'Truth spoken without moderation reverses itself'
This blog is a source for intellectual exploration. It includes a list of alternative resources and a source of free books. The placement of an article does not imply that I agree with it, merely that I found it thought-provoking. There are also poems and book reviews. Texts written by me are labelled. Readers are free to re-post anything they like.
Thursday, January 7, 2016
The OccupyUGC Protest Has Just Put Out the Coolest Video Ever
A protest is taking place in the heart of the
capital to save what students believe is the future of higher education in
the country. Their vigil in front of the University Grants Commission
office has lasted more than two months but has received little media attention,
except when the Delhi Police brought down lathis and water cannons on the
protesting students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpUrKAomkqU
Faced with media indifference and public disinterest, a
group calling itself The Media Collective has created a video explaining the manner
in which India’s higher education system is on the verge of dramatic
change, and why the issues raised by the OccupyUGC movement are of great
On January 4, the protest entered its 75th day. The
vigil outside the UGC started was started by students from Jawaharlal
Nehru University, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Ambedkar
University against the UGC’s decision to roll back the stipend due to all
Central university MPhil and PhD scholars. The widespread indignation and
angry protests led the HRD ministry to step in and stop the roll-back.
However, the ministry also decided to set up a review
committee to give these scholarships only to scholars with merit, ignoring
their already established worth that comes with getting through a tough
admission process. But as the The Media Collective argues, this ‘review’
process is the tip of the iceberg. Rather than a fundamental right or even
‘social service’, education has become a commodity for sale, its quantity,
quality and value decided by trade negotiators at the World Trade Organisation.
The students involved in OccupyUGC oppose the fallout of these talks, which
they say could result in the withdrawal of all government support to Central
universities, and financial assistance which is a lifeline for thousands of
scholars. Since slogans filled with acronym – WTO, GATS, etc. –
made little impact on anyone listening, the Collective has made this video as a
crash course in the issues at stake.