims of either ensuring regular, mandatory elections in all campuses or controlling money and muscle power. Students’ Union elections continue to be denied in hundreds of campuses including in central universities like BHU and Jamia. Where elections are held, despite the LCR, they continue to be dominated by money-muscle power as in DU or Allahabad University.

In contrast, the Court and the govt used the LCR code to scuttle the JNUSU constitution, which had put in place one of the most democratic, peaceful, accountable and vibrant models of students’ union elections in the country for decades, much before Lyngdoh recommendations came in force. This dichotomy proves the REAL PURPOSE of LCR ‘codes’: to tame Students’ Unions in times of resistance to privatization. In the name of curbing criminalization, University Administrations can use LCR to first take disciplinary action against student leaders, then prevent them from contesting elections.

It is Real Democratic Culture and Not LCR ‘Codes’ which Can Curb Money-Muscle in Campuses: Student politics in itself is not the source of money and muscle power. Ruling class politics and its money power corrupts both Assembly and Parliament elections and SU elections too. The only real way in which campuses can be kept free of these ills, is if the student movement actively confronts and challenges the ruling class politics, with a democratic political culture of its own – of vibrant debate and transparent political activity that can fix accountability of student representatives. This is precisely how the student movement has achieved an election process free of corruption and violence (as in JNU), long before Lyngdoh-style ‘codes’ came into force and what Lyngdoh style ‘codes’ have failed to achieve in all other campuses (from DU to Allahabad) even after it was imposed.

Despite representation and protests by students and student unions, the current MHRD refuses to even review the LCR after so many years of its implementation, though a clear provision exists in the LCR for a review.

In light of these combined assaults of govt’s moves to sign the WTO ‘commitment’ for making education a tradable commodity, the common Central Universities Act, the CBCS, RUSA, and curbing of campus democracy through Lyngdoh style Recommendations, we need a united and robust resistance to defend the inclusive and democratic character of education.

See ALSO: Onwards to AISA’s 8th Conference…