A two-day meeting of the RSS and the BJP started in Delhi on October 19 with the emphasis on discussing the National Education Policy (NEP).
The meeting is presided by senior RSS leaders, Krishna Gopal and Arun Kumar. Vidya Bharti from RSS’ Education Wing also attended the meeting on the first day where he mentioned concerns over the accessibility of trained educators in regional dialects and the resistance of certain states in executing the NEP. The discussion on the curriculum also took place. He also sought if the recommendations were followed by the government.
Union Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan also took part in the meeting on October 20 where he presented the government’s side on the implementation of the NEP.
The meeting that is conducted by BJP and RSS over the NEP has its own implications. Team VoI talked to a few experts.
Saffronizing the Education Department
Social Activist, Manishi Jani said, “First of all, they are trying to saffronize the education department. The questions arise as the villages are supposedly going to be taught culture.
He further questioned, “Who will decide what would be taught about culture?”
He added, “They are already messing with the history and Higher Education’s autonomy will end in this procedure. The government’s control over education will increase. Vice-Chancellors of different universities are from the RSS even though they are not qualified.”
Talking about the system, he lastly said, “The fascist party wants to end the cultural, scientific and educational autonomy according to the experts.”
Historian and Political Commentator, Vishnu Pandya said, “I believe they are going to discuss two topics, cultural nationalism and its spread over the nation, and how the education system should include learnings of life. The other topic will be history’s rewriting as the history was altered by certain liberal and Islamic groups which changed the course of history.”
“Other than that, they will also discuss the importance of science and technology,” he added.
“According to the NEP draft, they have invited suggestions from organisations, groups and individuals from all over the nation so the policy can be prepared democratically,” he talked.
Academicians should get complete freedom to criticise the government
Economist and Professor, Hemant Kumar Shah said, “According to the Education Policy’s point number 18’s sub-points describe curbing commercialization of education which is promised by the government.”
He said, “As RSS is the parent organisation of BJP it is interfering in the government policies. It is dictating the terms.”
“All the academicians should be given the complete freedom to criticize the government. Critical evaluation of government policies, programmes and schemes should be the ethos of government education institutes as there is an atmosphere of fear in the universities and colleges while criticizing the government which is the most pathetic situation since Independence. It never happened before 2014.”
“I feel all the self-financed colleges and schools have increased their fees over the years and it has become non-affordable for the middle-class section and what are they doing about this? They should discuss this and the fee structure,” he added.
He added, “They should ban new self-financed education institutes. They have also promised that public spending on education will be around 6% of GDP which is less than 3.5% including the central and all the state governments and I feel they should act as per the policy.”
“The government is aiming to be a Vishwa Guru but by inviting foreign institutes it will lead to privatization and the country cannot be Vishwa Guru,” he said.