Riyaz ul Khaliq
Partner in J&K coalition government, right wing Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) is pursuing an agenda of saffronizing the education in state, National Conference’s Nagrota Lawmaker, Devender Singh Rana, told Legislative Assembly on Saturday.
Charging BJP of putting a spanner in functioning of University of Jammu (JU) Rana said, “education is independent of any ideology.”
He warned BJP to stay away from interfering in the functioning of JU. “Just because you were not allowed to hold ABVP rally in the campus, you are demanding removal of JU VC,” he alleged addressing BJP lawmakers in the Lower House of J&K Legislature.
ABVP (Akhil Bhartiya Vishwa Parishad) si student wing of saffron party.
“We know how ABVP is using your influence to get introduced in state,” he told the BJP members, “but we won’t let you Saffronize the education.”
“Ideologies emanate from top learning centres not the vice-versa,” he said.
The issue came up when BJP Lawmaker, Ranbir Singh Pathania, had introduced a bill asking government to make Governor as head of cluster universities of Srinagar and Jammu. However, Education Minister, Naeem Akhtar, while asking Pathania to rethink over his bill, said, “the universities working under CM in J&K were functioning well.”
“Look how phenomenally varsities under CM have grown,” Akhtar told the house, “take the case of BGSBU, IUST or SMVDU.” “It wasn’t possible in Rajouri but with the personal efforts of then CM it was done.”
In his comments about structure of cluster universities, Naeem Akhtar asserted, “Universities have really become autonomous now.” “Till 2015, their finance related matters lay with government but we gave them financial autonomy.”
“Now, they themselves utilise the money and they don’t have to come to us for seeking it,” he said, “they manage it themselves.”
Earlier, the Education Minister introduced the bill and changed Kashmir with Srinagar in the cluster universities. “This was to recognise the heritage and legacy of summer capital,” he told the house, “Srinagar has been place of great learning.”
The Cluster Universities are being established in the state under Union government -sponsored Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) to run series of additional and novel courses in the existing colleges, with one of the colleges each in Srinagar and Jammu acting as the Lead College.
The move, state government believes, shall go a long way in expanding access to higher education by increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in the State.
According to the proposal formulated by the Higher Education Department in this regard, the Cluster University in Jammu will comprise GGM Science College, Government MAM College, SPMR College of Commerce, Government College for Women Gandhi Nagar and Government College of Education Canal Road.
Similarly, the Cluster University in Srinagar will comprise Amar Singh College Srinagar, SP College Srinagar, Women’s College MA Road Srinagar, Government Degree College Bemina and the College of Education, Srinagar.