Immediately Withdraw the UGC ‘Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions’

(Draft of AISA’s National Signature Campaign Against the UGC’c Guideline )

We the undersigned are shoMORAL-POLICING-by-SHIEKOcked to learn that the UGC has issued ‘Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions’ on April 16th 2015 which seek to stifle and suffocate freedom of mobility and expression in higher education institutions (HEIs).

These Guidelines include:

  1. HEIs and hostels to be surrounded by a “boundary wall of such height that it cannot be scaled over easily” with a “fence of spiraling barbed wires,” with armed security guards, CCTV cameras, metal detectors and physical security check of every visitor.

  2. “Biometric way of marking student attendance, both in HEI as well as hostels…digital mechanism (to) enable HEIs to keep an eye on a student’s movement and whereabouts in failsafe manner.”

  3. Compulsory wearing of id cards by students and staff

  4. A “university police station within the premises of the HEIs,” with police personnel or “Community Service Officers” formed from among students conducting “night patrols,” “escort services to students as they walk down to hostel or nearest taxi or bus-stand.”

  5. “Teacher counselors, trained to act as the guardians of students at the college level” to “convey their growth report and feedback on attendance, examination results etc to their parents at regular interval of time.” In other words, teacher counselors and hostel wardens to spy on students and “exchange personal details of students, academic record and behavior patterns for prompt pre-emptive or corrective action.”

  6. Quarterly parents-teachers meet (PTM)

  7. In the name of self-defence against rape, students to be taught strategies of “awareness, risk reduction and risk avoidance.”

  8. “An exhaustive Code of Conduct for students enrolled in departments or affiliated colleges and display it on institutional websites for compliance.”

  9. “Mandatory for institutions to elicit consent letters from the parents/guardians of the students who are embarking on tour.”

  10. “Students should be allowed to carry personal communication devices such as mobile phones and should be instructed to remain in constant touch with their parents/guardians.”

We ask the UGC –

  • Are our University students not adult citizens with their right to choice, freedom and dignity?

  • Why should adult citizens be monitored through ‘Parent Teacher Meet’ as is done in schools?

  • How can the UGC violate our right to privacy by telling University authorities to spy on students’ personal life, ideological choices and activism?

  • Is the UGC really unaware that many problems of students on University campuses – including sexual harassment and other forms of harassment and victimization – arise from the power that teachers and University authorities wield over students? Why, then, is the UGC giving teachers and authorities even more power to ‘report’ to parents on students’ lives, thereby making students even more vulnerable to harassment and abuse of power?

  • Can’t the UGC see that if University authorities ‘report’ students’ personal relationships and political activism to parents, this may result in parents curtailing the education of students, especially women students?

  • Isn’t the UGC aware that ‘honour’ crimes have claimed the lives of many college and University students even in recent times? Don’t you see that your ‘Guidelines’ that report students’ ‘behaviour patterns’ to parents, can endanger the lives of students who are in inter-caste, inter-faith or same sex relationships?

  • How can you demand “mandatory consent letters from parents” for trips/tours? Won’t Guidelines give parents the power to deny adult offspring, especially daughters, the right to go on tours and trips?

We would like to tell the UGC – Police presence on campuses does not make us safe, it makes us UNSAFE! Police should have no place on campuses, since police will harass and intimidate students who raise their voices in dissent or hold protests against the administration or the government.

We would like to remind the UGC that ‘risk avoidance’ can easily turn into victim blaming and moral policing, whereby women students will be told that they can ‘avoid’ rape by avoiding ‘risk’ in the form of certain clothes, late nights, friendships with men, etc

We want our campuses to be open spaces “Where knowledge is free/Where the world has not been broken up into fragments/By narrow domestic walls,” where students can interact freely with the world outside and can explore academic, social and political ideas and activism without fear of disapproval and repression by parents, police, Governments or University authorities.

A University that is surrounded by high walls and barbed wire, where campuses have CCTV cameras, armed guards and even police stations, where every movement of adult students is monitored and reported to their parents, is not an ‘oasis of safety and security’ – it is a jail!

