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Mridusmita Deka|May 27, 2023
NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party’s national teachers’ organisation, AADTA has opposed the draft University Grants Commission (Setting up and operation of Campus of foreign Higher education Institutions in India) regulations, 2023, saying that it will reactivate the drain theory. On January 5, UGC issued the guidelines according to which foreign universities and colleges which rank globally can set up their campuses in India and decide their own admission process and fee structure.
According to the teachers’ association, UGC's nod to foreign university campuses will convert the educational institutions into a commercial enterperise, an elitist enclave and distant from Indian socio-economic-cultural problems. Through this, the educational East India Companys will try to plunder the vast education sector.
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In a letter, AADTA incharge, Aditya Narayan Mishra alleged that the social justice concerns have been totally ignored in the regulations which is very important in the context where higher education is a very effective means for social change. The teachers blamed UGC for opening the doors for foreign universities and not for the welfare of students. There is no emphasis on research and innovation in the UGC guidelines, it said.
“These draft regulations are a reflection of less funding for education by the central government and will be in accordance with the motive of New Education Policy 2020,” AADTA added and listed down issues with the regulations which are as follows:
1. Draft regulations have no provisions for caste based, economic based, minority based, armed forces based, divyang based, kashmiri migrants, representation based, or women reservation in (a) student admissions (b) faculty requirements i.e No reservation for SC/ST/OBC/EWS/PH/Armed force/Women in admissions and appointments
2. No clarity on syllabus and its content
3. No elected representative in governance or governing body
4. No clarity on regulatory mechanism for fee. No clarity on range of tuition fee or development fee or overall fee
5. No provision for fee concession for needy or weaker section or deprived class students
6. Complete subjectivity and ambiguity in eligibility for opening campus in India. The loopholes are so wide they can easily be misused by substandard and fly by night operators to gain entry.
7. If foreign institution fails in its operations, how will UGC take care of students studying in these institutions?
8. Subjectivity and ambiguity in procedure for approval. No clarity on constitution and composition of UGC standing committee for monitoring or approval granting for setting up and operation of campuses of foreign HEI in India.
9 Subjectivity and lack of clarity in procedure merits, credibility, strength etc.
10. Limited time permission which is 10 years. This will restrict institutions to open and start courses which will generate more money but no attention on research on areas having social implications and less profit making.
10. No clarity on admission procedure and qualifications
11. Link between tuition fee and scholarship will put extra burden on students
12. Complete autonomy in appointment of faculty and staff and their service conditions, salary is very dangerous.
13. No mechanism and time span is available for redressal of grievances for students as well as teaching and nonteaching staff.
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