People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 39

September 27, 2009

SFI Condemns Proposal to Raise Fee


The central executive committee of the Students� Federation of India (SFI) has issued the following statement on September 18


THE SFI strongly condemns the proposal of the HRD ministry to implement fee hikes and cut down subsidies in the higher education sector in the name of the ongoing austerity drive across the country. The MHRD circular which has been issued in this regard says, �Given the constraint of resources leading to mandatory cuts in non-salary expenditure, it is expected that the institutions would make efforts to generate additional resources by gradual revision of tuition fees, levy of user fees, withdrawal of hostel subsidies and through other measures.� Such an attempt to push for fee-hikes and commercialisation in the higher education sector is completely outrageous and exposes the real anti-people agenda of the Congress Party where it is trying to put even more burden on the common people when they are facing the brunt of skyrocketing prices and a massive drought. The government spending on education, particularly higher education sector is abysmally low in India. It is reflected in the fact that out of 100 only 3 people make it to the undergraduate level of education in our country. The UPA has continuously betrayed its promise of spending 6 per cent of the GDP on education which is there in its NCMP. Any increase in fees and cutback in subsidies is bound to make education inaccessible for a larger number of youth in the country.


The austerity drama being played by the Congress is only exposing its hypocrisy and bankruptcy in front of the common people. While the government is shedding crocodile tears over lack of funds and trying to push anti-people measures such as fee hikes it must answer why is it not able to gather the political will to raise resources from the corporate sector which has made huge profits in the last few years. In this year�s budget itself the UPA has doled out tax concessions worth Rs 4,28,000 crores to the big corporate houses in our country, out of which 45,000 crores have gone to Reliance alone. Over the last two years the amount of tax exemptions given to corporate houses amounts to almost Rs 700 crore a day. It is quite obvious that the UPA and the Congress party are only reciprocating favours to its class allies while the common people continue to face misery. The true face of Congress party has come out after its poster boys like Shashi Tharoor have compared the common people to cattle in their disgust for not being able to live conspicuous lifestyles.


The SFI warns the UPA government and the Congress not to take the people of India and the student community for granted. It should be ready to face the brunt of the people if steps are not taken to provide relief and shelve all anti-student proposals like fee-hikes and cutback in spending on higher education.


The SFI would not tolerate any such moves and will build a nationwide struggle to force this government to withdraw if any such assault is made on the student community. The SFI calls upon all the democratic and progressive minded students to be prepared for a militant struggle and defeat the nefarious designs of this government which is acting on the dictates of its neo-liberal imperialist masters rather than the mandate which the people of India had given to it.