Political turn to DU protest

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Political turn to DU protest

Why is the government hell-bent on ruining Delhi University? Why are the voices of lakhs of students and thousands of teachers being ignored and why is the VC office so unyielding when it comes to imposing the four-year graduation plan?

DU with all these issues is definitely dying a slow and painful death. Concerned teachers and students of DU have already started a campaign, ‘Save Delhi University’ against the hurried implementation of the four-year graduation plan and recently even politicians like Sitaram Yechury and social activist Aruna Roy have added their voices to the cause. But, is politicising the issue good for the education system, which is already crippling?

Shomojit Bhattacharya, Economics professor in Kirorimal College and a DUTA member, raises his voice against the issue, “The decision to hurriedly and undemocratically push through the four-year undergraduate course in DU from July 2013 is not only going to adversely affect the careers of lakhs of students but would pave the way for further fee hikes, privatisation, commodification and dilute the comprehensive
character of education. Such major changes in the nationally accepted 10+2+3 system should not be allowed without wider debate and discussion. What is at stake isn’t merely higher education, but also the future of this country.”

In a recent protest, students gathered, protested holding placards with slogans like ‘stop spoiling our future’ and ‘stop privatisation-commercialisation of education’ etc, expressing their anger and laying their claim as stakeholders.

Another professor of Political Science from Ramjas College, Tanvir Aeijaz too supports the voices of Yechury and Roy. “This is actually a political issue, then why can’t these politicians talk about it? Critics voices are always termed political but if the situation gets better by involving them, then why not?”

Bhattacharya agrees, “This is already a political issue and why shouldn’t we take the help of politicians if it helps the future of the University?”

But it isn’t only about the implementation of the four year graduation plan that is under the scanner. There is wide spread anger at the VC’s appointment too, which is being seen as arbitrary. “Vice-chancellors are being appointed to serve the political interests of ruling parties,” says another DUTA member. “DU is made after an act of Parliament, so why shouldn’t these politicians raise their voices? We have raised our concerns in front of the VC and even in MHRD, but they are hellbent on destroying the University. These concerns related to higher education will be a major issue in the upcoming 2014 elections,” he fumes.

Each university has its own unique character which needs to be acknowledged and preserved through law and policy. What the government has failed to take into cognisance are the widespread ramifications that the four-year graduation programme will have down the years.  

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