By Team FI
Students were protesting in New Delhi today against the Modi govt’s decision to scrap the non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship in higher education institutions
•15 students badly injured and taken to the hospital
•50 students picked up by the police and beaten even inside the police van
•Male Police beat up women students. Police charged at the protesters
•The detained students have been taken to Kamla Market Police Station
These are the students fighting for safeguarding the Non – NET scholarship, which is a lifeline for the students of research in higher education institutions in India. The abolishing of this particular scholarship would mean that a large section from the most marginalized section would not be able to take on research or continue into higher education all together. The UGC, which is a very crucial institution in the education sector, is reflecting the same changes as being reflected by the policies of the Central government i. e. the policies of privatization, policies of fund cut and policies which seek to further marginalize the dalits, adivasis and other marginalized sections.
The OccupyUGC movement which has emerged in past few days could be seen as a reaction to not only this particular policy but also other measures like semesterization, fee hikes etc which have already harmed the interests of students to a large extent. The policies are part of the larger planning to sell away education to the private sector such that it would become completely unaffordable for the masses and get confined to the elite and privileged sections of the society. The oppression of the State against students is only increasing, as many as 100 students were detained on the 3rd day of the strike, 23rd October 2015 and the same day many others were brutally lathi-charged.
The situation is drastically changing by the government machinery being more aggressive to the legitimate demands by the student community. The Government is playing with lives of hundreds of students in this country by negating their right to higher education!