(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 21, 2010
Oppose Foreign Education Institutions Bill
The central executive committee of the Students Federation of India (SFI) issued the following statement from New Delhi on March 16, 2010.
THE union cabinet has cleared the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill in a meeting today. This has paved the way for introduction of this bill in the parliament. This move by the government is meant to further the agenda of commercialisation and open up our education sector to foreign players in keeping with its neo-liberal policies. This bill had been pending for the last four years, since it could not be tabled in the parliament due to the spirited opposition by the Left parties and the democratic student movement during the previous government’s tenure. The new HRD minister had declared that getting this bill passed would be one of the first things on his agenda.
Contrary to what is being propagated by the government and its neo-liberal ideologues, the foreign institutions bill will not bring in any quality educational institutions to our country. It is only an attempt to legalise profiteering by substandard and commercially driven educational providers to come and set shop and make money in the country. The bill also exempts all these foreign educational providers from obeying any quota norms, which will further increase the discrimination levels which already plague our educational system.
The passage of this bill would also be an attack on our intellectual self-reliance where educational providers would not be guided by any concern for the society at large but more interested by profit motives and at best serving the dictates of the market.
The SFI has been consistently opposed to this bill and will launch a countrywide movement against this anti-student and anti-national legislation. We appeal to the students community to rise against this attempt to sell out our education sector and also expose the myths which are being circulated to garner support for this bill.
The problem which our education sector faces cannot be handled by promoting and allowing more private and foreign educational providers who have a free run. What is required is a significant increase in government spending on education, something which the present government has conveniently forgotten and overlooked.