Govt panel for ‘less political’ campuses, limit on stay of students

Political activities in universities and colleges across India should be restricted. This is what a panel set up by the government to revamp the national education system has recommended. The recommendation assumes significance in view of the recent controversies that hit the Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Hyderabad Central University. Former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian-led panel has further stated that student groups that are formed explicitly on the basis of caste and religion should be derecognised. The panel goes on to recommend that students should be allowed to stay on the campus only for a certain stipulated period of time and not infinitely.
Worried about the impact of growing number of student agitations, the committee said in its report, “Agitations, disturbances, gheraos and other disruptive movements are being increasingly witnessed on campuses with potential to interfere with normal academic activities. As a result of this, examinations often get delayed or postponed. These disturbances are generally caused by a small section of politically active students and work to the detriment of the majority of serious students.”
The report, accessed by the newspaper, further states, “Most of the disruptive activities on the campus are led by students who remain enrolled for many more years than normally required to pursue the course of study for which they have enrolled. The main interest of such students is not to pursue learning but to use the hostel and fellowship facilities to follow a political agenda. There should be a national debate on the need for students to necessarily achieve the minimum benchmarks for scholastic progress to prevent the misuse of educational facilities established at public expense.” The panel has also called for less political interference in appointment of vice chancellors of universities.

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