People's Democracy

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


No. 43

October 25, 2009

AIFUCTO Conference Chastises Modi Government


Thomas Joseph


THE three-day conference of All India Federation of University and College Teachers� Organizations (AIFUCTO) held at Gandhi Vidyapeeth, Ahemedabad from 10-12 October resolved to support the struggles of university and college teachers of Gujarat against Gujarat government�s order rejecting revised UGC scales.  More than 650 delegates of the conference who came from different parts of the country marched to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Income Tax Circle along with hundreds of teachers from different parts of Gujarat,  protesting against what the anti-teacher, anti-educational, authoritarian and arbitrary decision of the  Gujarat government to disassociate itself from the national mainstream by refusing  to implement the UGC Scales, spurning  80 per cent central assistance for the scheme.  It may be recalled that the unexpected move of the Gujarat government had come at a time when more than a dozen states have already implemented the revised UGC pay scales and most of the other states have taken favourable policy decisions in this regard. 


The movement resolution adopted at the conference demanded the Gujarat government to rescind the order implementing state scales for college and university teachers and to immediately implement the revised UGC scales as per MHRD order dated 31-12-2008 and vowed    take up appropriate and adequate nation-wide action programme    to strengthen the Gujarat teachers� struggle for the implementation of UGC scales.  The conference also appealed to the UGC to modify the draft regulations for the implementation of UGC scales in consultation with AIFUCTO.


The conference called upon central and state governments to rescind public-private-partnership (PPP) model of development in education, which is a short cut to privatisation of public assets.  It appealed to the governments to increase public spending and public control on education with the objective of promoting inclusive development through inclusive education.  It demanded the modification of the Right to Education Act by including the provision for free and compulsory education of the children in the age group of 0 to 6 and 14 to 18  by making ample financial provision for the implementation of the scheme.  The conference also resolved to request the central government to desist from the move to set up a National     Commission for Higher Education and Research by subsuming all the existing regulatory bodies and entrusting policy formulation, regulation and national level administration in higher education with a small body to the total neglect of federal principles.


Through other resolutions, the conference exhorted the central government  not  to set up offshore campus centres of foreign educational institutions in the country, to abandon the move for compulsory accreditation of higher education institutions and to entrust the responsibility for accreditation with private agencies and not to implement   differential scales for teachers in new central universities.


The conference also decided to plan and implement corrective  public campaigns and agitations against the misguided educational policies and practices of the central and state governments, independently and in collaboration with democratic movements of teachers, parents, students and other   public spirited organisations , and to exhort the teachers across the country to undertake teaching , research and extension with greater sense of dedication and social commitment than ever before, in view of the increased role that education has come to play in ensuring inclusive development in a world which is increasingly being governed by knowledge.


The following office bearers were elected at the conference who would hold office for the next two years.  Professor James William (president), Professor Asok Barman (general secretary) Professor Nikhil Desai (treasurer) Professor Sadiquil Islam, Professor Madhu Paranjapai, Professor V P Singh, Professor Rabi Ray, Professor Jaya Gandhi (national secretaries).  Apart from the above, nine vice presidents including Professor Chandra Mohanan and Professor Apoorba Das and eight zonal secretaries were also elected.