People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 28, 2007
SFI Condemns Presence Of US Officials In VC's Meet
THE central executive committee of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) condemned the presence of US officials in the recently concluded vice-chancellor’s meet organised by the UGC and the HRD ministry in New Delhi.
A statement issued by the SFI on October 12 termed it as “nothing short of gross interference in the internal affairs of our country”.
The presence of the US officials in a meet organised to discuss the problems of Indian higher education system showed to what extent the US can go to ensure that its interests are served, the statement noted. The lobbyists of US education corporations are being granted a direct entry to press their case for allowing the foreign universities in our country. The SFI committee felt that at the moment the government appeared to be considering this positively. It opined that this is yet another case of the government succumbing to the foreign pressures ignoring the popular disapproval existing in our country.
“If the reports appearing in the media are to be believed, (that the US officials were present without even an invite from the UGC) then the issue assumes even more serious propositions and raises many questions. It is for the government to clarify this breach of norms and the presence of ‘uninvited US officials’ into a meet intended for Indian vice-chancellors”, demanded SFI.
It further stated “This entire incident shows the scant respect US has for democracy and its high-handed attitude in interfering in the affairs of a sovereign country. This is the price we will have to pay for entering into a ‘strategic partnership’ with the US - an unwarranted and uninvited intervention into our classrooms, research laboratories, seminars, strategic planning meetings, in short into all our internal affairs. The government owes the country an answer for this episode and should show its spine in asserting its sovereign power.
“The government should immediately summon the US ambassador and seek an explanation for the ‘uninvited presence’ of his officials in an internal meet. SFI demands a high level probe into this incident and the truth should be placed before the entire country”, stated the SFI.