Prakash Karat reacts to Centre's proposal to abolish UGC, says 'toxic fusion' of neo-liberalism and Hindutva emerging in education
Accusing the government of fusing 'neo-liberalism' and 'Hindutva' in education, the CPM on Thursday called upon students, teachers and people in general to oppose the Centre's education policies.
New Delhi: Accusing the government of fusing "neo-liberalism" and "Hindutva" in education, the CPM on Thursday called upon students, teachers and people in general to oppose the Centre's education policies. In an editorial in the latest edition of party organ 'Peoples' Democracy', former general secretary Prakash Karat said various steps taken by the government, including the legislation being brought forth to abolish the University Grants Commission (UGC) and set up a Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), has brought into sharp focus the "assault" taking place on education.
"What is emerging is a toxic fusion of neo-liberalism and Hindutva in education. For students, the prospects are of escalating fees and inaccessibility of entry into institutions of higher education and a general deterioration in the standards of public school education.
"The resistance to the twin onslaught on education is growing. It is necessary to mobilise students, teachers and all concerned citizens to unitedly oppose the Modi government's retrograde educational policies," Karat has said. The Left leader has alleged that the HECI would be a government nominated body with "inconsequential representation of academics".
"There will be an advisory council, with the HRD minister as the chairperson, which will guide the HECI to ensure direct control of the government over the new body and through it, higher education," he said
By stating that while the drive for privatisation of education and corporatisation of higher education was being sped up, Karat has said public-funded education was being "curtailed and downgraded". He has alleged that there was a concerted effort to introduce the Hindutva agenda and ideology in higher educational institutions even if this involved using "coercion and repression" to bring recalcitrant institutions, teachers and students in line.
Karat has also accused the government of appointing "RSS men" as vice-chancellors of universities with the sole qualification being "loyalty" to the Sangh.
Bengal Elections 2021: Voting for 35 seats begins at 7 am; over 84 lakh electors to cast ballot in Phase 8
Bengal Elections 2021: Voting will be held at 11,860 polling stations spread over 11 Assembly constituencies each in Murshidabad and Birbhum, and six in Malda and seven in Kolkata
The 43 Assembly seats are spread across four districts – Uttar Dinajpur, Nadia, North 24 Parganas, and Purba Bardhaman
West Bengal polls 2021: Sporadic violence in Birbhum, Kolkata mars final phase; 76.07% turnout till 6 pm
Long queues were seen outside most polling booths since early morning, raising concern over the spread of COVID-19, even as the EC assured that all precautionary measures are in place