'Privatising higher education unacceptable'

Dubbing the privatisation of education a matter of grave concern, Karnataka High Court judge Justice H N Nagamohan Das said education was the responsibility of the government, which it cannot ignore.

Speaking at a function to felicitate retired teachers of Bangalore University, Justice Das said, “In a welfare state, the government is bound to take care of people and their fundamental rights. But in India, everything is privatised, be it education, hospitals, food or water.”

Justice Das remarked, “The way everything is being privatised, it will not be a surprise if the Vidhana Soudha and parliament too are privatised.”

Although contending that privatisation was not a solution, Justice Das said, “Privatisation of education can be permissible, but privatisation of higher education is unacceptable.”

He described teachers as engines of change in society and hailed them for their contribution to the freedom struggle.

Filmmaker and writer Baraguru Ramachandra said he was happy that there was calm in Bangalore University after a change in leadership.

Making an indirect reference to the bitter fight between former vice chancellor Prabhu Dev and former registrar Mylarappa, which had hit the headlines, he said, “The good news is that Bangalore University is not in the news for the last four months.”

He said the spat between the top executives of the BU in the past had brought a lot of mistrust among the students and the scholars affecting the credibility of the institution.

Central college

Ramachandra supported the demand for retaining Central College with Bangalore University in the event of bifurcation or trifurcation of the varsity.

He called upon teachers, students and other scholars to join the fight to save Central College. “If the government wants a separate building for a new university, it can identify a new piece of land and construct a new building. In any case, it cannot take away Central College from BU, which has a great history,” he said.

His statement got the backing of  vice chancellor B Thimme Gowda who too favoured Central College remaining with the varsity.

Earlier, Manu Siddharth, an office-bearer of BU Teachers’ Association, raked up the issue of Central College, which was backed by others.

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