Published On: Fri, Dec 3rd, 2010

University Employees hold rally to hike higher education funding

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Bhabani Hota

Bhabani Hota, President, All India University Employees Confederation

Thousands of employees from about 200 universities across the country Wednesday gathered at the Ramlila Ground in Delhi and marched to parliament to press the government for hike in education funds.

“The employees staged a mass-meeting at Jantar Mantar to press for their eight-point charter of demands,” said Bhabani Hota, former MP and president of the All India University Employees’ Confederation (AIUEC), which organised the rally.

The demands include allocation of six percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to education and saving of university education from the onslaught of private and foreign direct investment, among others, he said.

Those who addressed the gathering were the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Basudeb Acharia, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan, and Congress leader Jagdambika Pal.

“The AIUEC has been pressing for allocation of six percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) for education. Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi committed to allocate six percent but nothing of the sort was done,” he said.

“Again the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government committed to do so in 2004 in its Common Minimum Programme. However, the fund allocation is still only 2.6 percent,” he said.

Hota said the employees were also opposed to private and foreign direct investment in university education.

“If private sector is given a free hand, large sections of the people in this country would be deprived of access to higher education which will not do any good to the country in the long run,” he said.