UGC : Arbitrary Move to Remove 4000 Journals from UGC Approved List

Universty Grants Commission

In a shockingly abrupt and arbitrary move, the UGC has very recently removed 4305 Journals from the current UGC Approved List of Journals. Articles published in UGC-approved List of Journals are considered for the purpose of Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) and Direct Recruitment of Teachers and other academic staff as required under the UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges) Regulation, 2016.

• The UGC website claims that it follows detailed checklist criteria to prepare the UGC – approved list of Journals. On the other hand, while withdrawing more than 4000 journals the UGC asserted that the deletion is on the basis of “poor quality”, “false claims” by journals etc. So if the “checklist” is followed, what are these so-called thousands of substandard quality journals or journals with fake claims were doing in the list to begin with?

• Secondly, the most important criterion for rejection is whether the journal has a website which provides full postal or email addresses of Chief Editor and Editors. Several journals were rejected on this flimsy ground. Why is the UGC more interested in the technicality of journal website than the journal’s academic rigour?

• Most importantly, several scholars have already published in these journals as this list was there on the UGC website for more than one year. Because now the journals were removed, these publications will carry no value. Why would the research scholars and faculty members pay the price for UGC’s whims and fancies?
Imposition of arbitrary moves in the sphere of higher education has become a hallmark of the current BJP Government. The Government has time and again used the UGC as a tool to destroy research and serious academic environment of the country – through blatant attempts to discontinue Non NET fellowship and scuttle biannual NET examination, imposition of 5th May 2016 UGC Notification resulting into massive M.Phil/ PhD seat cuts and decimation of policies of social justice, department wise vacancy roaster to demolish reservations in faculty positions etc. The recent step of abrupt removal of journals came in the long spate of sudden irresponsible moves by the Modi Government that threatens the future of thousands of us. AISA appeals the student community to thoroughly reject the dictatorial anti-academic farmaans of the present govt one after another.

How to Kill Reservation in Job Opportunities of Universities?: The BJP Model

IGNTU Logo

Few days back, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) has advertised for recruitment of faculty positions. But bizarrely, out 52 teaching posts in 27 different departments of the university, only 1 post is for the reserved category candidates.( Indian Express,14th April,2018) This is a sheer and brazen violation of the constitutionally mandated reservation policies. Ironically, the website of IGNTU declares that the university was visualized: “To provide avenues of education, especially higher education and research facilities primarily for the tribal population of India” and “To disseminate and advance knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in tribal art, tradition, culture, language, medicinal systems, customs, forest based economic activities, flora, fauna and advancement in technologies relating to the natural resources of the tribal areas.” In a similar brazen fashion, for Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN), out of total 65 seats, only 2 seats are reserved for OBC category candidates and none for SC and ST category candidates!

But the IGNTU and CUTN fiascos are no aberration. Recently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to make a department-wise roster of teacher vacancies reserved for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates, instead of the earlier norm of reservations based on aggregate posts of the entire university. This retrograde step surely reduces the number of posts for reserved category candidates significantly. The brazen violation of reservation in IGNTU and CUTN faculty position advertisements is only a logical outcome of anti-social justice policies of the ruling regime.

The BJP Government is systematically destroying the educational, job and other opportunities for the marginalized of the country. Today, over 51 lakh Dalit students and over 20 lakh Adivasi students across the country are facing massive crisis due to pending fund of more than Rs 8000 crore and Rs 3,156 crore to SC and ST students’ Post Matric scholarship by the Modi government to the state governments over the last three consecutive years (The Newslaundry, Feb 17, 2018). At the level of higher education, the 5 May UGC Notification 2016, has meant massive seat cuts and consequent decimation of reservation in M. Phil-PhD courses across universities. And now in 2018, through yet another UGC notification on ‘Autonomy’, the govt has unleashed policies which will result into destruction of reservation in both student enrollment and faculty recruitment in leading universities of the country.

This Government desperately wants to make all educational and employment opportunities inaccessible for the majority of the student – youths of the country, especially for those from marginalized sections. On behalf of AISA, we strongly demand that the IGNTU and CUTN must re –advertise the teaching posts with constitutionally mandated reservation policies. We also appeal to the student community to expose, resist and rebuff this dangerous saffron design of killing all provisions of social justice in our campuses.

Indira Gandhi National Tribal University : ONLY 1 Post for Reserved Category

Photo Courtesy : DailyHunt

Few days back, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) has advertised for recruitment of faculty positions. But bizarrely, out 52 teaching posts in 27 different departments of the university, only 1 post is for the reserved category candidates. This is a sheer and brazen violation of the constitutionally mandated reservation policies. Ironically, the website of IGNTU declares that the university was visualized: “To provide avenues of education, especially higher education and research facilities primarily for the tribal population of India” and “To disseminate and advance knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in tribal art, tradition, culture, language, medicinal systems, customs, forest based economic activities, flora, fauna and advancement in technologies relating to the natural resources of the tribal areas.” Continue reading

