Students’ stir against UGC gains steam as ABVP joins protest
The protest of the student groups on the order of University Grants Commission (UGC) to scrap Non NET fellowships for M Phil and PHD students became louder with the student body ABVP also coming into fray on Friday.
Even after police resorted to mild lathicharge and detained some students who were trying to enter into the commission, the protestors leading the ‘Occupy UGC’ protest said that they will not budge till the decision was revoked.
The students and workers of ABVP blocked the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in front of UGC head office and shouted slogans against UGC chairperson Ved Prakash and Delhi Police.
Dramatic scenes unfolded when the Delhi Police tried to round off the ABVP students, forcing them to clear the route.
The scuffle between the students and the police broke out with the police using force to clear the students. In retaliation the students broke the windows of a bus.
“The scholarship encouraged students from different backgrounds to continue their research and what is required is to increase the amount from the paltry sum of Rs 5,000 for M Phil students and Rs 8,000 for PhD scholars. Instead, the government scrapped it,” the AISA said in a statement.
“The Police have not tried to use the same kind of force with leftist student bodies then why with us?” claimed Satinder Awana, the present DUSU President who is from ABVP.
The student body however tried to put the blame entirely on UGC and tried to separate the role of Ministry of Human Resource Development and the BJP government to which it is affiliated.
The student groups of AISA and SFI have already stated that this is a Central government’s move to open up the Higher education in accordance to WTO-GATS norms.
Hundreds of students from across varsities in Delhi, including Delhi University, JNU, Ambedkar University, had joined the protest over the last two days and many stayed on there through the Dussehra holiday and even burnt an effigy of UGC chairman Ved Prakash.
They claimed that police were not allowing them — even the women protesters — to use toilets on the UGC premises.