The Guidelines may be a useful tool for forces that conduct moral policing, seek to ‘cleanse cultural pollution,’ impose a culture of bans and attack freedom of expression. The Guidelines may also be a tool for Governments that seek to suppress and stifle dissent on campuses as they commercialize education. But common students will not allow such ‘Guidelines’ to be imposed on their campuses.

We the students and citizens from all over the country, reject the ‘Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions’ and demand that the UGC withdraw these guidelines immediately.

see also : UGC’s Dream of a Modi-fied University Or Tagore Track-Changed

UGC’s Dream of a Modi-fied University Or Tagore Track-Changed

 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high bowed low
Where knowledge is free a tradable WTO commodity
Where the world University has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls and spiraling barbed wire
Where words come out from the depth of truth books of Dinananath Batra
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
has been disciplined and dammed by Parent-teacher-Meets, Police Stations and ‘Code of Conduct’

Where the mind is led forward by thee shackled and forced backward
Into ever-widening thought and action ever-narrowing mindless passivity
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Suffocating prison of unfreedom, let my country’s youth be silenced into subjugation.

moral2Immediately Withdraw the UGC ‘Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions’

In a typical reflection of the alliterations and wordplay that characterise crafted jumlas of Modi, the UGC has issued a set of ‘guidelines’ for Higher Educational Institutions (HIEs) claiming to transform them into ‘Oasis Of Safety, Security And Study’! However, as anybody can see that these ‘Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions’ issued on April 16th 2015 are nothing but a blatant move to stifle and suffocate freedom of mobility and expression in higher education institutions (HEIs) – i.e Universities and colleges.

Believe it or not, these ‘Guidelines’ call for:

  1. HEIs and hostels to be surrounded by a “boundary wall of such height that it cannot be scaled over easily” with a “fence of spiraling barbed wires,” with armed security guards, CCTV cameras, metal detectors and physical security check of every visitor.
  2. Biometric way of marking student attendance, both in HEI as well as hostels…digital mechanism (to) enable HEIs to keep an eye on a student’s movement and whereabouts in failsafe manner.”
  3. Compulsory wearing of id cards by students and staff
  4. A “university police station within the premises of the HEIs,” with police personnel or “Community Service Officers” formed from among students conducting “night patrols,” “escort services to students as they walk down to hostel or nearest taxi or bus-stand.”
  5. “Teacher counselors, trained to act as the guardians of students at the college level” to “convey their growth report and feedback on attendance, examination results etc to their parents at regular interval of time.” In other words, teacher counselors and hostel wardens to spy on students and “exchange personal details of students, academic record and behavior patterns for prompt pre-emptive or corrective action.”
  6. Quarterly parents-teachers meet (PTM)
  7. In the name of self-defence against rape, students to be taught strategies of “awareness, risk reduction and risk avoidance.”
  8. “An exhaustive Code of Conduct for students enrolled in departments or affiliated colleges and display it on institutional websites for compliance.”
  9. “Mandatory for institutions to elicit consent letters from the parents/guardians of the students who are embarking on tour.”
  10. Students should be allowed to carry personal communication devices such as mobile phones and should be instructed to remain in constant touch with their parents/guardians.”

We ask the UGC –

  • Are our University students not adult citizens with their right to choice, freedom and dignity?
  • Why should adult citizens be monitored through ‘Parent Teacher Meet’ as is done in schools?
  • How can the UGC violate our right to privacy by telling University authorities to spy on students’ personal life, ideological choices and activism?
  • Is the UGC really unaware that many problems of students on University campuses – including sexual harassment and other forms of harassment and victimization – arise from the power that teachers and University authorities wield over students? Why, then, is the UGC giving teachers and authorities even more power to ‘report’ to parents on students’ lives, thereby making students even more vulnerable to harassment and abuse of power?
  • Can’t the UGC see that if University authorities ‘report’ students’ personal relationships and political activism to parents, this may result in parents curtailing the education of students, especially women students?
  • Isn’t the UGC aware that ‘honour’ crimes have claimed the lives of many college and University students even in recent times? Don’t you see that your ‘Guidelines’ that report students’ ‘behaviour patterns’ to parents, can endanger the lives of students who are in inter-caste, inter-faith or same sex relationships?
  • How can you demand “mandatory consent letters from parents” for trips/tours? Won’t Guidelines give parents the power to deny adult offspring, especially daughters, the right to go on tours and trips?

