BHUBANESWAR: Continuing with its attack on the Modi Government, the Congress on Sunday alleged that the NDA Government is playing with the future of students by shattering the educational edifice.
“Rather than solidifying the well established educational structures of the country, HDR Ministry under Smriti Irani has spent more time in demolishing institutions of prestige, downsizing highly motivated educationists and dictating incomprehensible directives bordering on complete illiteracy,” AICC spokesperson Ajoy Kumar told mediapersons here.
RSS loyalists have been appointed to crucial academic posts and education budget was slashed by Rs 14,088 crore, he said and added that budget for elementary education has been reduced by Rs 10,186 crore, while that of secondary education was cut by Rs 1,422 crore and higher education by Rs 1,479 crore. Besides, the Centre has also abolished schemes for granting Central assistance for setting up 6,000 model schools at block level.
Criticising the Centre for impinging on academic autonomy of institutions, the former MP alleged that noted nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar, Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT, Bombay, resigned ahead of a crucial meeting of a search-cum-selection committee chaired by Irani. Kumar also accused the HRD Ministry of violating the autonomy of University Grants Commission (UGC) and interfering with academic MoUs.
Alleging that the Modi Government placed ideology before education, he said the move to observe good governance day on Christmas clearly violated the secular spirit of the Constitution even as the Government misled people by claiming that no such directive was issued.
Stating that the HRD Ministry issued a diktat to Kendriya Vidyalayas to stop teaching German as third language and teach Sanskrit instead, Kumar said the decision taken in the middle of an academic year affected about 70,000 students across 500 schools in the country.
Soon after taking office, the HRD Minister had promised an overhaul in higher education, but she appeared to have lost perspective and her priorities for reform, Kumar said.