On Government move to implement National Knowledge Commission Report
The Democratic Teachers’ Front expresses its deep concern over the manner in which Shri Kapil Sibal spelled out the agenda of commercializing and privatizing the higher education immediately after taking the charge of the HRD ministry. Contrary to the talks by the UPA government of inclusive growth and emphasis on social sector, of which higher education is an integral part, the HRD minister has expressed eagerness to implement the regressive report of the National Knowledge Commission. The report had been shelved by the HRD Ministry after it had come under sever criticism by academia all over the country. The implementation of the National Knowledge Commission means pushing Universities and colleges toward greater mobilization of funds to the tune of 20% for meeting their expenses, curtailing the powers of the Academic Council, University Court and Executive Council, which in the opinion of the NKC “slow down decision-making processes and sometimes constitute an impediment to change”, and different salary structures for similar positions in the same institution.
The Foreign Educational Bill, which the Minister assured to table in the parliament soon, will not only lead to privatization of higher education with a reckless pace, but it will also open floodgates for all kinds of institutions in the name of Foreign Universities to plunder resources of the country. Higher education will become a luxury for a few and its mass character would stand undermined.
This would amount to blocking access to higher education for the large number of aspiring young people who, given their economic condition, will be forced to opt out. The Democratic Teachers’ Front appeals to the teaching community to guard against such anti-higher education moves of the emboldened UPA Government and resist every move detrimental to the interest of higher education.