Privatisation of Universities in the garb of Autonomy : AAD

Written by Sabrangindia Staff | Published on: March 23, 2018
The University Grants Commission (UGC) on March 20, 2018 announced that it will grant full autonomy to 62 institutes of higher education, including five central and 21 state universities. It is being said that institutes getting autonomous will be free to decide their admission procedure, fee structure and curricula. The Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javadekar said that universities with a rating over 3.6 from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council will be granted autonomy. He tweeted that this is “in line with the vision of PM Narendra Modi towards liberalised regulatory regime.”

Occupy UGC

Central universities that will be granted autonomy are Jawaharlal Nehru University, Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, the University of Hyderabad and the English and Foreign Languages University. Apart from that, state universities like Jadavpur University, Andhra University, Algappa University etc. will also be granted autonomy.

Responding to this announcement, the Academics for Action and Development (AAD) said in a press release today, “The announcement by the Minister of HRD granting of autonomy to 62 universities and colleges, which includes five central universities also, represents the government's unilateral policy for privatisation of existing public-funded institutions. AAD strongly opposes the announcement made by the Minister, which will deprive the SC, ST, OBC and poor students from these universities and colleges and contractualisation of the teachers therein.”
 
The full press release can be read below:
 
ACADEMICS FOR ACTION & DEVELOPMENT (AAD)
*Press Release* 
 
The announcement by the Minister of HRD granting of autonomy to 62 universities and colleges, which includes five central universities also, represents the government's unilateral policy for privatisation of existing public-funded institutions. AAD strongly opposes the announcement made by the Minister, which will deprive the SC, ST, OBC and poor students from these universities and colleges and contractualisation of the teachers therein.
 
In the garb of this autonomy and freedom to open new departments/courses in self-financing mode, the present courses run by the universities and the colleges are going to be decimated. The freedom is infact a trap for self-destruction. The UGC regulations under which this autonomy has been granted, provides:
 
1. All universities and colleges are to be graded in categories I/II/III.
2. The institutions with NAAC score of more than 3.5 or NIRF ranking upto first 50 are marked in Category I.
3. The institutions with NAAC score between 3.25 and 3.5 or NIRF ranking between 51 to 100 are to be in Category II.
4. The remaining institutions are to be in Category III.
5. The central universities under category I are to get Autonomy without any expert committee visit. Such institutions can run their own departments/syllabi but in a self-financing mode.
6. The board of management will decide the variable salary and service conditions of individuals.
7. The board of management will be free to appoint foreign faculty upto 20℅ at negotiable lucrative salary and admit foreign students upto 20%.
8. In the name of autonomy the existing institutions will be transformed into teaching shops running market-friendly courses through their off campus branches and distance education outlets.
9. The so-called autonomous institutions will have market oriented fee structure with the amount soaring up to lakhs as documented in these regulations, where the non-returnable processing fees is Rs. 10000 if a student withdraws after having taken admission.
 
What is most unfortunate is that no discussion was held with the stakeholders, the teachers, non-teaching staff and students who will be adversely affected by the government's brazen agenda of privatisation of the higher education. Such a serious decision was taken without any discussion with the teacher associations of these universities and FEDCUTA. 
AAD strongly opposes this decision of the MHRD-UGC and appeals to the MHRD to take this draconian decision back as it would lead to the exploitation of teachers, non-teaching staff and students. 
 
Press Secretary
Richa Raj/SBN Tiwary/Chittaranjan Kumar/Ashok/Rajesh Jha

 
https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/delhi-university-teachers-begin-5-day-strike-against-government%E2%80%99s-move-privatise