13th January, 2:00pm
It will be now 85 days since we began our agitation against UGC after it scrapped the Non NET Fellowships for the M.phil/Phd students. Soon the matter was transferred to the MHRD and since then even after several demonstrations at MHRD and our continued occupation at the UGC premises, there has been no response from the ministry and no effort to involve students in the further decision making process has been undertaken.
During our struggle we have raised questions against fund cuts, privatization, commercialization of education and the attempts of State to maintain Brahmanical hegemony over the educational institutions. The state has responded with violence and lathi charged on us many a times, threw water cannons and tear gas on us and tried to silent us with all the force that it could deploy. But #OccupyUGC continues.
The ministry was supposed to give a final decision regarding the Non-Net Fellowships by mid December. However, even when it is mid – January we have no word from UGC or MHRD regarding what is the final status of non net fellowships… The MHRD minister Smriti Irani has denied us appointment and no decision has been communicated to us.
Responding to this inaction/negligence/indecision by the MHRD we will again resume our agitation at the MHRD gates on the 13th of January at 2:00pm asking the minister to provide answers to our questions! We are determined to continue our protest till our demands are met and in no way are we interested in playing hide and seek with the ministry.
Our Demands are:
· Restore, Increase, Expand Non – Net Fellowships – No Merit /Income criteria — based exclusion. Research Students in state universities to be included under the Non – Net Fellowship.
· Increase the amount of Fellowship from 5,000 to 8,000 for M.Phil students and 8,000 to 12,000 for Phd students.
· Halt the process of fund cut in Education- spend 10% of the budget in education.
We assert that the MHRD minister should meet with the students of #OccupyUGC and publicly announce the status of non net fellowships to everyone as soon as possible!
We appeal to all democratic, progressive organizations and individuals to participate in the protest at MHRD tomorrow and express solidarity with our struggle and take forward the fight against privatization of higher education.
Ladaai Jaari Hai!