The All-India Democratic Students' Organisation (AIDSO) organised a protest march to Jantar Mantar from the Ramlila Grounds here on Friday against “the all-out drive of the government to bring about commercialisation and privatisation…of education”.
Protesting against the establishment of foreign universities in the country, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) MP Tarun Mandal accused the United Progressive Alliance government of pursuing education policies which favoured the “ruling capitalist class and not the common students”.
The AIDSO alleged in a memorandum that by the dint of the Foreign Universities Bill “prospective investors would treat education only as a trade to fetch profits” and would not be bothered with improving quality or excellence. The Right to Education Act had several inconsistencies and the move of the government towards public-private partnership was also criticised.
According to the memorandum, the proposal to establish a National Commission for Higher Education and Research would negate existing “democratic administrative mechanisms…and lead to bureaucratic control over higher education in the country.”
The AIDSO has also demanded “appropriate legislation to nullify the code of conduct recommended by the Lyngdoh Commission and imposed by the Supreme Court” as it put several restrictions on the conduct of students' union elections.
Keywords: Right to Education Act