The CPI has opposed the University Grants Commission's (UGC) decision to allow foreign universities to open branches in India, claiming that it would "harm" the country's higher education system. In a statement issued on Friday, the Communist Party of India (CPI) said the time allotted to put forward suggestions on the issue is grossly insufficient.
"The policy will harm, dilute and destroy the Indian higher education system, leading to commercialisation. This decision will make education expensive and Dalits, adivasis, minorities and the poor will be adversely affected. "The decision is a reflection of the government's pro-rich approach in the background of a statement made in Parliament by the education minister that Indians should stop depending on the idea that universities should be funded by the government," the Left party said.
It accused the government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of spending less than three per cent of its budget on education when more allocation is needed. The CPI claimed that the policy of reservation and the principle of social justice will be harmed by this decision in a big way. The imposition of such a policy on the states is anti-federal and an encroachment of the powers of the state governments, it said.
"The CPI demands that the regulatory framework for such universities must be placed before and discussed in Parliament before taking any hasty and unilateral decision that can jeopardise the future of our students and the country. "The CPI calls upon all students' and teachers' organisations to resist this retrograde and exclusionary step," it said. The UGC on Thursday unveiled draft norms, under which the foreign universities can decide on the admission process, fee structure and repatriate their funds back home.