The students agitating against the scraping of Non net fellowships, fund cuts, increased privatization of higher education assembled at the gates of MHRD to question the government’s indecision regarding the non net fellowships today. Even after 85 days of protest the MHRD has not provided any answers to the questions raised by students till now. During the last demonstration by students on 9th of December, the students were brutally lathi charged and many were severely injured.
By appointing a review committee to give recommendations regarding the non net fellowships, the matter was further pushed behind the curtain as the committee did not have a single student representative. The
review committee which intends to narrow down the number of student who benefit from the fellowship through implementing a criteria mechanism has been criticized by students in the past. The review committee was supposed to submit it’s recommendations regarding the fellowships by mid December and till now the students await any communication /decision from the Ministry. A delegation of students went to meet the MHRD minister Smriti Irani but due to her unavailability, the director of UGC, Amit Shukla, Vinaysheel Oberoi, Education Secretary and Ishita Ray, Joint Secretary met the students.
The delegation asked them for a specific time by which the report will be out, but the ministry has again denied any specific date. Continuing it’s false assurances the only concrete thing that has come across clearly, is that the Ministry will be implementing a criteria citing unavailability of funds.
The students were told that, the report has been delayed because they are taking response from “students all over the country”. Although tragically the students protesting at UGC have not been asked for their feedbacks even once.It was also questioned about there being no student representation and they responded by saying, that the committee would take care of everything. The coordination committee Delhi will be holding a meeting to decide future course of action and a response to this attitude of
government. The students recognize that the issue is being diluted and delayed and the struggle of #OccupyUGC will continue in one form or other till their demands are met.