Haryana teachers’ body to protest against stopping of grants to State universities

Haryana Education Minister, Education Minister Kanwar Pal.

Haryana Education Minister, Education Minister Kanwar Pal. | Photo Credit: Twitter@chkanwarpal

The teaching and non-teaching staff at colleges and universities across Haryana would hold a two-hour-long sit-in agitation on May 11 and wear black badges all through the week to protest against the government’s recent decision to do away with grants-in-aid to State universities and give loans instead.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the officer-bearers of the Haryana Federation of Universities and Colleges Teachers Organisations (HFUCTO) at Rohtak on Sunday.

After the sit-in agitation, the protesters would also submit a memorandum for the Chief Minister, the Education Minister and the University Grants Commission Chairperson seeking the withdrawal of the decision within a week. The HFUCTO office-bearers would meet again on May 15 to decide on the future course of action if their demand was not met, said a press statement. The representatives of various universities called on Governor Bandaru Dattatreya and submitted a memorandum in support of their demand for the withdrawal of the government’s decision.

HFUCTO chairman Vikas Siwach told The Hindu that the grants to the universities had dwindled over the past few years and the recent government decision would force the institutes to hike the fees for various courses hitting hard the students, especially those from the weaker sections of society. He expressed apprehension that it would eventually lead to privatisation of these institutes in the future.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has also condemned the government’s decision as a “disastrous step” towards commercialisation of education. The party, in a press statement, said it had always raised its voice against the privatisation of education, but the Bharatiya Janata Party governments were implementing the anti-people education policy in an autocratic manner in the absence of a comprehensive people’s movement.

Former Haryana Finance Minister Sampat Singh has also opposed it, saying that the State government had sounded the ‘death knell’ for higher education in the State. In a press statement, he said the government had informed the 10 State universities that henceforth the government would give them loans instead of grants-in-aid and accordingly released ₹147 crore to them as the first instalment of the loan. This practically meant that all government universities would have to adopt self-financing pattern which meant students would be paying exorbitant fees to enable the universities to pay off these loans. Eventually, universities would run losses and go bankrupt, giving the government an excuse to sell these off to private business houses of their choice, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 5:19:35 pm |