We would like to tell the UGC – Police presence on campuses does not make us safe, it makes us UNSAFE! Police should have no place on campuses, since police will harass and intimidate students who raise their voices in dissent or hold protests against the administration or the government.

We would like to remind the UGC that ‘risk avoidance’ can easily turn into victim blaming and moral policing, whereby women students will be told that they can ‘avoid’ rape by avoiding ‘risk’ in the form of certain clothes, late nights, friendships with men, etc

We want our campuses to be open spaces “Where knowledge is free/Where the world has not been broken up into fragments/By narrow domestic walls,” where students can interact freely with the world outside and can explore academic, social and political ideas and activism without fear of disapproval and repression by parents, police, Governments or University authorities. 

A University that is surrounded by high walls and barbed wire, where campuses have CCTV cameras, armed guards and even police stations, where every movement of adult students is monitored and reported to their parents, is NOT an ‘oasis of safety and security’ – IT IS A JAIL!

The Guidelines may be a useful tool for forces that conduct moral policing, seek to ‘cleanse cultural pollution,’ impose a culture of bans and attack freedom of expression. The Guidelines may also be a tool for Governments that seek to suppress and stifle dissent on campuses as they commercialize education. But common students will not allow such ‘Guidelines’ to be imposed on their campuses.

AISA appeals to all of you to support and strengthen the all-India campaign calling on students and citizens from campuses all over the country to reject the ‘Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions’ and demand that the UGC withdraw these guidelines immediately.

DUSU 2015: Elect AISA to Usher a New Vision of Student Politics

AISA DUSU DU ABVP NSUI CYSS

‪AISA‬ DUSU 2015 Panel

AISA warmly invites the student community of Delhi University to exercise their right to choose the student representatives of DUSU 2015. Student Union elections allow the students to raise their voice and express their opinion on not only the student related issues in the University but also to make a statement on the policies of higher education that have larger implications on the academic institutions of the country.

Listen to AISA’s Joint Secretary Candidate Anubhav Kumar (Ballot no. 1)  

DUSU under ABVP-NSUI: Disturbing Facts

Unfortunately in the last 30 years DUSU, the representative fora of the students, has been occupied by student groups like ABVP and NSUI who have systematically tarnished the character of DUSU. DUSU under the leadership of ABVP and NSUI has been transformed into the fiefdom of the high and mighty whose personal agenda and aspirations eclipse the issues of students.

Delhi University, one of the most prestigious Central Universities of the country has a very poor record if we look at student facilities. Thousands of students from different parts of the country come to Delhi University with the dream of affordable and quality education. They find their hopes severely compromised when they find:

  • CBCS: a substandard UG program like the CBCS is implemented with the active support of the ABVP-led Union.
  • Hostels: Hostel accommodation in colleges and the University has not been ensured in keeping with the statutes of Delhi University Act and the elected ABVP-led Union plays a mute spectator. Funds received from the UGC under the OBC expansion scheme for classrooms and hostels have been wasted on meaningless things and the ABVP-led union did not intervene at all. Let us not forget that with the BJP-led Government in the centre, the pro-BJP ABVP which held all 4 seats in DUSU (2014-15) could have demanded more hostels which they have not done.  Instead ABVP mediates between PG owners and students during the admission season. The students need to ask whether an organization that promotes PGs will ever fight for Hostel accommodation.
  • Gender Sensitization: Delhi University has a poor record of ensuring gender justice and willfully violates gender equality in the name of women’s safety and protectionism. Women are asked to be well-behaved, obedient beings nodding assent to all the restrictions imposed upon them. Sexual harassment is brushed under the carpet in this system where patriarchal protectionism which views women as responsible for inviting sexual harassment. The ABVP led union of 2014 has shamefully reasserted this model that curbs woman’s freedom in the guise of safety. ABVP led DUSU has conducted programs against the bogey of Love Jihad which is an atrocious communal campaign that projects women as incapable of making their choice of partners and tries to impose a communal dictat on the right to love and personal freedom to choose partners. ABVP also launched a toxic campaign against live-in relationships and the Valentine’s day targeting women who exercise their freedom as women with “loose morals” antithetical to “Indian Culture.”