Kathua to Unnao : From Beti Bachao to Balatkari Bachao

Protest against shielding of rapists in Kathua and Unnao ( Pic Courtesy: The Hindu)

Two gruesome incidents of rape have shocked the nation; not just for the horrific nature of the crime, but also for the ruling party, the BJP trying to shield the accused, with its sitting ministers even going on to support bandhs and rallies against arresting of the rape accused. Let us not forget the slogan with which this BJP government came to power in 2014 – bahut hua naari par vaar, abki baar Modi Sarkar. The PM, known to tweet on every issue, hasn’t thought that rape of two women in the BJP ruled states and the shielding of the accused by his party as even an issue to give out a statement. The betis of the nation are under threat from the ruling party. Continue reading

“स्वायत्तता” की घोषणा का यह दिन उच्च शिक्षा के लिए सबसे काला दिन है!

Photo Courtesy : V Lenin Kumar

शैक्षिक संस्थानों के लिए स्वायत्तता की प्रकाश जावड़ेकर की घोषणा : सस्ती उच्च शिक्षा को ध्वस्त करने का निर्णायक पैंतरा!

मिस्टर जावड़ेकर, “स्वायत्तता” की घोषणा का यह दिन ऐतिहासिक नहीं बल्कि भारत की उच्च शिक्षा के लिए सबसे काला दिन है!

20 मार्च 2018 के दिन, मानव संसाधन एवं विकास मंत्री प्रकाश जावड़ेकर ने एक प्रेस वार्ता आयोजित कर 62 विश्वविद्यालयों और 8 कॉलेजों (जिन में जेएनयू, बीएचयू और एचसीयू सहित पाँच केन्द्रीय विश्वविद्यालय शामिल हैं) को स्वायत्तता देने की घोषणा कर दी। उन्होंने कहा, “ आज का दिन भारतीय उच्च शिक्षा के लिए ऐतिहासिक है। इन बेहतरीन संस्थानों को पूर्ण स्वायत्तता मिलेगी जिससे कि वे नए पाठ्यक्रम भी शुरु कर सकेंगे…” Continue reading

Support Bharat Bandh against dilution of SC/ST Act

Support Bharat Bandh Against the Dangerous Dilutions in the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by the Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court!

Pic Courtesy- Shankar Narayan/HT

Union Govt Must File Review Petition!

Fight Back Patronage and Impunity to Casteist Violence and Discrimination!

In a shocking judgment on 20th March, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising justice U.U. Lait and D. K. Goyel,  has observed that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 which protects the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from casteist discrimination, has become an instrument to “blackmail” public servants. Continue reading

CBSE paper leak : Not an aberration but long process of corruption

Paper Leak Hat Trick: NEET (May 2017), SSC (Feb 2018), And Now CBSE X & XII!

Pic Courtsy : PTI http://www.ptinews.com/

Vyapam Scam of Madhya Pradesh Multiplied In National Scale! And It’s Gujarat Cadre IAS At the Helm of Both SSC and CBSE Mired in Paper Leak!

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! MR. MODI STOP DIRTY TRICKS WITH OUR FUTURE!

Every year, lakhs of students across the country put their extreme hard works for the board examinations. In a shocking development yesterday, the question papers of CBSE examinations were leaked on WhatsApp and social media hours before the paper commenced. A senior CBSE official had first denied any leak after reports had emerged of the same. But later, CBSE backtracked to announce that two exam papers (Class X Mathematics and Class XII Economics) had been leaked and that a retest was being ordered.

The CBSE paper leak is no aberration. Few days back, we have witnessed shocking paper leak and scam in the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examination. The SSC directly comes under the central government, but it has refused to address the concerns of SSC examines and instead offered false assurances, harassed and threatened them. In case of CBSE paper leak, it is also clearly a long process of corruption with the Government patronage.

  • The Modi Government kept the post of CBSE Chairperson vacant for over one and half years till July 2016. Is not this a highly irresponsible act to keep the highest post vacant of an organization which decides the future of lakhs of students of the county every year?
  • In July 2016, Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi was appointed as the Chairperson of the CBSE for a five year term. But just one year after Chaturvedi’s appointment, the BJP Government arbitrarily removed him and appointed Anita Karwal as the Chairperson of the CBSE. Interestingly, Anita Karwal, like the SSC chairperson Ashim Khurana is Gujarat cadre with close connections to the ruling party. Is it not a clear ploy by the current Government to destroy educational institutions of the country through political appointments in every important Government post?
  • According to the media reports, the CBSE Chairperson received a copy of the leaked class X Mathematics paper day before the examination. She could have cancelled the paper before the exam which she didn’t. Didn’t it show that the CBSE tried its best to sweep the entire issue of paper leak under carpet?
  • There are also reports of gross anomalies in evaluation in class XII papers in 2017. Why the Government didn’t take any steps then?

Few days back, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi jumped to advise school-going children on the subject of exam preparation and clearing their Board exams during the launch of his book Exam Warrior. Mr. Modi, students will always work hard for the examinations. But what happens to their hard work when your corrupt system fails them miserably? We don’t need to tips to crack exams and this Government must need to take immediate steps to address the massive corruptions and scams in examinations and recruitment process.

