In the latest set of developments, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) protested the Andhra Pradesh Government’s letter seeking permission for exemption from UGC guidelines to affiliate Sri Venkateshwara College (SVC) to Andhra University (AU).
The SFI unit of SVC carried out protests opposing the attempts at the separation of SVC from the Delhi University. Under the Convenor of SFI SVC Anuvrat, the students demonstrated in front of the main gate of SVC. Amongst the loud chants of “Disaffiliation ko reject karo” (Reject the Deaffiliation), the SVC row is far from over. The teacher community of SVC also sent solidarity messages to the protesting students, stated the SFI in their public release.
In a letter dated 13th February 2021, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy urged the Minister of Education, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, to exempt AU from Section 20 Clause (b) of the UGC Act and allow it to affiliate SVC to AU in order to fulfil the core goal of serving the Telugu speaking students and provide seats to the people of AP. DU Teachers’ Association (DUTA), SVC Staff Association, Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) and SVC Student Union have come out in staunch opposition to the demand of the AP Government.
“The Andhra government’s logic that affiliating SVC with Andhra University will help more Andhra students get a higher education is flawed. The governments should increase the number of colleges and universities by increasing government spending on public education instead of shuffling already existing colleges. This move is a smokescreen, which does not increase the total number of seats available to students.”Akhil KM, SFI DU Convener calling out the reasoning of interests of AP students.
The move has been a great cause of anxiety for the student body who see an uncertain future ahead. Precious, a student at SVC pointed out how this move had “resulted in doubt over our degrees and the value of the college as a whole.” Despite repeated calls for rejection of the demand of the AP CM, neither has the Union Government nor the Administration of SVC clarified the way ahead.”
“The Institutions of Eminence (IoE) Scheme under the NEP provides the opportunity to set up offshore centres for selected institutions. A series of disaffiliation has begun starting with SVC and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce. The attempt is to bolster ratings of state university through this. The focus has shifted from improving education standards to how universities can improve ratings for the credit market. The provisions, including the IoE scheme, under NEP, is an attempt to commercialise the institutions.”Pritish Menon, SFI Delhi State Secretary talking about the influence of NEP in the SVC row, as stated in the SFI’s press release date 04.03.2021
DU Beat reached out to SFI SVC to further investigate the issue. Talking about organising in-person protests, the SFI SVC Organising Committee Convenor Anuvrat noted how most students being at home in various parts of the country was a major challenge due to the pandemic.
“We shall unconditionally oppose the move of dis-affiliating Venky from DU. We will undoubtedly continue the online protest movement with solidarity from both teachers and students. The real struggle is against the systematic assault on public-funded education across India in the past few years, formalised by the NEP in 2020.”Anuvrat laying down the way forward for the struggle against the de-affiliation.
Featured Image Credits: SFI SVC