SFI says Union Budget 2019 is anti-student, calls for nationwide protest on July 9

The organisation alleged that the budget is superfluous and does not put forward a strong policy that can guide the country
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Union Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha at Parliament in New Delhi (Pic: PTI)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Union Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha at Parliament in New Delhi (Pic: PTI)

The Students' Federation of India has called for a nationwide protest on July 9 against the recently announced Union Budget calling it anti-student and anti-poor.

"We will organise protests in every corner of the country. There will also be discussions and debates on the New Education Policy and the allocations made for it," said VP Sanu, President, SFI. "The last date for sending in suggestions for the Draft National Education Policy 2019 was July 31. But with this budget already allocating the funds, it seems like a farce. The proposed National Research Foundation ia set up to fund research in India is another way to censor any narrative that goes against the ruling party. They will, eventually, put an end to any research on the marginalised section of the society," he added.

The proposed Higher Education Commission, SFI claims, are just part of policies and stay "superfluous, pleasing the corporate corpus who wants to start their own investments in Higher Education in India. The previous HRD minister Prakash Javedkar’s statement that the institutions given graded autonomy should find own funds indicated the same." 

The students' organisation termed the National Education Policy to be a "highly theoretical document without a plan of action". Sanu added, "The proposal to replace UGC with HEC is highly problematic as HEC is not an educational body and has no funds of its own. The funds will come directly from MHRD. The proposals also suggest that the government aspire to create world-class institutions but what about elementary, secondary level, rural and tribal education in the country? They will be neglected."

"The Hindi imposition agenda of BJP government had also found a new attractive face through the funding Rs 50 crore for appointing Hindi teachers in non-Hindi speaking states, which had been largely opposed by states like Tamil Nadu," said the statement released by the SFI. "The policy is highly discriminative towards other languages as it was amended earlier to allow for the teaching of any Indian language as the third language apart from English and the local language. But the present scheme is supporting the appointment of Hindi teachers only. This again another violation against the cohesive multilingual culture of our country," the statement further added.

The organisation also criticised the government for not announcing and reducing allocations for welfare schemes and called Nirmala Sitharaman's budget a 'zero budget'.

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