Skip to main content

Denying space to SCs, STs, OBCs in the name of merit: Game behind "eminence" tag to Ambani institute

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
With Ambanis getting favour from the government, it is important for our academic fraternity to go into its details. The Government of India has opened several fronts against people, particularly the marginalized sections. Closing Universities Grants Commission (UGC) is one such step, but even before its closure, the UGC gave the 'Institute of Eminence' status to Ambani’s Jio institute, saying, here 'merit and merit alone will be the criterion'.
In India merit is brahmanical in nature, and in a certain way it seeks to deny space to SCs-STs-OBCs in institutions. The whole effort is to keep institutions to have their own 'autonomy', and outside the domain of UGC. They can negotiate with foreign institutions, and collaborate with them. The aim is to bring them to 'international' standard.
The fact is that the agenda is to target all institutions. When people were campaigning for equal education for all, we had a government, which wants to create this difference in the name of 'excellence' and 'merit'.
Indeed, one can understand why Prime Minister Narendra Modi still enjoys the support of the upper echelon of savarna jaatis; because through these 'institutions of eminence' it can keep the status quo ante, with the state abdicating its duties towards people. The aim is to undermine the education system as it exists, and bring in Dronacharyas into these institutions of 'merit'. What is unfortunate is, political parties feel, their duties end after sending tweets criticizing #bhakts of all varieties, responding as per their leaders.
The day we start responding as per issues and not as per our leaders, things would begin to change. The day we start going beyond individuals and seek wider consultations, listen to critics, things would be different. The day intellectuals, academics and those in public life speak without being 'bhakts', things would change.
This is the biggest war that the brahmanical system has now imposed on the bahujan masses. With the help of crony capitalists, they want to deny opportunities to India's indigenous people. They wouldn’t like to do things openly, or challenge the Constitution. They would like to do it in a surreptitious way, which means, they would kill institutions and universities, which are government-aided and provide huge opportunity to India's historically denied people.
All the political parties should swear in the name of social justice, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Ram Manohar Lohia, Periyar and others, that there is a direct assault on people's right to education. There is a need to highlight that earlier promises haven’t been fulfilled; and rather than making things better, what is now being created is a mess, so that people can’t make it to these institutions.
The move needs a strong political response. All members of Parliament of SC-ST-OBC-minority background must seek explanation from the government on this. Things are unlike to improve through court cases, as we know who is using courts. There is a need to resolve matters politically.
Baba Saheb Ambedkar wanted education for all. He wanted quality education. How many universities does this government offer a budget of Rs 1,000 crore, so that they become 'institutions of eminence'? Why should this kind of budget not be made available for our primary and secondary education with efficient teachers and better schooling facilities? Why can't the government improve the existing infrastructure in universities and colleges, and make them better and accountable, if it feels they are not functioning well?
Privatisation of education is a highly irresponsible act of the government. It is not that all these institutions will run on private money. Ambanis know it well, that is why they need a friendly government to support them establish infrastructure, and also give with grants. These institutions will have freedom to deny students admission in the name of merit. Only those would be able to go there who have a certain amount of budget in their pocket.
Seventy years after Independence, we are witnessing the re-emergence of Dronacharyas in institutions with the active help of the state to deny the bahujan masses quality education. The pressure on academic education of bahujan communities is indeed high. It is well known how a senior teacher at the Baba Saheb Ambedkar University in Lucknow, belonging to the Dalit community, was brutally beaten by brahmin students.
Chaos has been created everywhere in universities, with engaged in fighting this or that battle. Meanwhile, quickly, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) comes out with its 'idea' of creating 'institutions of eminence' as if it is a kind of Pakoda that you can buy any time anywhere, or get things done with money.
Will Mayawati, Rahul Gandhi, Askhilesh Yadav and other political leaders raise this issue in Parliament? We know that Ambanis give donations to all political parties. They need to be responsible to people. It is time for all parties to make their stand clear. They must fight this battle, as future generations will never forgive them for not speaking up for their rights.
---
*Source: The author’s Facebook timeline

Comments

Niranjan Dave said…
Reservation for SC, ST, OBC , fees and admissions are part of regulatory norms. If an institute is to be established free from regulatory framework, having state of the art facilities , scholarly faculty, research oriented offerings, meritorious students, research and quality of education comparable and competitive with best of the institutions abroad, huge investment and sustainable privatisation are inevitable.
Greenfield category is a misnomer. In fact it is a category by itself ( Expecting possible misunderstanding among critics and academicians MHRD should have elaborated this yesterday.) wherein there is nothing on ground but land, required funding, time-frame of development, well defined long term project and strong support of prominent Corporate house, and track record of supporting institutionalised primary and secondary education. JiO will get tag of IoE after three years and does not need Rs 1000 Crores from MHRD. Estimated cost of the project is Rs 9500 Crores.
It is the need of the day. Let us not miss the bus.
Uma said…
Apart from the money what is so great about this institution?

TRENDING

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.