The BJP Government is implementing the Vyapam Model in board and recruitment examination scams, where vested interests are working within Government bodies.  Until those responsible in paper leak and corruption, from within the Government bodies and others are punished – a fair evaluation in any future board and recruitment exams cannot be guaranteed. Thus, merely conducting re-examinations will not address the issue at hand. We demand the immediate resignation of the CBSE Chairperson and the MHRD Minister, who have miserably failed to be accountable and a through, independent probe in the CBSE paper leak and corruption.

‘Gau Rakshak’ Goons on a Killing Spree Again

AISA condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the heinous murder of Umar Mohammed by the ‘Gau Rakshak’ goons on 10 November near Pahadi Kaman in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. Cow vigilantes brutally killed Umar and then threw his body on the railway tracks to make it look like an ‘accident’. To top it all, in what has now seemingly become ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ in BJP-administered states, the government is busy criminalizing the victims and Muslims, rather than punishing murderers. Continue reading

Muthukrishnan Has Left Us. But The Struggle for Equality Must Go On.

Muthukrishnan Has Left Us…

The Struggle for Equality against Discrimination and Against Gagging of Alternative Voices Must Go On.

Enact Rohith Act!

Rebuff the UGC Notification and Seat Cuts!

Fight Back Denial of Equal Opportunities for the Under-Privileged in Higher Educational Institutions!

AISA expresses deep shock and grief at the sudden demise of Muthukrishanan Jeevanantham, an M.Phil first year student in the Centre for Historical Studies in JNU. Muthu hailed from a Dalit family who overcame several hurdles to get through the JNU M.Phil entrance exam. We express our support, solidarity and condolences to Muthu’s family and demand a thorough enquiry to probe reasons behind his death.

As a first generation learner in research, Muthu had been vocal about the lack of equal opportunities and systematic alienation of the unprivileged in higher education. From #JusticeforRohith, #JusticeforNajeeb to struggles against seat cut and imposition of the UGC Notification, Muthu has been a part of all these struggles.

“When equality is denied, everything is denied”, Muthu said in one of his last public posts. While we remember Muthu as a part of the spirited students’ movement of today, his death has left behind several questions for the rulers and administrations.

It is more than one year now that Rohith Vemula was pushed to death in HCU after an entire state machinery, including two Union Ministers of the BJP government and the HCU VC, were hell bent on punishing Rohith and his friends for having a political opinion that contradicts that of the RSS. Demand of a Rohith Act resounded all over the country in the course of the mass upsurge that followed Rohith Vemula’s death. We demanded Rohith Act to end caste discrimination inside campuses. We demanded Rohith Act to address the pattern of high drop out of students from marginalised backgrounds. We demanded institutional accountability for segregation of students from marginalised section inside campuses, non-fulfilment of reservation in all sectors, lack of fellowship and hostel facilities and absence of institutions like Equal Opportunity Cells in all campuses. The government has not heeded to the demand till now. On the contrary, committees and enquiries have been set up to question Rohith’s identity itself. Muthu himself has talked about non-implementation of the Thorat committee, which recommended institutional redressal to discrimination and alienation of students from marginalised communities. While the government of the day is in complete denial to recognise discrimination and alienation of unprivileged students, it is the responsibility of the student movement to intensify the struggle for implementation of a Rohith Act.

The same regime which denies justice for Rohith and Najeeb when they reach universities has come out with a UGC Notification to cut down seats in research curriculum in Universities. Rather than taking up the task to fulfil existing faculty vacancies and creating more posts to expand the scope of higher education, the UGC Notification is effectively being used to massively cut down research seats in public universities. First they tried to end the research scholarship and now through the UGC Notification, gates of higher learning are being closed for first generation learners like Muthu.

Along with this policy offensive Muthu’s generation of students are also fighting the silencing and criminalisation of alternative voices. Hate politics of BJP in power and RSS appointed administrations inside campuses are trying to criminalise students based on what they eat, think or choose. Alternative discourses to mythology and culture are termed anti-national. Talking about communal riots is being banned inside campuses. Hate mongers and assaulters are being set free as has been seen in Najeeb’s case, while sites of protests for demanding rights and equality are being curtailed.

Muthu’s death has once again raised the question of alienation of marginalised students in higher educational institutions. We demand that a through enquiry be instituted to look into everything leading to his tragic death. It is time that all institutions including JNU are held accountable for academic alienation of students from marginalised sections. We must demand Social Audit of all universities on admission and dropout rate of students from marginalised sections as well as infrastructure and academic attention provided for them. After 70 years of independence, we cannot allow our institutions to evade the responsibility to keep gates open especially for first generation learners. Universities mean nothing if they do not primarily take up the task of educating students from marginalised sections.

This is a time for all of us to look into our spaces and universities and to evaluate how much they are accessible and reassuring to the unprivileged. It is also a time for all of us to continue to challenge the regime of oppression and inequality and to carry forward the struggle for justice, dignity and equality.