NEW DELHI: Paramilitary personnel killed in action will be granted the status of "martyrs" if the Congress comes to power, party President Rahul Gandhi said here on Saturday, against the backdrop of the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
The issue of granting martyr status to the personnel of paramilitary forces has been a matter of debate ever since the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama in Kashmir.
"Soldiers of paramilitary forces should get the status of martyrs. If our government comes to power, they will get that status," Rahul said during an interaction with university students at 'Shiksha, Disha aur Dasha’ event in Delhi. At the interaction, the Congress chief mainly focussed on the topic of education.
The Congress chief contended that these days, Vice-Chancellors of the universities are concerned only about their own ideology and want to use India's education system as a weapon.
"Vice Chancellors these days are ideological people from an organisation. They are not concerned with global vision and feelings of students. They are only concerned with their own ideology and want to use India's education system as a weapon. It is an insult to students," he claimed.
He also alleged that funds for the education sector had seen "massive" reduction over the last five years and advocated greater spending in this area.
"There is a massive decline now in education system compared to ours (UPA regime). When we were in power in UPA, we opened more than 20-24 universities and in the last five years, only one university was opened," he said while attacking the NDA government.
"We believe that the government has to support education and healthcare because, without these two, we are not moving forward. And the BJP is convinced that we can use the private industry to support education and privatisation is the key to education, we don't believe that" he said.
“The government must make bank loans easily available, introduce more universities, which has not happened at all in the last five years. There has been a steep decline in the amount of money being spent by the government for the education sector," he said.
Talking at length about education in the country, he said that education must be empowering and forgiving.
“Education must be empowering, and forgiving. Students must be comfortable with making mistakes. They must be encouraged to learn from their mistakes,” he said.