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After HCU, JNU rows, new education policy may restrict student politics

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

A government committee headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian has recommended restricting student politics in universities and colleges. The committee is working on suggestions for a new education policy.

Among other recommendations, the committee suggested the de-recognition of student groups based "explicitly on caste and religion", and a restriction on how long students can stay on campus, according to The Indian Express.

This report comes as student unions at university campuses all over the country protest various issues, including the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad University, and the arrest on sedition charges of several Jawaharlal Nehru University students.

The report states: "Agitations, disturbances, gheraos and other disruptive movements are being increasingly witnessed on campuses with potential to interfere with normal academic activities. As a result of this, examinations often get delayed or postponed. These disturbances are generally caused by a small section of politically active students and work to the detriment of the majority of serious students."

It adds: "Most of the disruptive activities on the campus are led by students who remain enrolled for many more years than normally required to pursue the course of study for which they have enrolled. The main interest of such students is not to pursue learning but to use the hostel and fellowship facilities to follow a political agenda. There should be a national debate on the need for students to necessarily achieve the minimum benchmarks for scholastic progress to prevent the misuse of educational facilities established at public expense."

Earlier this year, minister for Parliamentary affairs Venkaiah Naidu had said students must not get involved in politics. Referring to the agitation at JNU, Naidu had said: "They are all studying at a central university where public money is involved. So they must do justice to the cause and they must study, that's all. If they are interested in politics, they can leave studies and join politics."

First published: 16 June 2016, 7:28 IST