'Foreign universities will convert India into an education market'

SFI will oppose governments move to commercialise education


Addressing media persons here on Sunday, Banerjee said that the government could not pass the Foreign Education Bill for the past ten years, because of the stiff opposition from SFI. Government was aiming at opening up education market in India through the bill, he added.

It was the then Minister for Commerce Kamalnath signed a treaty at a WTO ministerial meeting in 2005 giving provisions to bring education under the purview of GATT. SFI will oppose government’s move of commercialising the education rigidly, he asserted. Most of the foreign universities are looking at India as a suitable destination, as the nation has a business of over Rs 10,000 crore in the tuition.

On deemed universities

Banerjee said that the deemed universities in India have become centres of business which do not cater education to needy poor. Even the Yashpal Committee report recommended government to stop grants to deemed universities.

“The percentage of students pursuing higher education in India is far below than that of world average. While about 20 per cent of students pursue higher education globally, in India the percentage is only around 9 per cent,” he said and pointed out that even in Africa the percentage of students pursue higher education is about 20 per cent.

Fight against saffronisations

Coming down heavily on the saffronisation of education, Banerjee charged that history is being altered and efforts are made to saffronise the curriculum in states ruled by BJP. “SFI has a persistent stand against on saffronisation of education. It will continue its sustained struggle against saffronisation,” he said and urged that there must be a legislation to control fee structure, admission process and curriculum.

‘Saffronisation through Mid-day meal’

SFI state president H Naveen Kumar charged that the BJP government in the state is saffronising the mid-day meal scheme by handing it over to Iskcon and to another private organisation. “Iskcon try to implement saffronisation by not using onion and garlic in the food supplied to schools on religious grounds. Moreover, students were made to sing Hindu religious prayers,” he said.

Kumar said that the government was planning to open Sanskrit and Vedic Science Institutes as part of their saffronisation agenda, even when a Sanskrit College in Hubli lack students. When the institute has 50 post graduate seats and 8 teachers, there are only 6 students admitted to it.

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