Over a thousand teachers and students marched in New Delhi on Wednesday, according to several media reports.
The "March for Education", organised by Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and the Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Associations (FEDCUTA), insisted that the granting of graded autonomy to 60 universities will lead to "commercialisation" and "blatant privatisation" of public education, News18 reported.
The march from Mandi House to Parliament Street in the national capital, which includes teachers' associations of scores of colleges, is to protest issues such as replacement of grants by loans through Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA), tripartite Memorandums Of Understanding (MOUs), graded autonomy to universities and grant of financial autonomy to educational institutions of repute to turn them into “teaching shops”, according to a report in The Hindu.
Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar earlier said that 52 out of 60 higher education institutes that have been granted autonomy are universities, according to the News18 report. The central universities which have been granted autonomy include Jawaharlal Nehru University, Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, University of Hyderabad and the English and Foreign Languages University, Telangana, according to the report.
"We as teachers remain committed to our students. As in the past, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association appeals to its members to take measures to ensure that students are not adversely affected because of the strike. This struggle is a joint struggle by all sections of the university community and increasing participation of students is one of its strengths," The Hindu report quoted a DUTA statement as saying on Tuesday.
The Aam Aadmi Party also joined the march on Wednesday, and showed solidarity with the students on Twitter:
Delhi Education Minister @msisodia at #March4Education rally 👉🏼 BJP government is scared of education, first they destroyed education at school level now they are destroying higher education too, private schools are owned by few business houses only. pic.twitter.com/M8fMmzRt5k — AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 28, 2018
Delhi Minister Education @msisodia has joined #March4Education rally to show solidarity with the students.
He says, "Its not your fight, it's our fight, if we won't save universities and colleges then our country will be in danger" pic.twitter.com/3rerA6zWTg
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 28, 2018
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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2018 16:40:37 IST