Opposition parties on Thursday voiced concern at the developments in central universities like JNU and Hyderabad University. They expressed regret that educational institutions have turned it to be political arenas, and said this needs to be stopped.
As the House took up discussion on functioning of HRD Ministry, members also voiced concern over the quality of education, saying it is deteriorating.
Samajwadi Party member Naresh Agrawal alleged that students are being targeted in central universities and Vice-Chancellors are being used for it. “This has never happened before that vice chancellors of central universities are being used to target students. This has happened in JNU, Hyderabad and now in Allahabad,” he said.
This is a wrong precedent and needs to be checked, he said, asking “Why are such incidents happening in central universities?”
Agrawal claimed that an RSS leader is said to be running the organisations such as AICTE, which drew strong reaction from the BJP members.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said allegations could not be levelled against a person who is not present in the House. At this, Agrawal asked, “Then why were names and allegations levelled in the House yesterday on AgustaWestland?”
He also raised the issue of “rampant corruption” in the mid-day meal scheme.
“I want to urge you to check the rampant corruption in the mid-day meal schemes. This is concerning. If we are able to check this, it will help in enhancing the status of primary education in the country,” he added.
Agrawal said there is a need to look into the issue that several states have not lifted the share of foodgrains allocated to them for running the scheme.
He suggested that government should set up a recruitment board to fill the vacancies in the universities.
He said that only 3 % of GDP is being spent on education. “We need to spend 6 % of the GDP on education, as is recommended, so that more and more children can be educated. This will also help is educating them about the population explosion,” he added.
Agrawal said the quality of education in the country is deteriorating, which is a worrying trend. Taking a dig at HRD Minister Smriti Irani, he said: “There is a debate over the degree of HRD Minister, but this issue of fake degrees is dangerous. It has to be checked at the earliest.”
He also said the government should bring in a legislation to check cheating by students during exams. The SP leader said Governors in the states have a control over higher education as it is a Central subject. Earlier states were consulted while appointing Vice-Chancellors, but now they are not being concluded.
He said that no decision has been taken on the Centre-State contribution on Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.