NDA govt shattered educational edifice: Congress

Bhubaneswar: Accusing BJP-led NDA government of playing with the future of students by shattering country’s educational edifice, Congress today said RSS loyalists were appointed to crucial academic posts and education budget was slashed by Rs 14,088 crore.

“Educational edifice of the coutnry is shattered as HRD Ministry under Smriti Irani has spent more time in demolishing institutions of prestige and downsizing motivated educationists,” AICC Spokesperson and former MP Ajoy Kumar told reporters here.

Stating that BJP government has slashed education budget by Rs 14,088.59 crore, he said budget for elementary education was reduced by Rs 10,186 crore, while that of secondary education was cut by Rs 1,422 crore and higher education by Rs 1479 crore.

Narendra Modi government has also abolished schemes for granting central assistance for setting up 6,000 model schools at block level, Kumar said.

Claiming that HRD minister and masters in the ‘Sangh Parivar’ are playing with the future of young generation, the Congress leader said “institutional paralysis through myopic controversies have been the hallmark of Modi Government’s one year in power.”

Accusing the government of impinging on academic autonomy of institutions, the ex-MP said 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 HRD ministry of violating the autonomy of University Grants Commission (UGC) and interfering with academic MoUs.

Charging the BJP-led Government with promoting “RSS influx” and making “politically coloured” decisions, the Congress leader said crucial academic appointments were being made from “under-qualified Sangh Parivar loyalists.”

Claiming that 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.

Noting 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, the Congress leader claimed.