Thousands March in Shiksha Bachao Rally to Save India’s Future
February 17, 2018
Over 8,000 teachers, students and karmacharis marched through the streets of Delhi demanding that public education be saved. Participating in the Shiksha Bachao Rally today, they marched from Mandi House to MHRD.
The Joint Rally of DUTA, DUCKU, DUSU and other students’ organizations was also joined by FEDCUTA and AIFUCTO. Teachers and students of AUD, JNU, Jamia, Aligarh Muslim University, IGNOU as well as teachers from Punjab and Uttaranchal joined the Rally. The rally saw the participation of leaders of political parties like Sanjeev Jha from AAP, Pravesh Verma from BJP Amarjeet Kaur from CPI, B.V. Raghavulu from the CPI (M), Kiran Walia and Oscar Fernandes from INC, Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar from JD (U). All of them expressed their solidarity with the issues agitating the university community across the country. Ashok Tanwar from Congress, Manoj Jha from RJD and Girwar Singh from SUCI (C) also expressed solidarity with the movement in defence of higher education.
This year’s allocation to the UGC in the Union Budget has been further decreased. Grants to publicly funded institutions are being replaced by loans to be disbursed through the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA). This major policy shift in funding will result in massive fee hike for students on one hand and on the other delay the implementation of 7th Pay Revision, appointments and promotions. Teachers and students are also agitated about the Regulations on Autonomous Colleges and Graded Autonomy that was recently gazetted on February 12, 2018. In total disregard of the feedback given by teachers' unions, the Government has gone ahead with the scheme. This is yet another way to turn public funded institutions of repute into teaching shops.
First published in Newsclick.
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