An all India universities strike has been called upon by
students in response to a recommendation for scrapping the non-NET fellowship.
It will be started from February 18, 2016 with a signature campaign being held
on Monday, January 18.
The students group said that the strike is due to the delay
by the government in its stand regarding the committee constituted after
protests were made to UGC's decision to discontinue the non-NET fellowship
scheme. The students had started an 'Occupy UGC' movement but government failed to
respond to it. They protested against
the decision and as a result, a review committee was set up. However, the MHRD,
the UGC or the review committee arrived at a decision. The HRD minister, Smriti
Irani gave some assurances about a representation, but there has not been an
order to continue the fellowship. Also, the students were not even granted an
appointment with MHRD.
Students said that the government didn't have any clarity
about the committee nor its discussions. They were told that there will be no
meeting on 16th Jan and there wasn't any alternative date issued for the
meeting. This portrays an irresponsible and careless attitude on part of the
government towards students and their issues.
The statement by students said that a signature campaign
will be started by the team on January 18th. It will mainly focus on increasing
the budget for education to be increased to 10% as fund-cuts in education under
World Bank. According to them, WTO diktats are ruining the education system of
our country. The campaign will end on February 15th and signatures will be
submitted to MHRD.