UNDER the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) dispensation, education in India has come under the severe threat of saffronisation, privatisation and homogenisation. Systematic attacks on the democratic ethos of pedagogy threaten to destabilise college and university campuses. The unprecedented viciousness with which the administration, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) are harassing students and teachers is particularly worrying.
Over the past four years, the UGC ushered in some drastic policy changes. Last year, it substantially reduced the number of PhD and MPhil seats. In Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), for instance, an effective 84 per cent reduction brought down the number of seats to 194 from 1,000. Such massive seat cuts in research were opposed by many universities, including JNU, where the intake for the year in several centres was zero. The UGC also reduced the number of PhD and MPhil students a professor could supervise. The UGC notification also did away with JNU’s unique deprivation point system that awarded 12 extra marks to students coming from rural areas, especially female students. The move will impair the diverse and inclusive character of JNU.
The Post Matric Scholarship (PM