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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 34, New Delhi, August 8, 2020

New Education Policy (NEP) Harms Education And Jeopardises Peoples’ Future - Statement by DUTA, 29 July 2020

Friday 7 August 2020

Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA)
Day Centre Building, Chhatra Marg
University of Delhi, Delhi-110007
http://www.duta-du.info/

DUTA Press Release: 29 July 2020

DUTA calls upon the Government to desist from bulldozing the NEP and harm education

The DUTA takes serious exception to the news that the Union cabinet has adopted the New Education Policy amidst a pandemic. The crisis in educational institutions has deepened with the Government’s insistence on holding examinations that are discriminatory and exclusionary. This is even more serious considering the massive governmental failure to facilitate learning of crores of students who are stuck at home with no access to internet, devices and books and other educational resources. The cynical use of the pandemic to push the agenda of online education in a country with a vast section that seek education for betterment of lives is shocking.

The DUTA’s opposition to the draft NEP rested, among other things, on its proposal to dismember universities and handover every higher educational institution to a Board of Governors, which is to enjoy all powers hetherto vested in the governing authorities of colleges and universities as well as the UGC and other regulating bodies. Each BoG is to enjoy unfettered powers on matters of (1) setting educational goals; (2) academic starting and closing academic programmes (3) determining number of students to be admitted and number of teachers to be appointed; (4) students’ fees; (5) teachers’ qualifications, mode of recrument as well as recruitment, salary structure, promotions and continuation / termination.

Autonomy has been redefined as the freedom to optimise. The empowerment of the BoG hand in hand with redifined autonomy is in parallel with the neoliberal reforms that deregulated businesses. It amounts to converting / handing over education as a business to corporate houses. It is unwise to forget that the former HRD Minister, Shri Javadekar had minced no words in claiming that "the Government is striving to introduce a liberalised regime in the education sector."

The pandemic has exposed the disatrous inadequacies of the health and education sectors in India that have witnessed prolonged governmental neglect and increasing privatisation of owneship along with commercialisation of operation.

The DUTA calls upon the Government to desist from bulldozing changes which will have grave consequences for our country and instead to engage in a dialogue with the academia. The proforma feedback system on important policy matters whereby opinions are sought but not debated is not acceptable. It threatens democracy and jeopardises peoples’ future.

Rajib Ray, President

Rajinder Singh, Secretary

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