Also Read: Who Is Afraid of Love? Communal, Patriarchal Bogey of ‘Love Jihad’

 

AISA implores students to think twice while they vote in DUSU 2015 whether they are ready to allow forces like ABVP to trample their freedom to love and impose a strict regime of moral policing.

  • The ABVP led union of DUSU is also infamous for starting a new Ban culture wherever they see any opposition voice in the campus. The ban on ANKUR Theatre Society of Khalsa College, the merciless violence on AISA activists protesting against CBCS in North Campus,

     and the stopping of the Screening of “Mujaffarnagar Baqi Hai” in Kirori Mal college only shows the looming threat on freedom of expression in Delhi University.

  • Money-Muscle Politics: Common students have witnessed how ABVP-NSUI and the new entrant CYSS have transformed DUSU into a den of anti-social elements and money muscle politics. The election campaign of the ABVP-NSUI-CYSS reveals that the show is managed by the non-student anti-social elements and political leaders of parties. The ugly show of money-muscle is rampant in every college where issues of students are eclipsed by the show of power by candidates.

 

AISA in DUSU: A New Vision  

AISA has emerged as the voice of the common students in the last two DUSU elections. It has polled 8000 and 13000 votes in the last two elections which shows the growing popularity of AISA among students tired with issueless charade of politics championed by ABVP-NSUI.

  • AISA has been the rallying point of students against gender injustice and harassment. It was AISA and the student of JNU, DU and Jamia that launched the massive protest Demonstration after the 16 December Movement. AISA made the crucial intervention in making the struggle a progressive one when the patriarchal forces were trying to sharpen the patriarchal model of protectionism in the garb of Women’s safety. On several occasions AISA as consistently fought against the Hostel timings of Women hostels, Victim Blaming and for active gender cells. AISA mobilized hundreds of students against the Honour Killing of Bhawna a student of Sri Venkateswara College. AISA also raised its voice in favour of LGBTQ movements , #PadsAgainstSexism and #Kiss of Love protests.
  • AISA is the only student organization in DU which is consistently struggling against the equally substandard CBCS program in DU. The ABVP-NSUI and the new entrant CYSS has supported this program that has wreaked havoc in DU from its very inception.
  • AISA led a massive struggle against FYUP and the mass outrage of students that it voiced forced the government to repeal the FYUP saving thousands of students from the clutches of the disastrous program.
  • AISA launched counter movements against ABVP’s attempts to communalize and curb gender Justice by mobilizing public opinion against the Bogey of Love Jehad and Anti-Live-in relationships and different forms of moral policing.

AISA has been in the fore front of all struggle that have tried to defend the space for freedom of expression and dissent.

AISA presents a holistic vision of student politics that on the one hand defends the affordable, high-quality, publicly funded education system of Delhi University to ensure social equity and inclusiveness on the other hand addresses the day to day issues of students like hostels and transport. It is this model of politics that we want the students to uphold in DUSU 2015.

AISA requests the entire student community of DU to give a resurgent mandate to AISA in order to carry forward the struggle and end the ignominious culture of Money-Muscle-communal politics of ABVP-NSUI in Delhi University.

Elect AISA DUSU PANEL

Sheetal Bhopal (President) – B.no:7
Sudhanshu Shekhar (V.President) – B.no:8
Ravi Kumar (Secretary) – B.no:9
Abhinav Kumar (Jt.Secretary) – B.no:1