Autonomy In No Way A Step Towards Privatisation; Will Enhance Global Standing Of Our Institutions: Prakash Javadekar
Amid the criticism from teachers and students on UGC autonomy move, the minister asserted that the Union government would continue to fund the salaries of the faculty as well as provide other grants.
Education | NDTV Education Team | Updated: Mar 25, 2018 8:32 pm IST | Source: NDTV
The minister also told Press Trust of India that for these universities, greater autonomy essentially meant an enhanced global stature and a greater freedom to undertake fresh academic initiatives.
"The autonomy being granted to JNU and others is in no way a step towards privatisation of education as is being suggested by some quarters," the minister said.
University Grants Commission (UGC), the higher education sector regulator has recently accorded full autonomy to 60 institutions, including 52 Universities i.e. 5 central universities, 21 state universities, 24 deemed universities, 2 private universities and 8 colleges which maintained high standards.
The central universities which are given autonomy included JNU Delhi, UoH Hyderabad, BHU Varanasi, AMU Aligarh and EFLU Telengana.
There were reports of apprehensions and even protests in some educational institutions that the move was a step towards privatisation of public-funded institutions.
JNU Teachers Association has alleged that the autonomy clause was part of the draft National Education Policy of the current government in power.
"The government had to withdraw the draft in face of opposition in the Rajya Sabha. Now, the government is trying to push those provisions by the back door using the UGC as a pliant body," JNUTA said.
Even though the Delhi University did not figure in the list of institutions being given autonomy, there were reports of teachers protesting what they termed the changed funding policies of the government. DUTA or Delhi University Teachers Association in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the government to roll back steps like Graded Autonomy.
CPI (M)'s Student Federation of India (SFI) called the decision as 'Government's yet another move to push the higher into the further heights of privatization'.
Seeking to lay apprehensions to rest, the Mr Javadekar emphasised that autonomy did not mean a fee hike or reduction of government grants.
He said current move will enhance the reputation of our Universities throughout the world.
"So all the apprehensions are misplaced; the autonomy will mean freedom to do more research, expansion and take up many other academic initiatives," Javadekar said.
Referring specifically to Delhi University, the HRD minister said his ministry was in-fact pushing for filling up of vacancies in faculty positions and the government was prepared to pay salaries of the now joinees as well.
"As far as the Delhi University is concerned, we are following up with the university and the colleges, to recruit all faculty positions on regular basis with proper due diligence. We will be funding 100 per cent of salaries of all faculty as we are doing now," he said.
Click here for more Education News